First, let me explain that there are several, interrelated terms each with different meanings. There are many ways to transfer knowledge and information from one language to another. When we speak of translation, this refers to the basic transfer of text from language X to language Y. A technical manual is a good example of this. “You press the red button”is translated as “U drukt op de rode knop”.
Of course, there is a nuance here because language is sensitive. The readers are not all the same and this difference can also affect the precise message that needs to be relayed.
Localization: this refers to the conversion of one language into another while taking culture, background, and the location of the reader/user into account. A website and e-Learning need to be localized. In other words, it is not just about the message but also about the way in which the recipient perceives it.
A step further: transcreation: this is where a simple translation of the text is no longer sufficient. The only concern is the underlying message of the text; what is the best way to convey the message I am trying to get across?
What can we do for your department, company or institute?
We translate and localize in approximately 40 language combinations. This is always carried out by a translator and a proofreader (someone who checks the translated text for consistency and errors) who are assigned to work on your text. Just to give you an impression: a translator translates an average of between 2500 and 3000 words per day, and a proofreader reviews about 1500 words per hour. Our project managers coordinate your project carefully and ensure that it is delivered to you on time. Our project managers also conduct a final quality review of your project before delivery, just to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. Literally…
The project manager is your contact person. You can discuss the appropriate “tone of voice” with them and you can also discuss a list of preferential terms (which we call a term base).
In our software we build a translation memory, which allows you to maintain consistency, also with the next assignment. This is also less expensive, because once it has been translated, it doesn’t have to be translated again and only needs to be checked to make sure it is used correctly in any sentence.
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This is an entirely different ball-game. This is also about getting a message across but merely translating it won’t do the trick.
Let’s use a fruit juice producer as an example. The producer supplies to the North German market. The advertising campaign is well thought through and they have a great slogan: “Our delicious fruit juice always brings the sun into your house!” After some time, they expand their market to cover different European countries and eventually expand to West Africa.
The slogan can of course be translated, but it also needs to be localized. However, while moving into the average West-African market, we must become aware that our current slogan will need to be re-evaluated if we are to convince any locals.
…or rather refreshing?
This is where transcreation is necessary: we step into the shoes of our clients and search for what we really need to convey; a feeling, a great feeling. Something the consumer can relate to. The slogan should be transcreated as: “Our delicious fruit juice is like a refreshing shower!”. In this way, the effectiveness of the message is guaranteed!