A few months ago, I wrote about the key characteristics of transcreation and how it goes beyond translation in order to translate a brand’s emotions and not simply its message.

Now, I would like to share some thoughts on when to use a transcreator or transcreation agency and when to seek the help of a copywriter or advertising agency in the target country.

Although a good transcreation tends to be quite different from the original message (simply because a word-by-word translation won’t sound very natural or attractive), it is still carried out, generally, from an original message. This means that the company needing the transcreation service would give the transcreator a text, let’s say, in English, to be transcreated into e.g. Spanish for Spain, together with a brief.

A copywriter, either in the target country or anywhere else but who is a native speaker of the target language, would normally receive just a brief (a long one), and no source text. He or she then needs to create the text in the target language, and not transcreate.

Copywriting or transcreating

So to make the right choice, ask yourself: do I want to be the copywriter, have control over the message and then have a good transcreation done, or do I leave it to an in-country copywriter to craft the message following my guidelines?

The answer to the above usually depends on the size and resources available in your company (e.g. do you have a marketing department in the target country that could hire the copywriter/s and manage the process?) and on the nature of the message, your marketing objective and the type of media to be used. For example, TV ads often need to be a complete re-make in each target country, and are done by in-country copywriters and advertising agencies; whereas a brochure, where there are less things involved, would suit a good transcreator.

Finally, if there is more than one language involved (i.e. you want to reach several markets that speak different languages), the answer is simple: hire a transcreation agency that can handle different languages for different markets and manage the whole process working closely with you and your brief. Hire Genuine Translations, perhaps?