An insider’s guide to: transcreation

In a series of three small articles, Claudine, freelancer in Translation, Transcreation and Copywriting, highlights the key features any freelancer should focus on to succeed in these areas. Part 2 is an overview of what a transcreation project is, and how it can match well with translation requests.

Transcreation is most probably my favorite area. This is where you can mix translation skills with creativity.

Here you can find an insider guide to transcreation

Most of the time, transcreation projects involve working on small copy volumes such as scripts for commercials or print ads for example. The best approach to handle this type of projects would be as follows – assuming that the client takes part of the process as well so it will enhance the result:

  1. The freelancer receives a brief from the client to understand all the basic information: who the target is, where the document will be published or used, what is the reasoning behind it and so on. As always, the quality of the brief is crucial to ensuring the quality of your work.
  2. You would usually display your work on a 3-columns table to make several suggestions for each tagline or key message, add a back translation (useful for the client who doesn’t speak your language) and most importantly add your comments: this is where you would explain the interpretation behind each of your suggestions, why you have chosen these words over others, what your opinion is about your suggestion, explain if there is any local references, play of words, etc.
  3. Be creative! Think of producing something that would work in your market, rather than translating the source. In some case, simple translation would simply not work and you have no other choice than going further on creation and thinking. The more creative and suitable to the project request you are, the more value you will add to your piece.

When transcreation applies to long copy projects, then it is your translation that you need to adapt with dash of creativity: this is where you would mix translation and transcreation. For example, documents such as marketing brochure, company websites dedicated to the consumer goods industry require more than a good translation: The freelancer shall have the skills to inject, where necessary, the right creative ideas and words to the translation to make it just perfect.

claudine french freelance copywriterAbout the author:

Claudine Seynaeve is a freelance translator/copywriter who joined the Collective in 2004. She graduated in Communications and firstly worked for Accenture and Aquadia as a Marketing and Communications Specialist. She is now working for clients and agencies for the automotive industry (Volvo, Peugeot), food & drinks industry (Exki, Sopexa), IT & home electronics (Philips, LG), fashion industry (Net-a-porter, Mr Porter, WGSN) and many more. She offers Translation, Transcreation and Copywriting services, as well as Language Lead support, Project Management and Software Testing.

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