Translating a brand for a successful global expansion requires more than language skills and technical knowledge. That’s because, as a brand, you can’t generate emotions and connect with international audiences with a one-size-fits-all message rewritten in multiple languages.

Translators should also have a creative process in place that allows them to generate engagement by using the right words at the right time. This process is called transcreation. It includes translation, as well as a recreation of the content to meet the requirements of a new audience.

Writer doing transcreation work

Here’s everything that you need to know about transcreation and why any smart company should opt for this service when going global.

Speaking to The Heart of a Multilingual Public

Transcreation means sharing company messages using words that are appealing to the local public. At the same time, the creative process should focus on keeping the meaning of the original message intact, so that it can evoke the same emotions in all languages.

This way, the brand maintains a unique voice across markets, and every local public feels special and appreciated, just like you wanted when you initially created the content.

And here’s where trigger words come in. These are terms or phrases that are packed with emotions and, as a consequence, generate reactions. Sometimes, a single sentence or a title can capture your attention, light up your brain, pique your curiosity, or push you away.

Where does this power come from? Some words are very familiar and recall strong memories, while others have developed positive or negative connotations over the years. You see them again and again, and your brain automatically associates them with specific life situations or emotions.

When used correctly, trigger words cut through the noise and reach the reader at a deeper level than flat content. In marketing and sales, they’re the key to the public’s heart and wallet.

Your content uses trigger words to make your brand appealing to the target audience. It helps people to understand your values and identify themselves with your words. Let’s see what happens when you translate this content to address multilingual audiences.

Finding The Right Trigger Words for Each Language

Different languages and cultures have different triggers for every emotion. That’s because people use languages in multiple ways to express feelings and define life situations. In time, every culture develops various ways to communicate, and new trigger words gain power.

For instance, “want” is considered a powerful trigger word in English. You use it to talk to your public, and they feel they’re given an opportunity to think about their wishes and goals before making a buying decision.

The same word translated into Italian loses its power. That’s because Italians don’t like people who say “voglio” (the Italian word for “I want”) and prefer “vorrei,” which translates to “I would want,” but it has the meaning of “I would like.”

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a significant difference, but it reflects a cultural pattern that can influence how people connect with a brand. That’s because, in this country, using the word “want” is often considered the sign of a lack of education.

Transcreation means finding the trigger words in each language and using them to create a specific emotion toward your brans. In other words, you adapt your messages to overcome cultural differences and meet local expectations.

Content planning and creation

Transcreation Facilitates Understanding

Transcreation helps the brand to communicate its core message correctly in a new language. So, if you’ve spent significant resources on crafting the perfect slogan, transcreation can help you rewrite it in multiple languages in a way that everyone understands it.

It’s like when you have a foreign friend. Often, you’re compelled to explain jokes or scenes in a movie that otherwise would only create confusion. Similarly, transcreation facilitates the understanding of your messages, using analogies, local idioms, slang, or any other tools.

If you’ve done it at least once, you know for sure how tricky this job can become. That’s why it’s essential to work with native, skilled linguists for transcreation projects. Without the know-how of a translation company, you risk adding an extra layer of confusion instead of clarifying the message.

Where Is Transcreation Necessary?

Not everything that you translate during a localization process requires transcreation. As a general rule, you should transcreate those messages that have a meaning in your culture but are less likely to be understood by people speaking a different language.

It includes, but is not limited to, country-specific expressions, humor, or wordplay. Generally, you need transcreation for branding materials that use idioms and taglines, such as slogans, mottos, landing pages, or email marketing.