If you are a buyer of translations, and want those translations to be the best fit for your purposes, there is one thing in particular that you should be aware of: Translations aren’t a one-way street. The better you communicate your needs and expectations, the better you will be served.
In this blog series, I am planning to post a variety of transcreative techniques over time. This is one of them. I call it:
In my workshops (and elsewhere) I always insist on the importance of client communication. Meaning: As a linguist – hence, a service provider – you need to be clear and specific in your communication with (prospective) clients.
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.