What is Transcreation?

Transcreation is a specialised translation that adapts a message from one language and culture to another, while maintaining the original intent and tone.
What is Transcreation?
Image by AbsolutVision / Pixabay
What is Transcreation?
Image by AbsolutVision / Pixabay
In: Global Communications, Transcreation, Guides

Most of you are familiar with translation, so we won't spend time boring you with what it means (even though that might help us with SEO). We're here to answer the question: "What is Transcreation, and why is it not just translation with a creative twist?"

Let's go ahead and get right into it.

Transcreators go beyond simply translating words and phrases; they also consider the cultural context of the message and adapt it to resonate with the target audience. Here's a perfect example:

In England, when someone says, "Here comes your best mate," it is often assumed that it means the same thing in both UK and US English: a friendly and informal way of saying someone's close friend is approaching. It's often used in a lighthearted or teasing way, and can also express excitement or anticipation about seeing the person.

Here are some examples of how the phrase might be used in conversation:

"Look, here comes your best mate!"
"I haven't seen your best mate in ages! How's he doing?"

In both cases, the phrase is considered to be relatively informal and is most likely to be used among friends, family, or acquaintances. If a translator translates that statement, it will likely be written as "I see your best friend approaching." However, if someone trained in transcreation is tasked with rewriting the text in American English, they would first want to understand the context of that statement because depending on who is saying it, "Here comes your best mate!" could mean "here comes your worst enemy!"

Did you know that Australians also use "mate" to mean different things? If they introduce you as "my mate", it's a good thing: you're a close and trusted friend. If they just call you "mate", they've probably forgotten your name and are trying to be polite. But if they call you "mate" with a hard T at the end, you had better apologise (or run for it) ... It means they're furious with you!
 transcreation increases brand awareness in new markets.

Why use transcreation for corporate communications?

Benefits include:

  • Increased brand awareness: Transcreation can help businesses increase brand awareness in new markets by adapting their messaging to the local language and culture.
  • Improved customer engagement: Transcreated content is more likely to engage with target audiences because it is written in their native language and tailored to their cultural values.
  • Increased sales: Transcreated marketing materials can increase sales by resonating with target audiences and persuading them to take action.
  • Reduced risk of cultural blunders: Transcreation can help businesses avoid cultural blunders that can damage their reputation and alienate potential customers.
 transcreation reduces the risk of cultural blunders.

How to use transcreation effectively in corporate communications

When using transcreation for corporate communications, it is vital to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose the right transcreator: It's essential to choose a transcreator with experience translating and adapting content for your target audience.
  • Provide clear instructions: When providing instructions to your transcreator, be sure to specify the target audience, the tone of voice and the key messages that you want to communicate.
  • Review the transcreated content carefully: Once the transcreator has completed the work, review it carefully to ensure it is accurate and culturally appropriate.


Transcreation is a valuable tool for corporate communications departments and large organisations that must communicate with audiences across different cultures. Using transcreation effectively, businesses can increase brand awareness, improve customer engagement, increase sales and reduce the risk of cultural blunders.

Examples of how transcreation can be used in corporate communications:

  • Marketing materials: Transcreation can adapt marketing materials, such as brochures, websites and social media posts, to different languages and cultures.
  • Product packaging: Transcreation can translate and adapt product packaging to different languages and cultures.
  • Training materials: Transcreation can translate and adapt training materials to different languages and cultures.
  • Customer service: Transcreation can translate and adapt customer service materials, such as FAQs and knowledge bases, to different languages and cultures.

If you want to improve your corporate communications and reach a wider audience, transcreation is a valuable tool to consider.

Written by
Fiona Freeman
Writer. Reader. Nature Lover. Coffee Drinker. Managing Editor.
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