The translation of certain types of texts requires great creativity, especially when they must be adapted to a different culture. This is the case for slogans and advertisements, among others. This type of translation is referred to as “creative translation” or “transcreation.” This article explains what you need to know about this topic and presents the reasons to rely on a reputable translation company – such as SLRR Translation Agency– for these types of projects.


What is transcreation?

Creative translation is the complete opposite of literal translation. Instead of translating the original text word for word, the translator seeks to express the overall meaning. The translator then adapts the text to the target language by making the necessary adjustments so that the text corresponds to the readers’ culture and customs.

Transcreation has long been associated with the translation of literary works. Among the great “transcreators” of the literary world are the French poet Baudelaire, who put his writerly talents to work translating the works of Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century. These days, the principles of transcreation are applied to other fields that require a healthy dose of creativity, especially marketing translation.


In which cases should the translation company opt for transcreation?

Literal (word-for-word) translation is often less natural and “stiffer” than creative translation, but sometimes, it’s a necessary evil. For example, certain legal translations sometimes have to follow the original text very closely. In such cases, the translated text “feels” like a translation – that is, the reader can easily figure out that it’s a translation.

But transcreation is required when puns, jokes, songs, or figures of speech need to be translated, because a word-for-word translation would inevitably fall flat. Translators must also apply the principles of transcreation when the text contains numerous cultural references that may not be understood in the target language. Finally, it’s best to opt for transcreation when the text aims to elicit an emotion or a reaction, as is the case with advertising and promotional materials.


How does the translation company achieve creative translations?

To carry out transcreation projects, the translation company has to rely on professional translators with good writing skills. Transcreation is more of an artistic discipline than a technical one, which is why a certain talent for writing is required. The translators must also be familiar with the culture of the people who will be reading the translation. If they possess these qualities, the translators will be able to create translations that won’t feel like translations, but which will instead seem to have been written directly in the readers’ language.

The translation company also has to work with their client to understand their goals and their communication context. Through this collaboration, it’s possible to obtain idiomatic translationsthat hit their target. SLRR Translation Agency is a translation company that can apply their transcreation experience to all your projects. Contact us to learn more!

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