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Transcreation versus Translation for Online Content

September 19, 2018

Are you trying to reach other language speakers with your website or online content? If so, it is important to understand the strict translation of your digital message may produce varying results due to language differences. Translation is the mechanical process of rendering text from one language to another. Moreover, a translated version of marketing or advertising copy that supports your brand's creative theme will probably not sound like something written by a native speaker. A translation blunder that is often cited happened when American Airlines expanded its "Fly in Leather" campaign that targeted first-class passengers to its Spanish speaking clientele. Unfortunately, the straightforward translation to Spanish read, "vuela en cuero" or "fly naked".

Transcreation is a creative form of translation that focuses on interpreting the content's concepts, rather than just translating words to another language. However, transcreation is not a simple task. The linguists producing the transcreated content should be an experienced multilingual copywriter who understands the English version and is a native speaker of the target language. This will ensure your online message does not include text, images, idioms, colloquialisms, examples, or humor that could have negative connotations to the target audience. It also helps for the transcreator to have a thorough understanding of cultural, political and social issues that might influence how your message is received.

Google has recently warned webmasters that the page content translated and indexed for more than one language, may trigger the algorithms to remove the website from their index, as it is a waste of Google resources. If your corporate goal is to ensure a personal connection to your brand, products and services, your target audience should feel as though the website content or online digital messaging was created specifically for them. Moreover, it is critical to build trust and authority with the search engines and getting caught using straightforward translations can have a negative impact on both. Businesses that are serious about reaching new cultural markets should recognize that transcreation of online communications may be the most critical component of expansion to improve their online success.

At ProLingo, we are always aware of how subtle differences in translation and interpretation impact your multilingual communications. Call today to speak with an experienced linguist about your upcoming project.

Client Spotlight

Your onsite technician was the exact definition of the word professional. The sound quality was outstanding and it was expressed to me that all interpreters did an outstanding job. Keep up the great work!
- C. Parchy, CEO

5 / 5 stars

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