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"The art of translation lies less in knowing the other language than in knowing your own." - Ned Rorem

Do we have to stick literally to the source language text? The answer is: No! This is what we call trans-creation.

Content is king! There is a great amount of effort consumed in creating the original content. The term transcreation is made of two magic words: Translation + Creation. Transcreation could come in different forms.

 

A translation with a creative sense that reserves the original meaning and the contextual spirit. But flies with the readability and style when creating the target translation. So, when the readers won’t feel that the content is translated literally.

 

One of the nicest examples of creative trans-creation is McDonald’s famous slogan “I’m loving it”. The target translation in Egypt for example is أنا أحبه. Could've been formulated in many different ways as the Arabic language is very rich and diverse. But the choice of the word أنا (ana, means I'm) delivers a personal sense of belonging to McDonald's, instead of the using the slogan نحن نحبه (nahnu, means we love it).

 

Transcreation provides spiritual support marketing or the commercial experience in many ways and facilitates digestion in the intended locale.

With that being said, if localization is the process of adapting the target content to fit a certain locale, transcreation is the creative adaptation of the target content to serve a deeper psychological feeling.

 

The concept of transcreation is applied to the creation of target translation with limited or without adherence to the source at all. Google Assistant employed the concept in creating target intents to train Google Assistant’s natural language processing (NLU) system by creating unique translation variations in the target language(s). The process instructed translators to create various translations for every single scenario. In other words, translating the same source text by different translators in parallel, while instructing the translators to go creative and feel natural when conveying the source language’s meaning.

 

Finally, transcreation could come in many forms that are commercially utilized. Below is an interesting list of commercial forms:

 

  • Advertisement and commercials

  • Slogans and titles

  • Banners

  • Copywriting

  • Blogs and Press Releases.

  • Voice Commands

  • Songs and Lyrics

 

What are the essentials skills required in a transcreator?

 

Good question! Not all translators are qualified to carry out the transcreation. However, a sense of creativity is key! A user manual with literal or pre-defined terminology is difficult to transcreate. The creative aspects are required in both the source and the target language. For example, if a translator is required to create the phrase “Beating around the pushes” in any given target language. The output may vary according to the natural understanding of the phrase itself, then the creative or catchy method of formulating the translation.

Transcreation Project Sample

Localizing an animated video from English UK into Egyptian colloquial Arabic (العامية المصرية)

Video Length: 14:00 minutes

Word Count: ~ 2000 words

Subject Matter: Automotives - Electric Viechles

English UK: EV or Gas, What Pollutes More?

Egyptian Arabic: الكهربا⚡بتلوث اكتر!!؟ 🤔

Project Story:

EVS station is a popular Youtube channel specialized in electric cars, representing EV Souq marketplace promoting EV reviews and selling spare parts in Egypt and the Middle East.

  • The original English UK script was translated into Egyptian Arabic, then voice recorded in a studio.

  • The translation team conducted some meetings with the client to inquire about localizing and simplifying termnology, product names, and numbers, into Egyptian Arabic.

  • In some parts of the content, the translation had to be deviated from the source or adapated to be easily absobed by Egyptian or Arabic viewers.

  • The final video (to the right) in Egyptian Arabic when all the content is carefully converted.

Get in touch to localize your video content!