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Translation, transcreation and localization


'Dictionary' photo (c) 2004, jwyg - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Today I was asked by a colleague to evaluate a translation that seemed absolutely horrible to the client. As I was reading the translation and the client's remarks, it dawned on me that the client actually needed transcreation, not translation. But since the term "transcreation" is fairly new, not all clients realize that that's what they actually need when they ask for "translation". So would you like to do a little research with me about it? Let's start then :)



So, what is transcreation? Let's see what Wikipedia says:

Transcreation is a term used chiefly by advertising and marketing professionals to refer to the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language. Increasingly, transcreation is used in global marketing and advertising campaigns as advertisers seek to transcend the boundaries of culture and language.
Terms with meanings similar to transcreation include ‘creative translation’, ‘cross-market copywriting’, ‘international copy adaptation’, ‘marketing translation’, ‘internationalization’, ‘localization’ and ‘cultural adaptation’. For each of these words and phrases, the thrust is similar: taking the essence of a message and re-creating it in another language or dialect.
Do you see the difference? Of course, translation is also creative work because we don't translate words. We translate meanings. In every language there's a countless number of idioms, slang expressions, concepts which simply can't be translated literally. But transcreation goes even further. A transcreator takes the source text as a basis and "expands upon translation by focusing not so much on the literal text, but on discerning the emotional response by viewers in the source language and working to elicit the same response from viewers in the target market. It is about “taking a concept in one language, and completely recreating it in another." (quote taken from Wikipedia, same article)

It may seem that the term "transcreation" is very close to localization. But localization is a broader concept. You can read the wonderful description of localization in Bunch Translate blog. The difference between them is that localization isn't just about a text, but it's about a product. And of course, when translating small buttons of a website I don't think about emotions that the website users may have when clicking on those buttons ;)

Well, thanks for taking part in this (very) small research tonight! Hope you find it useful.

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10 interesting facts about the Russian language

In my previous post I promised to follow with the  interesting info about some other languages. So here are 10 facts about the Russian language which might be of interest to those who are studying it. If you would like to have this list in Russian, please contact me and I will send it to you by email. So, what do I find interesting about my native language?

1. Russian has about 500,000 words, but only 2,000-2,500 of them are used frequently. 100 most frequently used words make 20% of all written and oral speech. A high school graduate's vocabulary usually has 1,500 to 4,000 words. Those who have graduated from a higher educational institution normally have a richer vocabulary consisting of approximately 8,000 words.
2. It's compulsory for all astronauts in the international space station to learn Russian, so we can call it an international language of space :)

Time for another update about guest posts, business, blogging and more!

Hi everybody! First of all, thank you for reading my blog. I love to see that the number of my subscribers is growing every week. That's so inspiring!
I've got some news for you. I am amazed with the way my work and business are developing. Life is getting more and more interesting and, hopefully, these changes will be good for you, too! So, here are my news:

How to Reply To a Negative Feedback About Your Translation

We are humans and we screw up many times!

And receiving a negative feedback about your translation work if one of them.

As translation professionals, we work daily with people from different cultures and backgrounds. So, it is quite important to keep a level of etiquette while we do our business communication.

Whatever your years of experience or your educational background, there are times when daily life affects our business badly. It is how we react to these situations what makes a big difference between professional translation service providers and those who are not.

I was lucky enough when I started my translation career back in 2004 to read about the “A Complaint Is a Gift” business book and receive my training by a true professional Arabic translator.

My colleague taught me the tactics of a professional’s reply to a negative feedback and the book mentions the bright side of receiving a complaint about your work. If the client does not like your work, he can just move to anothe…