How Transcreation Plays a Role in the Translation Process


2020-04-02 14:46 mitranslation


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Translation is so much more than simply converting one language to another. A competent, experienced translator does much more than provide a word-for-word translation of content; in fact, high quality translation is very much a creative endeavor. And that’s exactly where the concept and the word “transcreation” originates. Almost everyone has likely heard of the word “translation,” and most people understand what that means. Over the past few years, the term “localization” has also become more widely used. That refers to the process of translating text and revising graphics in such a way so that the content is not only clearly understood by the reader, but is also more appropriate for the intended audience, many of whom may be from a totally different cultural background. “Transcreation” takes the process one step further. When a translator engages in the transcreation process, he or she goes beyond translation and localization, and adapts the content and images in a manner that will be much more relatable and appealing to the reader. Although transcreation can play a role in the translation process for virtually any industry, it is particularly useful in marketing. In traditional translation projects – those that may involve educational content, or text from the medical or legal fields, for example – a translator strives to be very precise with the translation of terminology. This is vital since there are certain terms that are very specific to certain industries. An error involving a medical term, for example, could have serious consequences. For that reason, the translator must be careful to produce a translation that is as close to the original content as possible. But in the field of marketing, where the creator of the marketing collateral is attempting to sell a product or service by appealing to the target audience, the translator has much more creative freedom. While there’s no doubt that the intent of the translated text and images should remain the same – i.e., to sell the product – the marketing campaign must be easily understood and appreciated by the audience. That is why transcreation is such a vital part of so many translation projects within the marketing field. There are countless examples of marketing campaigns that sorely needed transcreation services but weren’t fortunate enough to have a translator that understood the concept. Take, for example, the famous baby food company that exported jars of their product to sell in Ethiopia. Each container featured a cute baby picture on the label; the same one that was used to sell the product here in the US. Unfortunately, the company – and, apparently, the translator who assisted them in this project – didn’t realize that Ethiopians (many of whom could not read) believed that whatever they saw on the label of a product was actually contained inside the jar. In another well-known blunder, a famous American fast food company attempted to market their product in China. Unfortunately, their slogan “finger-licking good” was literally translated. The result was not exactly appealing. It translated in Chinese as “eat your fingers off.” If only these companies and so many others had had the advantage of a linguist who also engaged in transcreation! If you are looking for a translator for your marketing campaign, the best place to begin your search is by contacting a reputable translation company with a great deal of experience in marketing. These professionals will not only understand the concept of transcreation; they will also employ language experts who practice this vital aspect of the translation process on a regular basis. When it comes to marketing on a global scale, transcreation can mean the difference between failure and success.
翻译不仅仅是把一种语言转换成另一种语言。一个称职的、有经验的译者所做的远不仅是逐字翻译那么简单。事实上,生产高质量的翻译是一个创造性的过程。 而这正是“创译”这个概念和单词的起源。 几乎每个人都听说过“翻译”这个词,大多数人都能理解它的意思。在过去的几年里,“本地化”一词也得到了更广泛的应用,它指的是翻译文本和修改图形的过程,这样不仅能让读者清楚地理解内容,而且更适合来自不同文化背景的目标受众。“创译”将这个过程又向前推进了一步,指的是译者在翻译的过程中超越了翻译和本地化,以一种更贴近读者和更有吸引力的方式来调整文本内容和图像。 尽管创译可以在各行各业发挥作用,但它在市场营销中尤其有用。在传统的翻译项目中,例如涉及教育、医学或法律领域的文本,译者一定要把术语翻的非常准确,这是至关重要的。一个医学术语的错误错误可能会产生严重的后果。因此,译者必须谨慎地翻译出尽可能接近原文的译文。但在市场营销领域,营销宣传资料试图通过吸引目标受众来推销产品或服务,那么此时译者就有更多的创作自由。不过毫无疑问的是,翻译的意图应该保持不变。要想销售产品,那么营销活动就必须容易理解且得到观众的欣赏。这就是为什么创译在市场营销中如此重要。 无数的营销活动非常需要创译服务,但他们却无法找到充分理解这个概念的译者,这样的例子不胜枚举。比如,有一家著名的婴儿食品公司,该公司要将其产品出口到埃塞俄比亚。每个产品罐子的标签上都有一张可爱的婴儿照片,这和他们在美国销售的产品是一样的。不幸的是,该公司——显然,该项目的译者——没有意识到埃塞俄比亚人(许多人都不识字)相信他们在产品标签上看到的东西实际上是就是装在罐子里的东西。还有一个有名的例子,一家著名的美国快餐公司要在中国销售他们的产品,但不幸的是,他们的口号“吮指留香”被直译了。结果并不理想。它在中文里的意思是“把你的手指吃掉”。要是这些公司和其他许多公司能有一位从事的创译的语言学家,那结果就会不一样了! 如果你正在为你的营销活动寻找一名翻译,那么最好找一家在市场营销方面经验丰富的翻译公司。这些公司不仅理解创译这个概念,他们还会聘请语言专家来定期实践创译。在国际营销当中,创译往往决定着成功与失败。 译后编辑:陆遥(中山大学)