Or How the Transcreation Process Works
Are you interested in knowing how a transcreator works? Do you wish to learn how a transcreation comes to life? Keep reading to find out what are the most important steps in the transcreation process.
Let’s begin by defining who does a transcreation. A transcreator is a language and writing professional who is able to recreate the underlying message of a source-language text into a new text in what we usually call the target language.
The ultimate goal of transcreation is to speak to the heart of the intended target audience the same way the original did to the original source-language audience. This is why transcreators usually have both translation and copywriting skills – they have to create compelling texts – as well as great knowledge of both the source and target language cultures.
Now let’s see how a transcreator deals with this kind of projects, which differ from standard translation services.
STEP 1 : TEXT, CONTEXT & BRIEF
The first important step in the transcreation process is receiving the source-language text, along with the context in which it appears (Is it inserted in an image? Does it accompany a graphic element?), and a brief.
The brief should contain all important and relevant information about the brand, the campaign, the goal, the tone of voice, etc. for the transcreator to carry out the task. If it doesn’t, they will ask questions to the client or the PM handling the project.
STEP 2: RESEARCH & BRAINSTORMING
Before starting to write down ideas, the transcreator normally researches the brand in order to find more information about it, its products or services, its tone of voice, etc.
By visiting its website and its social media, the transcreator acquires a better understanding of how the brand communicates with its clients and what type of visual elements it uses.
After research, one or more brainstorming sessions take place. Based on the original text, the instructions, and the information provided in the brief, the transcreator will write down what comes to their mind. They will rely on the elements outlined in the brief, their creativity, the visual context, and the results of their own research.
They may also look for inspiration in other places; for example, some writers have a sort of “inspiration folder” where they store every piece of information, text or visual, they think might inspire them in the future.
Any idea is potentially a good idea, perhaps it just needs to be further developed. Therefore, in this phase, there is no real selection.
STEP 3: SELECTING THE BEST IDEAS
In this step, the transcreator selects what they believe to be the best ideas based on the elements contained in the brief, the context provided by the client, what they have learnt from their research, and ultimately their own judgment.
The best ideas are the most effective and relevant ones!
STEP 4: CRAFTING THE TEXT
The ideas selected in the preceding step are developed and refined in order to craft a new text in the target language.
For short texts, it is customary to provide two or three different versions for the client to choose from: these should be the result of different approaches, but they should also be still relevant and in line with the brief.
If possible, the transcreator will leave the text for some time before coming back to it a second time (sometimes also a third) to work on it with a fresh mind.
STEP 5: QUALITY CHECKS & DELIVERY
Before delivery, the text is read several times and undergoes routine quality checks to ensure it does not contain spelling or punctuation mistakes, blank spaces, and so on.
Strategies to verify readability and the absence of errors include reading it out loud and changing its aspect (font/size) to spot typos more easily.
Finally, the result of the transcreation process will be delivered in a copydeck containing back translations, comments and rationales to explain and justify the most important choices made by the transcreator.
Of course, according to the type of text, the steps necessary to the transcreation process may vary, be repeated, or increase in number. The ones illustrated are general and only indicative of the most common process.
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