When customers purchase a product or a service, the transaction isn’t exactly a simple one. On the surface, it might appear so. After all, aren’t they just buying a product they need? As long as the product meets their expectations, right?

Well, like we said earlier, it isn’t that straightforward. There is something called experience that comes into the picture. Experience determines how well the customer receives your brand. Even if your product is the best one out there, a poor experience can hinder your chances of creating repeat customers. “Experience” here refers to a range of things such as how well your product meets expectations to how enjoyable or convenient the process of purchase was for the customer.

The Role of Translation in Creating a Positive Experience

Translation is one of the primary factors in creating a positive experience for customers in international markets. However, for content translation to be effective, you also need to localize it. These two components are the most basic aspects of international marketing.

However, there is another component that comes in when businesses need to communicate intent and not just information. It’s called Transcreation.

Understanding Transcreation

Translation changes language 1 into language 2 while localization provides the context that makes the translation effective.

Transcreation, on the other hand, is a nuanced approach that deals with converting the entirety of your message to cater to a new market. To put it simply, Transcreation allows you to transform your brand concepts and your aspirational messaging in such a manner that it appears you have crafted the message exclusively for the new market.

It is a complex and deep process that affects every aspect of your localization effort.

Transcreation and translation are also mutually exclusive in that your transcreation strategies may not have the same effect on the whole medium. In fact, applying it in such a way can actually rack up your bills.

It’s All About Mixing

Transcreation and translation form a double-edged sword and that’s how both concepts are best utilized for maximum effect. In order to do so, there are considerations that need to be made. For example, if you are relying on translating your content or messages into multiple languages, it would be wise to test out the market with just a couple of them.

In this case, try limiting your translation/transcreation to a limited amount of content. This can either be high converting content or the minimum viable content. Begin by collecting and assessing the content you already have. Look for elements that may not go down well with the market you’re targeting.

Once you identify such elements, the next logical step is localizing the content. Localization can help you understand “context” and identify better phrases or words that are likely to make a better impact. For instance, cultural analogies used in one market may not make sense in another. There could be other analogies that can offer better results.

Transcreation helps you uncover these hidden nuances in order to help you express your ideas or messages without moving away from your brand’s core identity.

At the end, divide the content according to the order of importance. There are obviously going to be bits that require more resources in terms of money or time. Effective localization has a lot to do with creating content that is “market (or locale) specific”. Transcreation aids this process.

When you identify content that you think can aid the objective of communicating your aspirational message, you can forward it for transcreation. The remaining content can undergo the usual translation and localization process.

The content at the bottom of the hierarchy can even be machine-translated as the amount of nuance involved here is likely to be negligible.

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