for Marketing and PR
PR translation, in certain circumstances, may also be referred to as transcreation. This is a translation technique that refers to the creative aspects of language. Transcreation services are the translation and localization of creative content, cultural references, humor, and other changeable linguistic elements, when they cannot be directly translated, but must be altered in order to deliver the same meaning from one language and culture to another.
To illustrate what may be involved in creative translations for marketing and PR, consider these common public items, sayings and vernacular terms:
- "That's the pot calling the kettle black" - obviously a direct translation of this would be pretty confusing in a word for word English to Russian translation (or any other number of languages).
- "She has junk in the trunk" - this cultural reference to a large posterior would not translate well literally, even from US English to British English.
- Brand mascots - in several parts of the world where illiteracy is high, the contents of food products are pictured on their containers - can you imagine the reaction if they saw cans of pet food with pictures of cats and dogs on them?
- Handicapped bathrooms - apparently for an English to Chinese translation that did not use professional marketing translation services, the closest meaning to "Handicapped bathroom" is "Deformed man toilet."
This short little list is simply for illustrative purposes. But think about the majority of the t.v. commercials and even website and online ads you come across - most of them definitely demand professional localization and translation services in order to communicate to any foreign language audience. When professional translation services for marketing or PR language translation are ignored - well, somewhere in Africa there could be a village of people who think we eat canned cat.