In a world that is becoming more global everyday, especially for business, the ability to communicate has become stronger than ever. For a business to compete and stay relevant, they have to become effectively multicultural in their marketing. This means having a website and marketing materials that are available in two or more languages. A simple translation may seem like enough, but it often falls short. That's where transcreation has become the hot trend of the marketing world when it comes to global marketing. What is transcreation? Transcreation will address the nuances of language or the eccentricities of culture that can make a pitch to potential clients or your marketing audience work. Messaging and images are all evaluated by a native linguist with a subject matter expertise in marketing.
Emerging markets are an attractive prize for companies in every industry, no matter which country they call home. However, engaging international consumers isn’t always easy. Some businesses seem to catch on quickly, while others never make inroads. The difference lies in transcreation of marketing methods.
Transcreation goes far beyond simply translating existing marketing materials into the local language. Transcreation involves creating appropriate marketing for the target audience, taking cultural details and local customs into consideration. Below, are five companies that mastered transcreation, and as a result, they enjoy strong sales in countries around the globe. Here are five companies that mastered transcreation:
Global business trends increasingly need language services to help them improve how they communicate. More than just a direct translation, however, global businesses need language services that understand the social significance of words, phrases and sentences in a culture. In other words, they need to be aware of a culture's perception of the ideas behind words.
Their business motto is "think global, act local," and they have become a paradigm company with respect to generating success using an understanding of target market cultures. For instance, understanding the culture of a market allows Toyota to satisfy its customers and, in turn, allow them to ask satisfied customers to promote and advocate their products.
We want to ensure that your translation project is all that you hoped for. Dynamic Language offers three distinct translation services; translation, localization and transcreation. Here is a breakdown of each so you can make informed decisions on what type of translation service will best suit the needs of your project.
When you tune in to Game of Thrones every week, your mind may not immediately turn to translation and localization. Game of Thrones translation references are pretty remarkable and much of the power dynamic in the plot has to do with knowledge of foreign languages and cultures. Game of Thrones translates the script in order to capture the context and meaning in an effort to resonate with a world wide audience.
Game of Thrones die-hard fans are from all over the world. There are an estimated 5.5 million fans and New York Magazine’s Vulture.com declared GOT as having a larger following then Star Trek, Star Wars and Twilight. Only a third of its 5.5 million fans are located within the United States.
An infographic overview of some of the concepts, processes and terminology used in the language and translation services industry.
Although your mind might be on the tremendous growth that could result from this expansion, you also need to remember there are several key steps that must be addressed for successful translation:
These might seem like common sense requirements to some, but you would be surprised how many companies, even major brands, have flubbed these steps.
What happens if you make a mistake involving one of these concepts? Unfortunately, we don't need to imagine the consequences: there are plenty of real life examples of embarrassing, offensive international marketing failures that wise marketers can learn from.
Translations Gone Wrong: How NOT to Localize Your Brand
Many companies have experienced challenges localizing their marketing materials, but few have failed as spectacularly as these major brands. The missteps of these companies should provide some understanding of why your business needs professional translation help.
Coors: Turn it Loose!
In the 1980s, the Coors beer company was promoting an advertising campaign centered on a “Beerwolf” character. The slogan that went along with the Beerwolf character was "Turn it Loose!" Unfortunately, someone at Coors didn't do their homework on proper translations: in Spanish, the ad campaign was perceived as "suffer from diarrhea." Not the most appealing way to promote a refreshing beverage.
There are plenty of things to think about when it comes to creating collateral for international brands. Here are six of the top obstacles to this process.
Deciding between transcreation and translation
While translation is typically a more basic, literal method of converting content into a new language, transcreation refers to the process of re-creating the message of that collateral in a new language.
One great example of transcreation can be found in McDonald's popular advertising slogan from the early 2000s, "I'm loving it." The fast food conglomerate knew that they needed to ensure that the sentiment of this phrase stayed consistent around the world, so they decided to transcreate it in each international market that they wanted to enter. In Spain, for example, the slogan was translated as me encanta. While this Spanish phrase is actually closer to "I really like it," in English, McDonald's determined that this new phrase was more culturally relevant in Spanish.
Deciding between these two tactics can be difficult; transcreation usually results in a more accurate message for collateral pieces, but translation requires fewer resources.
You’re likely already familiar with localization, which is defined as adapting an existing piece of content to make it understandable in a specific language and culture. Transcreation, on the other hand, is the process by which a product or advertising message is completely adapted for the target market, while still retaining the original intent. This requires a particularly creative approach, in order to truly resonate with international consumers.
In an earlier blog post, we shared a clever example of transcreation that highlighted Swedish car manufacturer Saab’s approach to advertising its line of convertibles back in the 1990s. The ad in the U.S. posed the comparison: “Saab vs. Oxygen bars,” since these trendy bars were popular in America at the time. When Saab “transcreated” the advertisement for potential customers in their home country of Sweden, the ad instead read: “Saab vs. Claustrophobia.” Despite that claustrophobia and oxygen bars conjure different images, you can see how the message is the same in each case: Saab convertibles offer fresh air and wide, open spaces. With transcreation, the literal meaning was changed for different markets, but the same messaging goal was achieved. Transcreation is particularly useful in addressing marketing challenges like these, with cultural-specific references or wordplay that are too difficult to translate directly into different languages.