Considering the Challenge of Transcreation

Transcreation within the field of translation seeks to bridge between sociocultural backgrounds, employing the use of creativity and refinement in translation to achieve this aim. It has never been more important given globalization and the scale and scope of international communications.

English to Arabic Translation Services

A language contains its own nuances, idioms and specific meanings and connotations that are generally only accessible to native speakers or those with an immensely high level in the language. Transcreation could be viewed as the act of culturally adapting a text (whether written or audio-visual in nature) into a form that reconciles sociocultural differences. It entails the key challenge of trying to maintain tone, intent, and style while simultaneously being localized for another audience or readership. In other words, the information to be transmitted is essentially the same yet in a way that sounds natural and is acceptable to an intended audience. The demands and challenges make this a particularly specialized form of translation work. And, thinking about last week’s blog post, something that machine translation is incapable of doing. It is a practice firmly in the domain of human translation. And the translator who transcreates needs to do so into their native language and aim this work at a target country where they have lived experience of the sociocultural aspects of a particular time and place.

Certified Translation and Transcreation

Transcreation is, as one would expect, a major process in international advertising and this is, indeed, one of the areas in which work for translators is growing. So, beyond expertise in language and deep understanding of the target country, it is also an essential requirement that the translator (or transcreator) has a solid grasp of advertising standards and brand. Clearly, a background in marketing and publicity is a distinct advantage here. In addition, working collaboratively with design teams, editors and so becomes of greater importance than may be the case with “straight translation”.

The challenge of transcreation, in short, is the depth of experience demanded of the translator. Perhaps the term “transcreator” needs to be taken as a linked yet distinct area of professional practice within the translation.



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