How Translation and Transcreation are Different?


What’s Translation?

Well, if you ask anyone this question, they can easily answer as below.

Translation is the process of conveying the meaning of content from one language, called the source language., to another language, called the target language. This process considers the grammar, syntax, and terminology rules of both the source and the target language.

The mission of a translator is to faithfully convey the message in the source language to sound like it was written in the target language.

Translation requires the linguist to be aware of the target and source language’s lexical and syntax and also understand the subject matter of the text, and of course the culture.

Translation comes in different types, technical, legal, medical, multimedia, and literary translation. However, it is recommended that each translator is specialized in one or two types or fields of translation.

When Translation is needed?

Translation is essential when spreading new information across the world, communicating with other cultures, and doing business between two parties who speak different languages. It is possible to translate all types of written content, whatever the topic discussed and wherever it is published.

What’s Transcreation?

While translation focuses on rendering the meaning of a document, Transcreation on the other side focuses on recreating the effect of the message.

Let me elaborate more!

From a linguistic point of view, transcreation is not one word. it’s a combination of two words; translation and creation.

Sometimes people call it “Creative Translation. The transcreation process in its simplest definition combines copywriting and translation.  

It is when content is being adapted from one language to another while making sure the tone, intention, and emotions behind the content are delivered.

This can be achieved by adapting the message to the target market’s cultural background. 

A transcreation professional or specialist is not only a linguist. He/she is a linguist with copywriting and creative writing skills.

And on top of that, the knowledge and cultural understanding of the target language audience.

This way, your target audience can resonate with your marketing text, advertisement, or slogans.

Transcreation is a matter of conveying emotions!

When Transcreation is Essential?

In addition to the above-mentioned areas, transcreation might also be essential in the following areas:

Slogans and taglines


Marketing content

Digital apps

Product names

So, How Translation is different from Transcreation?

A transcreator is more of a copywriter, while the translator is an information carrier 

The main task of a transcreator is to keep the brand’s message and emotionally engage people with this message and motivate them to take the desired action.

This happens while preserving any original text’s humor, concepts, or idioms.

On the other hand, the translator’s task is to render the original message faithfully into the target language. This doesn’t mean it’s a word-for-word process, it’s keeping the same meaning in two different languages.

A Transcreator works according to a brief, while a translator sticks to a glossary

If a transcreator is more likely a copywriter, you will need to provide a brief.

It is a document that works as a guide for your transcreation specialist, to help them produce targeted material in the best way that serves your marketing needs.

It also provides information about the targeted audience, their culture, behaviors, and so on.

A translator doesn’t create content, so a brief is not needed. However, with some documents, you might need to provide some guidelines, the best glossaries, and your recommended dictionaries.

Time and cost are different between translation and transcreation.

Transcreation requires more language flexibility than translation.

A transcreator will spend hours doing market research and studying the company’s background, not to mention the number of rounds taken for drafting a good copy.

Simply, It takes time to create a copy that sells and this amount of time and effort needs to be compensated fairly.

Translation is a more direct process than Transcreation, which means less time, and less effort, which results in lower cost.

Frequently Asked Questions about “How Translation and Transcreation are Different?”

The similarities between translation and transcreation:

  • Both translation and transcreation involve transferring content from one language to another. This means that both translators and transcreators need to have a deep understanding of both the source language and the target language.
  • Both translation and transcreation require creativity. Translators need to be creative in order to find ways to express the meaning of the source text in a way that is natural and idiomatic in the target language. Transcreators need to be even more creative, as they need to be able to come up with new and original ways to express the message of the source text in a way that will resonate with the target audience.
  • Both translation and transcreation require cultural awareness. Translators need to be aware of the cultural differences between the source language and the target language in order to avoid misunderstandings. Transcreators need to be even more aware of cultural differences, as they need to create content that will be relevant and appealing to the target audience.

Yes, transcreation is a type of translation, but with a key difference. While traditional translation focuses on conveying the literal meaning of the source text into the target language, transcreation goes beyond that. Transcreation involves adapting the content not just linguistically, but also creatively and culturally, in order to capture the intended message and emotional impact for the target audience. It often involves adding new ideas, modifying cultural references, or even changing the tone or style to make the content more engaging and relatable. So while both translation and transcreation involve adapting content from one language to another, transcreation takes it a step further by emphasizing creativity and cultural context.

The three elements of transcreation:

  1. Script rewrite instead of linguistic translation. Transcreation is not simply about translating text from one language to another. It is about rewriting the text in a way that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the target audience. This may involve changing the tone, style, or even the content of the text to ensure that it resonates with the target audience.
  2. Consideration of cultural context. Transcreation goes beyond simply translating words. It also takes into account the cultural context of the source text. This means understanding the cultural nuances of the source language and adapting the text accordingly for the target language. For example, a joke that is funny in one culture may not be funny in another culture.
  3. Attention to detail. Transcreation is a complex and demanding process that requires a lot of attention to detail. The transcreator must be able to understand the source text on a deep level and be able to recreate it in the target language in a way that is both accurate and creative.

Transcreation is a type of translation that goes beyond simply conveying the literal meaning of the source text. It also takes into account the cultural context, target audience, and purpose of the text. There are different types of transcreation, depending on the specific needs of the project.

  • Marketing transcreation is used for marketing materials such as slogans, taglines, website copy, and advertising. It involves adapting the text to the target audience’s culture and language, while still retaining the original message and tone.
  • Literary transcreation is used for translating literature, such as novels, poems, and plays. It requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages, as well as the ability to recreate the original work’s literary style and impact.
  • Technical transcreation is used for translating technical documents such as manuals, specifications, and software. It requires a high degree of accuracy and precision, as well as an understanding of the technical concepts involved.


People outside the translation industry believe that words are treated the same, and the translator is the man for all the tasks. This thought leads to making wrong decisions.

Next time you wish to carry across your message, consider translation. If you want your message to trigger thoughts, evoke emotions, or encourage the desired action; consider Transcreation.