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Translation Vs Transcreation

Translation is adequate for information based texts where the reader just needs to understand the text. This means it’s fine for instructions and technical based literature. But..

If you’re selling to a different audience.. or if you’re trying to persuade a different audience to buy what you sell.. you’ll need to understand the way they think so you can influence them.

Even an American company should change it’s marketing materials if they enter the UK market. And a Spanish company must alter it’s marketing materials to be successful in Mexico.  

Why? Because different markets think differently about different products and services.

It’s vital to re-create marketing materials when you’re selling to a new market.

If you don’t show your customer you understand them. And if you fail to show how the benefits of your offer solves their problem, they won’t buy from you. Instead they’ll buy from the competitor who does.

Now you see that you should re-create content for different cultures that share a common language..

So, you can imagine just how important it is to re-create marketing content for markets that speak a different language..

So let’s take a closer look at the difference between translation and transcreation.. So you’ll know what works best for you.

1. Transcreation Specialists Are Copywriters.

Often, people who provide transcreation services are copywriters instead of translators. Some translators also offer copywriting services in other languages. But generally, they are two different services. 

Translators have excellent language expertise.

Copywriters have writing and marketing expertise that general translators lack. Transcreators combine both. 

So a transcreator can take your source content and repurpose it for success in a new market. 

2. Transcreation Requires A Brief.

Translation starts with a source text.

Transcreation starts with a creative brief AND the original source material.

A transcreator needs to know who you’re targeting and what action you want them to take. 

Your target client in the source language is different to your new target client. They have different emotions that need triggering to inspire the desired action.

3. Transcreation Creates A New Message That Resonates With Your Target Market.

Marketing content written for one country (or culture) won’t resonate well with a different group.

It’s not enough to swap one English word with its equivalent Spanish word. You can’t expect to evoke desire and action in such a way.

No. With transcreation you get new copy that understands who you’re trying to reach. And inspires in them an emotion that makes them want to buy what you sell.

With translation, you get the same words in different language. But the message remains the same.

A good translator will translate source content without being too literal. Even so, the message loses impact on the new audience because it remains the same. 

There are cultural norms, ideas and beliefs to respect. You don’t speak to a Spanish speaking customer the same way you speak to an English speaker. 

4. You Pay For Translation By The Word, Transcreation By The Project.

Translation is usually billed by the word, as a commodity.. Swapping one language for another. Whereas you buy transcreation services on a per project basis. As the content requires recreating in its entirety..

Just like other creative services, such as copywriting, you pay for transcreation per project. (Or sometimes at hourly rates).

5. Transcreation Is For Marketing Purposes.

Translation is fine for information based text. But when you want the copy to trigger an action in the reader, you need to make use of transcreation services. 

What’s more.. Transcreation work helps you with the layout and style of your text to make it desirable. To make it readable for your customers. The last thing you want is great copy that no-one wants to read.


Medici Marketing specialises in Spanish – English and English – Spanish translation and transcreation services.

If you’d like more information about our services, then click the contact us button below.


Translation is billed at £0.10p, €0.13, $0.15 per word. Transcreation is quoted for on a per project basis starting from £99, €129, $149.

P.S. If you’d like FREE copywriting, translation and transcreation tips delivered directly to your email inbox occasionally, then sign up to the Medici Marketing email list.