Translation and transcreation: the differences

differences between translation and transcreation

Translation and transcreation are two methods of translating content from a source language into a target language. Both methods are characterised by specific features that meet different objectives. Here is an overview of the main differences between translation and transcreation,



Translation consists of the conversion of text or audio content. The translator concentrates on the translation of words and generally ignores subtle nuances contained in the original to be translated.

Translation therefore addresses important challenges associated with the internationalisation of a product or business.



Transcreation is a creative process that goes beyond a simple translation of text. The transcreator adapts content to the culture of the target country, conveying the message, the emotion, the influence intended by the source text. It is usually used in advertising and marketing to promote a product, and adapt it to the specific requirements of the target audience. For example, a product is marketed differently in the USA than in Great Britain, Thailand, Brazil or Algeria.

An improperly executed transcreation can hinder the successful marketing of a product and block access to the international market.


The main differences between translation and transcreation



The main purpose of translation is to enable content to be understood and to avoid linguistic and cultural inconsistencies. The aim of transcreation, on the other hand, is to preserve the intention and emotion conveyed by the original message, while adapting it to the needs, culture, and customs of the target country's customers.


Mode of operation

While translation is limited to text, transcreation takes into account other specific elements, such as visual layout, typography, formatting, colours, and design in its entirety, etc. Each of these aspects must be taken into account and adapted to the target country, its culture and its customs, and the consumer habits of the target audience, etc.



Transcreation is mainly used for business and advertising media: slogans, product names, film and advertising posters, etc.

Translation covers a wider range of content and sectors: literary works, business documents, technical translations (scientific, legal, technical, etc.).


Necessary qualifications

The transcreator must first and foremost be creative and have solid marketing skills. He or she must know and understand every aspect of the target and source languages and also have a thorough knowledge of the culture of the target countries of the transcreation.

In addition to cultural knowledge, the translator needs a high degree of mastery of the source and target languages as well as experience in a particular industry, for example technical translations.


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