Transcreation: translating for the creative industries

After the team at TranslationsInLondon participated at the very stimulating and interesting “Translation and the Creative Industries Conference“ in central  London, there was a lot of inspirational content to think about. We would like to supply our readers with some information about the creative writing topic specifically on the field of transcreation in advertising.



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Creative Industries

First, let’s have a look at the term “creative industries” as an economic sector and  let us define it. All in all, these are the industries which are dealing with the development and creation of new things. Advertising, design and fashion, video, film, photography as well as the music and radio industry all belong to the group of creative industries.

In an increasingly globalised world, these industries are steadily growing and evolving at a very fast rate due to the evolution of internet technologies. As a result, translations for the creative industries require a huge variety of skills and specific knowledge to help companies reach many new people and different cultures in globalised markets.

Translation for advertising industries

While the task of a text writer is to create a slogan that will resonate with the target group and successfully address them, the task of a creative translator is to spread the idea globally. You have to keep in mind that often a wide cultural diversity has to be taken into consideration. What works in one country, will not necessarily work in another country and it could be offensive, inappropriate or controversial. The main goal is to convey an idea, product or service to the target group in accordance with their cultural background.

transcreation

For this kind of translation, there is even a special term used in the creative industries market – “transcreation” as already mentioned above.

Transcreation

Transcreation focuses more on the process of re-creating feelings and messages in another language than preserving the strict meaning of specific words as you’d find in the translation of legal documents for example. Concepts have to be converted; often resulting in a fully adapted and therefore modified translation in the target language, but this must still achieve the same effect and reaction of the original message.

The high demand for the creative sector to fulfill this double function illustrates the significance for translators of having features such as language skills, local market understanding, cultural awareness and sensitivity to appeal and influence the target market.

Examples for successful Trascreation

Here are two examples of global brands using transcreation in a successful globalised and multicultural way:

COCA-COLA Soft drink company: Share a Coke campaign

Coca-Cola’s famous cursive writing on cans and bottles was replaced with 150 of Australia’s most popular names. Afterward, each country managed to take this original idea and use transcreation to make it more local and authentic to their target audience. Instead of first names, China used popular nicknames on cans and Great Britain publicized the birth of the royal baby by having its famous Piccadilly Circus illuminated sign read ‘Share a Coke with Wills and Kate’. The success of Coca-Cola’s campaign relied on transcreation to appeal to its local customers considering the cultural impact.

Swiffer dusting product: creative slogan translation

Another great example of transcreation improving a marketing slogan is Proctor & Gamble’s 1999 campaign in Italy for their Swiffer dusting products. The English original phrase was “When Swiffer’s the one, consider it done”. A direct Italian translation would not have worked for the target audience because of the missing rhyme. So they came up with a new rhyme and metre: “La polvere non dura, perché Swiffer la cattura.” (‘The dust doesn’t last, because Swiffer catches it.’).

This solution additionally includes the benefit of eliminating dust and the way it does this (by catching it).

Conclusion

Mastering a language is not enough to become a creative translator. Translators need to have a sophisticated style of writing and be able to put themselves into the role of the potential customer as well as being able to spread the idea of the company globally. We would like to mention that we consider several factors for selecting our translators including where they live and what is their cultural background, especially for creative translations, as language is ever-evolving.

Thank you “Translation and the Creative Industries Conference“ for such interesting two days with lots of information and thought-provoking Surveys.

Check out our blog http://blog.translationsinlondon.com/blog/the-tricky-art-of-transcreation 

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