Transcreation and Adaptation
Andovar’s adaptation and transcreation services expand your brand message to any audience in any international market.Consultation
Making Your Content Resonate Globally
With easy access to international information and entertainment through social media, streaming services, and multilingual websites, today’s audiences have become more sophisticated consumers of content. They demand a holistic approach to any text, images, multimedia, and interactivity to keep them engaged. To meet their needs, Andovar relies on adaptation and transcreation to elicit understanding beyond basic translation.
Translation converts the words of the source language into the target language. It works well for objective and factual information with no idiomatic or literary expressions, such as technical manuals and news reports. The content, graphics, layout, and brand names remain the same. For example, with automotive materials, translation works well for service manuals and spec sheets.
Adaptation, which is also known as “localization,” not only translates from source to target but also adjusts content so it becomes meaningful to the audience. The culture, politics, and laws of the intended audience become important to ensure that the adaptation is appropriate. Everything can change during adaptation, including text, graphics, layout, and brand names, to meet local expectations of the target market. However, adaptation preserves the meaning of the content as much as possible.Adaptation works best for literary works, multimedia, and materials targeted to the general consumer, who may use more colloquial speech, dialect, and slang. Examples include owner’s manuals or product names. When Ford introduced the Pinto into Brazil, it changed the language reference from a man with tiny private parts, to Corcel, which means “stallion.”
Transcreation goes beyond adaptation by encouraging creativity. It uses the original as a launching point: the intent of the message becomes more important than the message itself. As we create a specific effect for an audience to meet a particular business objective, even the strategy for distributing and marketing the product or service may change from the source.Transcreated content is often developed in the local language with new terms and ideas that affect the target audience on an emotional level. This process works best for advertising campaigns and marketing brochures. For example, multimedia commercials that sell cars demand transcreation.
Why Use Andovar?
From offices in Singapore, the United States, Columbia, Hungary, Thailand, and India, we can access over 10,000 full-time and in-country translators who can meet with you at any location.
Our professionals are not only native speakers of the target language but also specialists in your industry. They know what type of transcreation works best for your message.
Our language solutions span over 80 languages and 200 language pairs. For the most effective transcreation and adaptation, we consider the language, dialect, country, and city of your target audience.
Among the tools that we rely on for all our projects are translation management systems (TMS), machine translation powered by artificial intelligence, translation memory, a translation glossary, and a termbase.
When to Use Transcreation and Adaptation
Marketing campaigns and advertising are ideally suited for transcreation because they aim for the hearts of their audience. Through catchy slogans and compelling images, they make emotional appeals that depend on an intimate knowledge of the target language and culture. Memorable phrases and popular rhymes rarely survive translation intact. Instead, professional translators who are also skilled creative writers must come up with new catchphrases that often make use of dialect and slang.Coca-Cola stands out as an example of complete marketing transcreation. Their campaign to put American names like “John” and “Mary” on their bottles was ported to Vietnam. The names became “Oanh” and “Tiên,” complete with appropriate accent marks. The ads featured Vietnamese actors framed by the scenery of Vietnam.
Because websites are accessible from anywhere with Internet access, they may require conversion to multiple languages at the same time. Andovar can call on the talents of multiple professionals for popular languages so that translations for different countries can proceed simultaneously. If you’re interested in preserving the look and feel of the site, adaptation is more appropriate. But if you’re after SEO and keywords that are tailored to a particular culture’s search habits, transcreation works better.Consider the Apple website, which asks the user to not only choose a country but different languages within the country.Adaptation makes the Canadian website look identical in both the English and French versions, right down to the labels on the menu bar at the top.However, the rhyming slogan for the iPad air “Light. Bright. Full of might.” was transcreated to the French rhyme “Léger, Coloré, rien pour l'arrête,” which means “Light. Colorful. Nothing to stop it.”
Training through documents and eLearning through interactive online sessions impart information about the use of your goods and services to employees, suppliers, and customers.As with websites, adaptation takes care of translating most of the educational materials so that they are accessible to the target audience.Any situational examples or role-plays require transcreation to ensure that they are relevant to the audience. Training becomes more effective because trainees see that people who speak their language and know their culture can learn about using your brand.Consider a video about a new thermostat where a worker enters an office and says to his supervisor, “Hi Carlos, want some heat?” The boss, who has both hands in his pockets for warmth, nods and responds “You bet, Bill. It’s too cold here.”Even after you translate the simple language, the exchange would bewilder a trainee in Tokyo. In Japan, workers bow when meeting a professional setting and never put their hands in their pockets out of courtesy. And the phrase “you bet” denotes gambling, not affirmation. Transcreation makes the exchange more appropriate to the culture.
Aficionados from around the world devour video games on consoles, desktops, and smartphones, but only if those electronic pastimes have gone through transcreation. Character names, the way they talk, the names of weapons and powers, interfaces, jokes, slang, and cultural references must match the gamers’ culture or the game may be incomprehensible.The translators we assign for game projects are players themselves, so they know what appeals to the target audience. They often play the game as they go through transcreation to ensure proper interpretation of the storyline and strategies. World of Warcraft (WoW), one of the largest online games played in the world, allows players to become undead characters with visible skulls and bones. Unfortunately, skulls and skeletons represent bad luck in China, where the game was going to be released. WoW transcreators had to redesign the player models to eliminate the skeleton designs. China is now one of the game’s biggest markets, comprising about half of the total players.
Audiences across Europe and Asia can now access Agoda’s extensive travel services in their own languages.
Reaching out to music lovers in Thailand, Spotify translated its user interface into Thai, expanding into a new market.
Frequently Asked Questions
You prepare for transcreation, adaptation, and every other translation process by thoroughly describing your target audience. Who you’re trying to reach defines everything else.
You may be after the Swiss market, but the residents of Zurich speak German and those in Geneva prefer French.
Formal and objective language with plenty of technical equipment would appeal to a highly educated chemical engineer. A college student working as a waiter may like the slang of his language peppered with trendy English expressions.
You would not market software to female senior citizens in the same way as high-school boys.
Identifying what they want and can’t have tells you why and how they can use your offering. This, in turn, refines the message you want to send through transcreation.
Effective transcreation and adaptation depend on correct audience identification.
For adaptations, submit as many of the source files as you can, so we can work directly on them without impinging on your valuable time.For both transcreation and adaptations, the creative brief is important. This document details the project and its purpose, goals, challengers, audience, marketing, advertising, and message. It is the same type of document that launches untranslated marketing campaigns in your language.
The cost of your project varies according to its schedule and complexity. Translation is usually charged by the word.Transcreation is more costly. It is charged by the hour or project because it involves more than translating. Adaptation falls somewhere in between translation and transcreation.
Translation happens relatively quickly, especially if part of the project can be taken care of through machine translation.Transcreation takes the longest. It uses up almost as much time as developing the original in the source language because we are essentially creating an original in the target language.
The time for adaptation is in between.
Talk to an expert
Please provide a little bit of information in the form below and we will be in touch soon. If you are interested in working for Andovar (as translator/ SLV or full-time employee), please visit our careers site.