The purpose of most commercial websites is marketing. Hence, instead of translation, a transcreation approach often works best when localising marketing-focused pages of the website or, of course, for any taglines or ads.
When planning for the localisation of your website, a key aspect is to look at which parts of the site need translation, and which need transcreation.
While both activities have to be performed by experienced translators, transcreation is a special added skill and not something any translator can do. Transcreation, in particular, requires an experienced translator who has the confidence and experience to translate the message rather than the individual words and who has an insight of the target market to do so in the right manner. Also the approach to transcreation is very different to to translation, i.e. is more a consultative process, starting with a briefing, as the transcreator will need to understand your goals and the messages you want to give.
Given a website is about marketing the business, a pure translation is often not sufficient, but instead there is a requirement for transcreation of content, i.e. translating the text with focus on localising the marketing message the text should convey.
Transcreation of taglines and ads
In addition, transcreation is a must for strong marketing and advertising content, e.g. taglines and ads.
Google Ads are a special case for transcreation, as in addition to replicating the message, the new translated ad text will need to incorporate the new keywords selected for the target language. In addition, ad text character limits need to be adhered to – always a challenge when translating from English to another language, most of which have higher character counts than English.
One of the most famous examples of tagline transcreation is the example by the jingle by the German company Haribo:
- In German (original): “Haribo macht Kinder froh, und Erwachsene ebenso“
- In English: “Kids and adults love it so, the happy world of Haribo“
- In French: “Haribo c’est beau la vie, pour les grands et les petits“
- In Spanish: “Vive un sabor mágico, ven al mundo Haribo”
Neither of these is a literal translation and indeed the Spanish version is quite different. But each version is a transcreation that is true to the message intended and creatively recreates this message in another language, even maintaining the rhythm for the jingle.