An In-depth Look at 9 Popular Types of Transcreation

October 6, 2023 | Han Ngo

Each type of transcreation has unique characteristics, requiring specialized skills and expertise. In this comprehensive article, Thao & Co. delves deep into popular types of transcreation, providing valuable insights into essential considerations when choosing a translation agency.

A comprehensive overview of transcreation

9 Types of Transcreation you may not know - Thao & Co.

Transcreation goes beyond mere language conversion as it’s an art form that infuses words with vitality, breathing new life into the target language to create a genuinely creative translation. In transcreation, the translator not only conveys the original meaning but also taps into the richness of language to revive the spirit and preserve the emotions of the source work.

Its versatility without boundaries sets transcreation apart, spanning literature, advertising, media, cinema, music, and numerous other domains. This unique type of translation delivers a fresh and profound experience, breaking down language and cultural barriers and leaving a lasting impact on its audience.

See more: Creative Translation Service

Popular types of transcreation

Based on the content that needs transcreation, there exist nine popular categories as follows.

1. Marketing transcreation

Thao & Company offers professional advertising and marketing translation services for slogans, taglines, ad copies, commercials, landing pages, and more.

Marketing transcreation is an artful process that transforms messages with creativity and allure, capturing the attention of target customers. Its versatility spans a spectrum of materials, encompassing: imaginative ad slogans, persuasive brochures, enticing catalogs, unique blog posts, and compelling social media content.

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Qualified transcreators should be proficient in creative and captivating writing to provide compelling and coherent content. Their expertise extends to comprehending market intricacies, consumer preferences, and local cultural nuances.

They must be able to understand and flexibly apply the principles and techniques of translation.  In addition, transcreation experts also need to collaborate seamlessly with marketing teams to align with their message objectives and adhere to brand guidelines and values.

Here is an example of marketing transcreation

Nike leveraged transcreation for its slogan “Just Do It” into Spanish as “Supera tus límites,” a phrase intended to inspire consumers to surpass their boundaries.

This transcreation generated a compelling and motivating message by effectively using “Supera” to encompass the concept of “overcoming” and “límites” to embody “limits” in Spanish. This slogan evokes consumers’ determination and inspires them to conquer challenges on their path to success.

2. Product packaging transcreation

Product packaging transcreation is a specialized process that breathes creativity and uniqueness into packaging content translation. This meticulous approach encompasses translating crucial package components such as labels, product descriptions, usage directions, safety information, and slogans.

Transcreators are tasked with crossing linguistic boundaries to deliver messages on product packaging subtly and creatively. Their mission is to find a delicate balance between providing a translation that encapsulates the complete meaning while preserving the authenticity of the original message and adhering to space constraints on the packaging.

Furthermore, they must constantly research emerging trends and keep up with innovations in packaging design and related fields. Additionally, transcreators must master the brand’s core values and understand customers’ sentiments and perspectives to reach a final harmonious and integrated translation.

3. Game transcreation

In the gaming universe, transcreation magically brings stories, quests, and dialogues to life in an enthralling way. It involves delicately recreating the plot to captivate players and immerse them in an authentic adventure. Buttons, menus, conversations, and directions are smoothly and cleverly translated, allowing players to engage naturally and effortlessly, boosting their game experience.

Within the transcreation in the gaming industry, creative translators use their proficiency in artful word selection to unlock boundless realms of imagination for gamers. They meticulously craft every intricate detail to convey the culture, ambiance, and emotions from the source text into the translation, bestowing players with an immersive experience. To reach excellence, transcreators must possess a wealth of imagination and embrace innovation without hesitation, constantly flourishing fresh concepts.

Find out more: Game Localization

An illustration of transcreation within the gaming industry

Riot Games, the developer behind “League of Legends,” has demonstrated innovation and elegance in naming characters, skills, and items to establish a deep connection with Vietnamese gamers. The character known as Master Yi has been translated as “Sword Master,” which impeccably mirrors the character’s martial arts prowess.  Moreover, the translation of pet monikers, in-game artifacts, and special effects has been carefully arranged with a blend of inventiveness and intimacy to captivate Vietnamese players with the utmost enthralling experience.

4. Letter and email transcreation

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Transcreation in letters and emails involves transforming and revitalizing the content into a creative and captivating essence, aiming to proficiently convey the intended meaning and the underlying emotions and messages to the recipients. This transformative process is a cornerstone for establishing and nurturing relationships with global customers and international communication partners.

In the transcreation of letters and emails, the translator’s primary focus is crafting a translated rendition that mirrors the style and perspective of the original author. The process entails the meticulous selection of words, the artful construction of sentences, and the skillful arrangement of text to ensure an alluring and impactful quality. Furthermore, stylistic techniques and adept emulation of expressions are indispensable strategies to enhance the overall appeal of letters and emails.

Find out more: Email Translation

An example of transcreation in letters and emails

Through its triumphs in the Vietnamese market, the ride-hailing and delivery application Grab is a compelling demonstration of transcreation for a remarkable blend of emotion and creativity. Grab expertly produces emails that elicit strong emotions, telling engaging stories about memorable user interactions and extending warm and inviting invitations, cultivating a sense of closeness and intimacy with its users.

5. Literary transcreation

Literary transcreation is a transformative process that breathes life into the pages of books; what distinguishes this method is the transcreator’s ability to elicit the essence of work through their vast imagination and creative prowess The translation process creates a fresh tapestry by weaving fragments of language and culture to unlock the gateway to global comprehension and cultural exchange.

Literary transcreation demands more than a firm grasp of language; it necessitates an infusion of creativity and a deep passion for literature. The translator must forge a profound connection with the original work’s essence, grasping its rhythm, resonance, and profound significance within each word to vividly render it into the target language.

6. Transcreation of movie and book titles

Transcreation of movie and book titles involves capturing the essence, significance, and impact of the original piece in the target language uniquely and emotionally, introducing a fresh and imaginative perspective when bringing these artistic creations to the public.

Translators take the role of wordsmiths, undertaking the task beyond mere expression of meaning as they need to infuse the emotions and essence of the original work into movie and book titles while maintaining coherence to create an enthralling and imaginative experience for the target audience.

An illustrative instance for the transcreation of movie and book titles

The creative transformation of the movie title “La La Land” into Chinese as “爱乐之城” (Ài Lè Zhī Chéng) conveys the meaning of “City of Musical Love.” The transcreator displayed creativity by carefully selecting words and crafting sentence structures that resonate with the Chinese language and culture.

Compared to the original title, the translation achieves a dreamy, romantic undertone while retaining a comparable thematic substance. The original title, “La La Land,” embodies the themes of passion, dreams, and love for the city of Los Angeles while the Chinese adaptation ” 爱乐之城” (Ài Lè Zhī Chéng) highlights a love for music and passion inside a city filled with challenges.

7. Subtitle transcreation

Subtitle transcreation is the delicate craft of producing subtitles for the auditory and visual components in films, TV series, videos, or other media creations. In this endeavor, the translator’s task goes beyond mere precision and faithfulness; they must also unearth ways to encapsulate the authentic emotions and essence of the original work.

Moreover, translators must diligently maintain a consistent translation style to facilitate seamless comprehension for the audience. They should possess a profound understanding of language and culture as well as a clear insight into the target audience, enabling them to meet their interests and needs adeptly.

An exemplary display of subtitle transcreation

The Korean film “6/45” underwent a captivating metamorphosis when presented to Vietnamese audiences by subtitling cleverly integrated slang like “Ô dề” (“ridiculous”), “ra dẻ” (pretend), “ét ô ét” (SOS), “chằm zn” (depressing), to infuse humor and foster intimacy with the audience. Furthermore, the subtitles featured the lyrics “ Splinter in my heart” by Luong Bich Huu, a celebrated Vietnamese singer, and phrases like “Joining the big arms” and “The sun shines shimmering on golden flowers” were smoothly incorporated, enhancing the watching experience.

While the translation may not adhere strictly to the original, the masterful “cultural adaptation” and creative trend alignment have earned the enthusiastic acceptance and enjoyment of the audience.

8. Internal communication transcreation

The transcreation of internal communication involves the meticulous transformation and revitalization of messages within an organization, surmounting the translation limitations to craft compelling and impactful internal communications. The process includes transcreating such documents as: newsletters, training materials, operational instructions, emails, articles on internal websites, and more for precise and consistent communication.

Translators become the guardians of the language power who deeply comprehend the organization’s objectives, values, and culture to guarantee the precise transmission of messages. Concurrently, they shoulder the responsibility of preserving the fidelity of the translated message while adhering to the organization’s stringent information confidentiality commitments.

Related article: Internal Communications Translation

Example of transcreation for internal communications

In the original English guidelines for sellers on Shopee’s e-commerce platform, a pivotal aspect of the sales process is labeled the “Shopee Success Formula.” To foster a sense of connection and curiosity among employees and sellers in Vietnam, the translator adeptly wove clever words to create a compelling phrase, “Công thức Vàng Shopee” (Shopee Golden Formula), emphasizing the significance and inherent value of correctly executing the sales process on this platform.

9. Transcreation of educational content

Transcreating educational content involves a dynamic process of translating and adapting educational materials flexibly and ingenuously to convey knowledge and educational concepts to learners, ensuring effectiveness and positive interaction in the learning process.

Translators engaged in educational content must strongly understand education and creativity with unwavering patience and dedication. They must understand the complexities of the source and target languages and cultures, allowing them to select the most appropriate words to represent the desired meaning faithfully.

Essential considerations on types of transcreation

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When engaging in transcreation across different categories, achieving high-quality results necessitates a deep understanding of the unique requirements and the skillful application of suitable transcreation techniques. The transcreation costs can vary depending on document length, target language, and the complexity of the content.

For assurance of both quality and originality in your transcreation endeavors, it is advisable to choose a translation agency staffed with an experienced team specialized in this field. Additionally, it is beneficial to select a translation agency supporting additional services such as Desktop Publishing (DTP), which ensures a polished layout, and consumer language research services, which facilitate alignment with local culture and enhance effective customer engagement.

As a translation agency with a wealth of experience delivering transcreation services, Thao & Co. recognizes the significance of effective message conveyance. Our dedicated team will collaborate closely with you to understand your requirements and create a seamless translation process while offering transparent pricing breakdowns. Contact Thao & Co. today to explore our services and get a detailed quote for free.

Source: Thao & Company
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