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If you need to market your product or service to a specific culture or audience in another language, you should hire a translator who has experience in transcreation.

How is transcreation different from translation? Translation involves rendering a text from one language to another while attempting to convey the original meaning as accurately as possible. Transcreation, on the other hand, involves adapting a text from one language to another in a way that recreates its meaning, intent, and tone for a different cultural context.

In transcreation, the translator may take more creative liberties with the original text to ensure that it resonates with the target audience. This requires an understanding of cultural nuances, idiomatic expressions, and the ability to capture the essence of the original message while adapting it to the new context.

A skilled transcreator can help you effectively convey your message and brand identity to a global audience while avoiding cultural faux pas or misunderstandings that could damage your reputation.

Transcreation: An experienced transcreator can help ensure that your marketing content resonates with your target audience and achieves your intended goals.

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Examples of marketing translation fails

  • The American Dairy Association’s “Got Milk?” campaign was translated into Spanish as “¿Está usted lactando?” which means “Are you breastfeeding?” The choice was obviously not very appealing to consumers. The organization quickly pivoted its messaging to “Familia, Amor y Leche,” or “Family, Love and Milk.”.
  • Apple’s “This is 7” slogan for its iPhone 7 got lost in translation in Hong Kong. The word for “7” in Cantonese—the Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong—is “柒.” It’s pronounced tsat, which is slang for “penis.”
  • In 2009, HSBC Bank spent millions of dollars on its “Assume Nothing” campaign. In many countries, the tagline was translated as “Do Nothing,” which is less than ideal when the goal is to get someone to use your services. The bank was forced to rebrand and spent $10 million to change its slogan to “The World’s Private Bank,” which is notably more translation-friendly.

These examples show that even large, well-resourced companies can still make transcreation mistakes and the potential risks of getting it wrong. Ultimately, working with an experienced transcreator helps ensure that your content resonates with your target audience and achieves your intended goals.

Our team understands how culture and language can change your marketing’s impact. We perform the due diligence to research and understand your audience and market to help you avoid these types of mistakes and extend your brand and messaging successfully. Read what other satisfied clients have to say about our work.

Contact us today for a free quote!

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