Falls Sie als Profi den Asterix-Effekt noch nicht kennen: Keine Bange, das ist keine Wissenslücke. Ich habe die Bezeichnung erfunden, weil sie mir so anschaulich erscheint und eine perfekte Ergänzung meiner Ausführungen zur Bild-Text-Kongruenz in meinem Buch darstellt.
What can you do when you ask for a marketing text to be translated and then realize, upon seeing the translation, that the target text is not at all what you expected?
Why should sales and promotional material be handled by transcreators instead of regular translators?
Problems arise when clients request – and pay for – a translation but actually expect something that a copywriter would have written.
A transcreator needs deep expertise in translation and deep expertise in strategic copywriting. Expertise in both of these fields is indispensable.
Labeling something a marketing translation when you mean transcreation can be highly misleading.
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.
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.