How to Manage Successful Transcreation Projects

welocalize March 2, 2021

Producing and adapting multilingual content for global markets is no easy feat and managing the localization process can be just as challenging. Every piece of content must be on-brand, consistent, and locally and culturally relevant to reach and engage customers.

Based in Poland, Anna Siwiec is a Senior Project Manager Team leader for transcreation services at Welocalize. She also supports brands working with Welocalize’s digital marketing agency, Adapt on global ad campaigns. In this interview, Anna shares her thoughts and insights into the importance of transcreation for global brands, and the process and challenges of getting the message right across multilingual digital content.

What is transcreation also known as?

Transcreation is often referred to creative translation or recreating target copy. Apart from adhering to style, tone, context, and intent, transcreation preserves the creative and emotional meaning of the message, ensuring that it resonates culturally and linguistically in the target language. It considers not only linguistic aspects, but also the use of images, color, design, and structure.

Why do global brands need transcreation?

It is important for content to be adapted to suit each country and culture, so that a brand’s content conveys more than just meaning. In-market relevancy is hugely important in transcreation as brands need their messaging to resonate and connect with customers. Transcreation considers target audience variables and allows a brand to speak directly to their consumers and make a bigger impact.

Global brands’ content needs to convey more than just meaning. #Transcreation considers in-market relevancy and allows a brand to speak directly to their consumers and make a bigger impact in international markets. Click To Tweet

What can be the most challenging factors when it comes to transcreation? 

There are a variety of challenges, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Allocating the right resources. Transcreation content is high visibility content such as websites, banners, slogans, and video content including subtitles and voiceovers, so it’s vital to get the right talent. You need people who will be creative as well as meticulous and multilingual!
  • Time. Typically, content that requires transcreation has a small wordcount. However, because it’s highly creative, it takes time to produce a quality, accurate piece of work and should not be rushed. Clients have tight deadlines they need to meet, so this can mean working under a great deal of pressure to ensure the right quality and satisfying output.
  • Linguistic limitations. Most pieces of content have character limitations and this often needs to be preserved in the different languages and the content is displayed correctly. We often work with specific technical terminology that has to be considered, but at the same time can’t affect the fluency of the text.
  • Research and context. Transcreation often requires an in-depth level of research to properly recreate a specific concept, idea, or remark in the target language. Anyone working on transcreation copy needs to get a feel for the overall experience a customer will go through so they have good context.

What popular formats are you seeing come through the transcreation process?

We regularly see a variety of high visibility content, which can be anything from blog posts, articles, slogans, and landing pages, to website content, white papers, brochures, multimedia content, and banners.

How do you measure quality of transcreation work?

Each piece of content undergoes Linguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) checks conducted by a Language Quality Manager (LQM) to ensure quality and accuracy. The last person in the transcreation workflow is a Language Lead who assesses the quality of the final transcreated output.

When should brands start talking about transcreation?

Transcreation should be considered when the source content is complex and literal translation will not work. If the text is full of tricky words and phrases then that might be misunderstood or even come across as inappropriate in a literal translation. If the digital copy is filled with puns, slogans, catch phrases, word plays, and the intent of text is to entice readers – then transcreation and localization must be considered when developing the source content – as soon as possible. Anything high visibility or marketing materials should always be considered for transcreation at the planning stage.

Transcreation should also be considered when utilising other services too. For example, SEO often accompanies transcreation to produce an optimized and creative piece of text, such as a blog post. Both services need to be aligned as otherwise, the text would not serve its purpose. When the text is restricted by character limits and contains specific elements, such as a call-to-action, regular and literal translations won’t work.

Find out more about the differences between Translation and Transcreation here.

Can you use AI or MT-enabled solutions for transcreation?

We sample MT for marketing translation but not for transcreation. Transcreation is too creative – it needs a human touch ?

How does transcreation work at Welocalize?

Transcreation is always conducted in a three-step process. It involves three separate pair of eyes: A Transcreator (creative translator), Reviewer, and Proof-reader – all need to live and breathe the target language and brand. All resources are based in the target speaking country, so they are constantly exposed to the target language and are up to speed with new colloquialisms, idioms, and any linguistic developments. Moreover, as the content is typically marketing, each resource needs to have some fundamental knowledge about the marketing industry – on what words and phrases can be used and what should be avoided in their country.

Resources are managed by a Transcreation project management team at Welocalize – this is where I work mainly. Our project managers are trained and super experienced in transcreation services and really know how to develop impactful copy that gets results. With transcreation, you can’t assign traditional translation KPIs such a turnaround time and linguistic accuracy that matches the source. It’s better to use monitor the performance analytics i.e. how are people engaging and responding to the copy – that’s a much better, more effective approach and gives brands a clearer view of content ROI.

What are the Secrets of a Transcreator?

For more information on Welocalize Transcreation services and multilingual content solutions, connect with us here.