7 Differences Between Transcreation and Translation

7 Differences Between Transcreation and Translation

Effective communication between people who speak various languages has always relied majorly on translation. However, transcreation comes into play to maintain the intended tone of the communication.

Despite their many similarities, it is critical to recognise the differences between transcreation and translation. This article outlines them and will help you decide what to use for effective communication.

Transcreation vs Translation


The process of modifying information from one language to another while preserving its purpose, style, tone, and context.

The fusion of translation and creation is known as transcreation. Marketing and advertising experts widely use transcreation to reproduce messages and information deliberately and flawlessly, without people realising a translation has ever occurred. After transcreation has taken place, the final result in the target language should have the same emotional impact as the source language.


Translation means to “carry across”. It is converting words or text from one language into another. The goal of translation is to accurately capture the same or closest possible meaning to the original content in the target language. 

See: Tiktok Fined For £0.75million Over Translation Issues

Differences Between Transcreation and Translation


Copywriting for a specific audience is more than translating a piece of text; the reader must feel all the emotions that motivate them to take action. This includes keeping any amusing remarks, notions, or idioms in the original text without diluting the original meaning.

Translation does not have to result in the same outcome as copywriting, which is sales. Sometimes, translation attempts to convey the original message in the new language, and although it does this accurately, it rarely results in sales. 

So, for effective copywriting, transcreation and translation are required if to advertise a product in different cultures.


Translation prioritises accuracy to the source content, while transcreation prioritises the emotional impact the translated message has. So when deciding which service to employ consider the level of precision and emotional reaction you desire. Your best bet is to look for translation services if you need a high level of precision and accuracy of your source message. 


A transcreator has the creative freedom to incorporate different techniques as long as the desired action is achieved, while a translator has to stay true to the original text. For example, not much creativity is required to translate an engineering text; generally, the facts’ accuracy is more important than an emotional response.


The transcreator receives a summary or rundown of how a translation project should go. On the other hand, a translator is just given the task and is required to get to work immediately. Some information in the transcreator’s brief can include the target market’s culture, purchasing behaviours and legal environment.


Transcreation services require in-depth knowledge about the target language to capture the cultural nuances of both languages adequately. While translation also requires detailed knowledge of the language for accuracy, transcreation aims to preserve cultural elements in the text. It is a more specialised branch of translation.


Cost is also one of the differences between transcreation and translation. Generally, transcreation is significantly costlier than translation. However, a translator can also be a transcreator; so, you might have to pay for both services.


Although transcreation and translation are relatively similar, transcreation requires creativity and is often more time-consuming. MT post editing can also cut translation time in half, but creativity cannot be rushed or aided with machine translation, making transcreation more time-consuming. 

Should You Transcreate or Translate? 

Determining which service to utilise becomes critical after thoroughly understanding the differences between transcreation and translation.

Choosing between the two depends on your goal and target audience and iVoiceAfrica can help with this. We specialise in providing high-quality translation services while preserving context and emotion in the text. Contact us at +234 7026276411 or info@ivoiceafrica.com for more information. 



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