Transcreating PR materials into different languages—and attracting global clients

by | Sep 22, 2021 | Public Relations

While translation is the act of rendering text from one language to another, creative translation is a subcategory that deals with innovative phrasing that’s more than translation. There have been many “translation fails” because translators transliterated, rather than transcreated, which is the process of creative translation.

Here, we’ll learn about creative translations of PR materials. We’ll find out what creative translation is, what types of major creative translations are, and how exactly translators use creative translation through the act of transcreating. Then we’ll see the benefits of how you can gain new, international clientele through a translation company.

Are you ready to see creativity in action? Let’s begin.

What is creative translation?

If translation renders text from one language to another, creative translation makes sure that rendering brings about the intended meaning in another language. They are not just word-for-word phrasing, but deals with the ability to transcreate the meaning so that even though it’s not the same literal translation, it still in effect is the same meaning.

This means that a lot of creativity goes into these types of translations, because translators must think of words or phrases that connote the same meaning. If they go for word-for-word translation, they may make errors.

The power of language is that there are some words that cannot be directly translated from one language to another, and the power of creative translation is in thinking of ways to still retain the same meaning.

Before I break down the types of creative translation, I want to make a caveat that the company always makes a choice in what they translate. For example, Nike’s trademark “Just Do It” slogan is not translatable, or doesn’t have the same effect when it is translated in other languages. That’s why they left the slogan as is in English. Meanwhile, McDonald’s “I’m lovin it” has been translated to “All that I love” in French, “I love it” in German, and in other ways in other languages of the world.

Transcreating PR materials into different languages—and attracting global clientsWhy do translators transcreate?

So why do translators transcreate? Here’s why:

  • It takes into account the intent of the message

When translators need to transcreate. they take into account the intent of the message and partner it with their own talented and independent creative role. A message from a firm is not just a statement without context, but it’s a message that represents the feeling and attitude that the firm wants to convey to others. Taking into account the intent of the message, rather than its words, will ensure that the message of the source language still persists based on the context of the target audience.

  • It takes market research into account

Creative translation is not just the process of translating with creativity. It also involves taking market trends into account. The demographics of the audience could change the translation, even from one variant of English to another. For example, Unilever’s slogan is “Feel good, look good and get more out of life,” but in Germany, they unveiled a brand with the slogan “F*** the diet” rationalizing that in Germany, it’s slang to say the F word.

  • It takes cultural differences into account

Cultural differences are important when it comes to transcreating, because so many have failed in not taking cultural differences into consideration when they’re translating. For example, American Motors tried to name their car “The Matador,” which in Puerto Rico translates to “The Killer.” Cultural nuances in the different variants of a language should be considered with every transcreating project.

Types of PR materials that creative translation can transform

Here are the main types of PR materials that can be enhanced by creative translators:

  • Slogans – The first advertising material that helps to build your brand identity and your brand reputation in other countries through creative translation is your slogan. Many firms have failed in trying to translate their materials through direct translation, such as KFC’s “Finger-lickin good” slogan that did not go well in translation into Chinese. Slogans are important, and so is the decision to translate into other languages.
  • Press releases – Press release creative translation is part of a multilingual PR strategy. Translated press releases are important in expanding the reach of your company to international customers, investors, and stakeholders. You may even reach those within your nation but who speak other languages.
  • Marketing materials – If you’re translating email content for your email marketing, or blog content for your blog, or content for your external communications, you can rely on creative translations to relay your intended message for your target audience, no matter where they are in the world.
  • Media documents – Making media content for media appearances will need creative translations that are tailored for your intent. Your PR firm will undoubtedly handle media documents, and literal translation just won’t do. Creative translation is the way to go, in order to relay your message to the greater public.
  • Social media posts – According to Global News Wire, 70% of internet users don’t speak English. This means that your social media posts are more likely to reach a greater number of people when translated. And, because social media posts are so delicate such as requiring less number of characters at times, your message should not just be translated but undergo the process of creative translation.

How a translation company helps PR firms acquire international clientele

When we surveyed different translation companies in the market, we saw two that stood out by virtue of creative translation: Hogarth Worldwide and Tomedes. They both can cater to an international audience through creative translation.

Hogarth Worldwide is a creative agency that’s an expert in translation, but have not been in the market for long. Hogarth Worldwide helps international clientele through content creation translation called “Sustainably Made,” which reduces their environmental impact.

Tomedes, however, has been in the market for longer but are varied in their approach to translation: they offer a wide range of services for PR firms. They help PR firms broaden their horizons in their international expansion efforts.

A translation company, through creative translation, can pave the way for international expansion for businesses. This means more revenue for PR firms because there’s more exposure. Through creative translation, PR materials can be transcreated into languages everyone can understand. And as we know in PR, the more exposure, the better.

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