5 Simple Steps for a Successful Transcreation Project

When you want to launch a brand or communicate a goal in another language you need to do more than simply translate your work. What you need is a transcreation specialist, so let’s take a look at what they do, and how they can help.

Post preview 5 simple steps for a successful transcreation project

What is transcreation?

Transcreation refers to the process of taking a message communicated in one language and expressing it with the exact same meaning and sentiment in a second language. It’s subtly different from standard translation because of the attention paid to cultural differences and societal context. 

If you want to ensure that your brand communicates the same vision in a variety of different languages you need to think about transcreation. It’s the process that will make sure everything you say is on-message and has the right voice — 2 things that can be easily missed if you perform a literal word-for-word translation. It will also focus on the imagery that relates to the text to ensure everything fits together as intended. 

What results from the process of translation?

Translation focuses on the written content of your project. It’s all about finding the right words to express the core ideas in the same manner, whilst maintaining readability at every turn. The end result will be a piece of engaging text in the native language of your target audience.

Now that we’ve introduced you to the basic principles, let’s take a look at the 5 simple steps you need to follow. 

Manage your translation project

Project management is such an important skill that it’s no wonder there are people who spend an entire career doing it. You need to set deadlines, deliverables, and always make yourself easily contactable. It can be easy to think that your translator will be able to take care of everything purely because they speak the language, but that’s rarely the case. They’ll need input, guidance, and context from you if you’re going to arrive at an end result you’re happy with. The more information and assistance you give them, the faster the project will be signed off and completed. 

Align expectations from day one 

You need to layout the scope of the work from the moment you start. If you want someone to simply translate a piece of text, tell them. If on the other hand, you need full transcreation that covers everything from the wording and tag lines right the way through to imagery, say that’s what you need. Everyone involved will appreciate the time you’ve taken to bring them up to speed, and it’s the best way to make sure there aren’t any nasty surprises 2 weeks into the project. 

Communicate your vision clearly 

Giving everyone a clear vision of what you want the text to look and feel like is so important. So many people forget to do this and have a translated piece that might mean the same thing word-for-word, but doesn’t position the business anywhere near as effectively as the original text. 

The onus is on you to communicate your vision and to make sure everyone understands what you’re trying to say. You may feel like you’re repeating yourself a little bit, to begin with, but it’s the best way to get the perfect end product. 

Provide context every step of the way 

Context makes all the difference to transcreation because it tells the rest of the team who the target audience is. Be clear and explicit at every step of the creative process and you’ll be able to create something you love.

Provide critical input on draft translations 

One of the key steps of translation is critical feedback. Remember that you’re not just looking for a technically correct piece of text, you want something that gives your brand the same voice it has in the original piece. It’s bound to take a couple of attempts to get everything just right, and that’s nothing to be worried by. Just make sure you read everything carefully, give clear feedback, and then do the same with the second draft. Before you know it you’ll have honed the language so it does exactly what you need it to.