Transcreation Definition

What is transcreation?

The word transcreation, is the contraction of “translation” and “creation”. As the name suggests, it describes the process of creative translation.

Transcreation is essential for translating marketing and advertising campaigns effectively. The transcreator goes beyond simply translating the words on a page and strives to transpose an equivalent message that is specific to the target language and culture.

The aim of transcreation is to create an emotional connection with the target audience in order to reach the same objectives as the source text.

transcreation diagram language culture emotion
Transcreation = Target audience + Language + Emotion + Culture

Why opt for transcreation?

Or rather, why do you need transcreation?

  • Because transcreation helps increase global product sales,
  • Because you want to make sure that your campaign doesn’t get lost in translation – or worse. A standard, literal translation used in the wrong context can cause serious damage to your brand’s image.

Translation, localisation and transcreation… What is the difference?

Standard Translation

In standard translation the aim is to reproduce the source text with precision and as closely as possible in the target language. Standard translation is therefore the option that is the best adapted to technical, medical, or legal translations.


In localisation, the text is translated relatively closely to the source text, then as the name suggests is localised or adapted to local customs. The text can be adapted on multiple levels, on a country-wide level, for a specific region, city or even a specific community.

Localisation of a text takes into account elements such as currency, measurements, cultural references or even local jargon so it can be easily understood by the target audience.

Localisation is therefore the option that is best adapted to translating websites, video games, e-learning content, apps and any translation that needs to be adapted in order to be understood by the target audience.


Transcreation takes over when standard translation and localisation just don’t cut it. E.g., for advertising campaigns with a punch or content with an emotional impact.

In transcreation, the transcreator goes beyond the words on a page and strives to find the best possible way to convey the underlying message to the target audience. The text is therefore not merely adapted, but it is often completely re-written to obtain the same emotional connection as the original text.

Transcreation is therefore the option that is best adapted to marketing translation, product or brand naming and slogans. It is also recommended for blogs, press releases, video games and websites.

Transcreation is often described as being more “free” than regular translation, giving the translator the freedom to use their imagination to translate the underlying message. Indeed, transcreation does require using one’s imagination to transpose expressions, wordplay, poetic phrases or to create a crowd-stopping catch phrase.

However, the transcreator is not completely free to do as they please. A transcreator must take into consideration the target audience, sales goals and brand identity as well as the writing and marketing techniques that are used in the target language.

Why should you choose transcreation for your website?

When transcreating a website, the text is adapted or completely re-written to talk your customers’ language. The transcreator’s aim is to reach out to your customers and help you meet those all-important sales targets.

The aim of a transcreation is to make the content pertinent for your target audience. In doing so, you are also increasing your chances that your target audience will find you in the search engines, that they engage with your content and that your visitors will become your customers. Afterall, that’s why you want to translate your website right?

So, what can transcreation do for your business or website?

  1. It can increase the visibility of your website in search engines, increase the number of qualified visitors (leads and potential customers, not just numbers) and reduce the bounce-back rates (as your visitors will be interested in your content).
  2. Transcreation helps to convince and connect with your target audience.
  3. And finally, it helps to convert visitors into customers.
customer attraction strategy 1
Customer attraction strategy

How can transcreation help your SEO?

Transcreation can have a positive impact on website ranking. In SEO, user experience is key, so by optimising your content for your target audience, you are also in some respects optimising your content for Google.

Amongst the known factors used to rank pages in search engines we know that Google gives brownie points for:

  • The quality of the content. Google likes content that is well written and pertinent.
  • The content must be unique. Transcreation is a creative process that involves adapting content for the target audience, transcreated content is therefore unique.
  • Customer engagement. In transcreation, the transcreator never loses sight of the target audience and the goal behind the text.

However, although these points are important, there are many other factors that influence the ranking of your page, but that’s another topic.

What is the process of transcreation?

Transcreation is a collaborative process between the transcreator and the client. Communication between the two parties is essential to ensure a successful outcome.

All transcreation projects begin with a briefing meeting. We work closely and exchange ideas with our clients throughout the whole transcreation process to ensure that our clients are happy with the final result.

1. Briefing Meeting

Briefing meeting via video conference.

Identification of products and or services, the target audience, sales goals, the creative concept and the level of transcreation required.

2. Transcreation

Exchange of ideas between the client and transcreator throughout the transcreation process.

3. Validation

Transcreation for websites:

You will receive the transcreation along with explanations of the creative decisions taken.

Transcreation of slogans, naming and short phrases:

You will receive three alternatives along with a literal translation to help you decide which option to use.

Transcreation Pricing

Transcreation rates are charged per hour.

The time to complete a project and therefore the price depends on the amount of creativity and research required.

For marketing slogans, it can often take longer to find the winning 3 words of an advertising campaign than translating a whole page of text.

Do you have a French-English transcreation project that you would like to discuss?


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