What is Transcreation? Difference Between Translation and Transcreation

9 mins read


Effective communication transcends mere translation to connect with audiences worldwide. One powerful method that businesses employ to bridge these linguistic and cultural gaps is transcreation.

In this article, we explore the definition of content transcreation, its significance, use cases, workflow, and the difference between transcreation and translation.

What is Transcreation

Transcreation is an approach to translation that goes beyond literal word-for-word translation. It means adapting your content and considering language, culture, tone of voice, target audience, and other nuances. You can change the words, but you must ensure that the original intended message, tone, and style are preserved and resonate with the target audience in their cultural context.

Content transcreation is commonly used in marketing and advertising to ensure that promotional materials, slogans, brand messaging, and creative campaigns connect with local audiences in different regions or countries. Transcreation aims to get the same response and engagement in the target audience as the original content in its source culture.

With the rise of AI, some experts say that more and more content might be created from scratch in the target language instead of just translating the content from one language to another. In this context, transcreation serves as a stepping stone towards this transition.

Transcreation vs. Translation

Transcreation and translation are two distinct approaches to adapting content from one language and culture to another. They serve different purposes and involve varying degrees of creative adaptation. Here’s a comparison of transcreation and translation.


The primary purpose of transcreation is to evoke the same emotional response and impact in the target audience as the source content does in the source language audience.

The purpose of translation is to accurately convey the meaning and information from the source language to the target language.


Translation involves converting words, phrases, and sentences from the source to the target language while preserving the original content’s meaning. It follows the structure and style of the source text.

Content transcreation involves rewriting the content, including changing metaphors, idioms, humor, and other creative elements.

Degree of Freedom

The translator’s goal is to convey the source text’s meaning faithfully.

Transcreators focus on evoking emotions and engagement, even if it means departing from the source text’s literal meaning.


Transcreation will typically cost you more than translation.

The choice between these approaches depends on whether the goal is to maintain emotional and cultural resonance (transcreation) or linguistic and stylistic creativity within language boundaries (creative translation).

When Do You Need Transcreation?

Transcreation is needed when you want to achieve specific communication goals that go beyond straightforward language translation.

Let’s look at the scenarios where content transcreation is particularly valuable.

Marketing and Advertising

Transcreation is commonly used to reach multilingual marketing and advertising, relying on wordplay, cultural references, or humor that may not directly translate into other languages. This way, promotional materials, slogans, taglines, brand messaging, and creative campaigns engage the audience and maintain brand consistency.

Websites and Landing Pages

Different cultures have varying values, norms, and communication styles. Transcreation ensures that your website translation aligns with the cultural preferences and sensibilities of the target audience.


Transcreation includes adapting keywords and multilingual SEO strategies to improve the visibility of your website or landing page in search engine results for the target audience. It helps potential customers find your content more easily.

Creative Content

Content that relies on creativity, wordplay, or artistic expression, such as literature, poetry, music lyrics, and creative writing, often benefits from transcreation to maintain its artistic integrity and impact.

Transcreate your content with Crowdin

Transcreation Workflow

Consider the following steps and strategies to benefit from content transcreation effectively, especially in marketing and advertising.

Define Clear Objectives and Target Audience

Begin by defining your marketing or advertising objectives for the target market. Determine what specific emotions or actions you want to evoke in the audience.

Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience’s preferences, values, and cultural nuances. Create detailed buyer personas to guide your efforts.

Hire Skilled Transcreators

Collaborate with transcreation experts fluent in the target language, proficient in the culture, and have a track record of successful projects. They should understand the nuances of your industry and your brand.

Provide Context

Offer background information about your brand, product, or service. Share the context of the source content and the intended message you wish to convey.

Style Guides and References App

With the Crowdin Style Guides and References app, you will help translators understand the context. It comes with features that help you share important information with translators. Using this app, you can make style guides and link them to specific projects. You can also add files or web links that translators should check while working on your project. Give clear, detailed reference materials and make it easier for translators to understand your specific words and writing style.

Starting is easy- install the app, go to your Organization Settings or Profile Settings, and follow the steps to create a style guide or attach reference materials.

Testing and Feedback

After transcreation, conduct testing with the target audience or focus groups to gather feedback. Use this feedback to make further improvements and adjustments.

Measure Impact

Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of transcreated content. Monitor metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates, and sales to assess effectiveness.

Stay Updated

Continuously monitor cultural and market trends in the target region. Be prepared to update and adapt your transcreated content to stay relevant.

The Future of Transcreation

AI Integration

As artificial intelligence advances, AI-driven tools, and machine learning algorithms are expected to play a more prominent role in supporting transcreation. These tools can help transcreators analyze data, identify cultural nuances, and generate content more efficiently. In Crowdin, you can already use an AI assistant to suggest context-aware translations, edit your texts, and more.

Globalization of Brands

As more companies expand globally, the demand for transcreation services will grow. Transcreators must work with various languages, cultures, and market dynamics.

Ethical Considerations

As globalization continues, ethical considerations related to cultural sensitivity, inclusivity, and responsible marketing will become increasingly crucial in transcreation. Companies will need to navigate these issues carefully.

Real-time content

The need to respond quickly to global events and trends will lead to more real-time transcreation efforts, especially in social media and news contexts.

Hybrid Approaches

Transcreation may increasingly involve a combination of human creativity and AI-driven assistance. Transcreators will work with AI tools to streamline the process and improve efficiency.

Customization and Personalization

Tailoring content to individual preferences and local tastes will be a growing focus. Transcreators must strike a balance between maintaining brand consistency and delivering personalized experiences.

Transcreate your Creative Content

Follow these tips and strategies, and you will maximize the benefits of transcreation in your marketing and advertising efforts, effectively connecting with diverse audiences and driving desired actions and emotions in each target market.

Use Crowdin for transcreation

Reach a wider audience by transcreation. Start your free 14-day trial of Crowdin.
Yana Feshchuk

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