Translation and creativity

Translation and creativity may not be two topics that at an initial glance correlate with each other. However, creative translation – also known as transcreation – can be extremely beneficial in business communication. Furthermore, embedding a creative approach to translation processes can enhance communication with a multilingual audience.

When translating creative content, the translator must keep the original message and tone intact while still making sure that the final product sounds natural in the target language. This can be a challenge, but it forces the translator to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions.

Creative translation can help to ensure that the original meaning of the text is not lost in translation. This is especially important when translating marketing or advertising materials, where the aim is to appeal to an emotional response. By being creative, the translator can make sure that the final text still has the same impact as the original.

The challenges of creative translation

Some people may see translation as a creative challenge, while others may see it as more of a mathematical problem to be solved. The reality is that both approaches are important to produce a high-quality translation.

On the one hand, translators need to have a good understanding of the source text to be able to reproduce it accurately in the target language. This requires a certain amount of linguistic knowledge and an eye for detail. Digital translation tools can assist with this approach to translating material from one source language to another.

On the other hand, creative translation is also important to produce text that incorporates the nuance of the cultural experiences in the intended target language. This involves taking into account the cultural context and using creative solutions to make sure that the final text has the same impact as the original. This is where transcreation comes in, finding the perfect balance in accounting the cultural differences between languages, while opting for consistent messaging. 

Without creative translation, jobs can sometimes go horribly wrong. An example of this would be KFC’s “finger lickin’ good” slogan that was mistranslated in China, reading as “eat your fingers off”. 

Transcreation: A creative solution

We offer our transcreation solutions to our clients looking to incorporate the subtle nuances in communicating to their target audience. We develop the transcreation process even further in order to effectively and creatively communicate brand messages, while incorporating the intended meaning and emotion in our delivery.

It is important to note that transcreation is not about changing the meaning of the text. The aim is still to produce an accurate and faithful reproduction of the original. However, by being creative, the translator can ensure that the final text is refined to the needs of the target audience.

When translating creative content, it is key to keep the target audience in mind. The aim of all translation is to produce text that sounds natural and easy to read. However, with transcreation, translators will creatively refine the text giving it some extra flair. 

While it is possible to maintain this flow with translation, by placing agency in the hand of translators, they can communicate to your target audience more effectively. And in a manner that is more natural with the target language.

A beautiful example of transcreation in action is with BMW’s slogan: “Ultimate Driving Machine”. Used in english to capture BMW’s drive perfection in the automotive industry. However, in German the phrase translates to “Sheer Driving Pleasure”. A different term that still captures the quality BMW experience, while adhering to the natural flow of the German language.

There are several reasons why creative translation can be beneficial:

  1. It can make sure that the final text still has the same impact as the original.
  2. It can help to make the text sound natural in the target language.
  3. It can force the translator to think outside the box.

Transcreation ensures the final text has the same impact as the original

One of the benefits of creative translation is that it can make sure that the final text still has the same impact as the original. This is especially important when translating marketing or advertising materials, where the aim is to appeal to an emotional response. By being creative, the translator can make sure that the final text still has the same impact as the original. 

Transcreation can read and sound even more natural in the target language

Making the text read and sound as if it was initially written in the target language is another benefit of creative translation. This is because creative translation takes into account the cultural context and uses creative solutions. 

While this can be a challenge, it is important to remember that creative translation is not about changing the meaning of the text. It is used to ensure that the final text sounds incorporates the cultural nuances of the intended target language. 

Transcreation can force the translator to think outside the box

And finally, another benefit of creative translation is that it can force the translator to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. This is a creative process, and by being creative, the translator can make sure that the final text still has the same impact as the original. 

Contact us to see how we can have an impact on your multilingual communication

So there you have it – a few benefits of creative translation. No matter what project you’re working on, remember these tips to ensure that your final text has the same impact as the original. At Global Lingo, our project managers will work with you to ensure your documents are both creatively, and emotionally impactful while adhering to your brand guidelines, and your original message. 

Looking for translation services?

Our global translation services help companies distribute content to other audiences across the world. Whether this is information in documents, web content, product or marketing campaigns, or audio-visual media, our team of experienced, industry-qualified translators offers an exceptional level of service.

Did you know?

Global Lingo has one of the largest pool of linguists in the industry. Everyone is a native speaker in the language they are translating into, and we can translate into and from 150+ languages. So, whatever your project, whatever the language, Global Lingo can help.

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