We should embrace neural machine translation as a historic opportunity to re-instate visibility for the expertise and added value that human translators and transcreators offer their clients. It is up to all of us to make intelligent use of that opportunity, with support from strong and active professional associations around the world.
Over the years, I have been approached by academics telling me that what I present as transcreation is really nothing else than what they teach as translation. What they do is basically tack the translation label onto any type of work that in some way includes a source and a target-language text. Which, in my experience, is not a good idea. “Why? What’s the problem?” you ask.
My workshops may be more business-focused than some expect when they sign up. Yet I often get feedback, sometimes even months or years after a workshop, where participants tell me they still use the material they got in my workshop, and how helpful it has proved over time. They have come to realize that the business side of transcreation is much more complex than they originally thought.
I bet that you have read somewhere that transcreation is a kind of “creative translation.” In fact, judging by Google results, “creative translation” appears to be the most commonly used term to describe transcreation.
Yet “creative translation” is a misnomer. Misleading at best.
What exactly do I mean when I refer to transcreation? What makes it so different from translation? I define transcreation as a unique type of service in the field of multilingual communication.
Just as we often have to dare to “condense” the target copy (see separate blog post), we sometimes have to dare to “expand” – weave in new information to convey something that is not well-known in the target-market culture.
It is important to stress that there may be situations in which transcreations are necessary, but won’t be possible. That is the case when:
Welcome to a website dedicated exclusively to the topic of transcreation.
I have based this site on the books I have written so far, and on the questions and feedback I get from colleagues around the globe. My idea is to make www.transcreationexperts.com a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences of language service practitioners in the field of transcreation.
Some people seem to think that transcreation is a ploy to sell translation by a fancier name, that is, a way to make more money by selling the same product with another wrapping. These people haven’t understood what transcreation is about.
The book will help you get that understanding. If you don’t feel like reading the book just yet, here’s the big-profit making gist: