Basics of Translation, Localization, and Transcreation

When you hear the words translation, localization, and transcreation, do they confuse you about what makes them different to each other? They may sound the same yet they do differ by their concepts.

Translations, Localization, Transcreation

Yet why does it matter to differentiate them?

If you’ve gone this far and reached this blog post then that means you are researching what could be the best possible description of their meaning and functions. It is important to distinguish their differences so you know what best suits your needs.

Perhaps, you do know you need a language to be rendered into another but looking up through the internet what and how just tangles that idea after seeing thousands of results from the search engines, at the same time seeing different terminologies which make them sound all identical. So let us help you untangle the confusion and explain it as simple, fast, and clear as we can.

Let’s simplify the differences of Translation, Localization, and Transcreation:

Translation means the process of transforming words into a different language. The goal here is for the translator to convert the message to another language, at the same time be understood like the way it was written from the original. The skilled translator conveys the best equivalent text version in the target language. Examples of most common translated documents are instruction manuals, technical publications, literature, legal documents, and medical documents.

Localization is as well the transformation of a message into another language but there is more than that. It adapts a specific standard depending on its target region. This applies not only in text but also in objects such as color, shape, symbol, number, unit, and other formats. A localized article should base its guidelines matching the region’s functional and cultural considerations. It requires to be more delicate in detail in order to avoid errors that might be inappropriate or sensitive to target locales. Localization is mostly applied for websites, mobile applications, video games, software, e-learning, and multimedia content.

Transcreation comes from the combination of two words: translation + creation. This also has to do with adjusting with the demographics. It is an act of transforming the message to be culturally appropriate for a specific culture without losing the emotional and conceptual meaning of the original message. This also means without changing its tone, style, and context. Transcreation is usually used for creative translations such as idioms, mottos, slogans, humor, marketing, and branding messages.

Converting your original message to another language takes a thorough analysis first. You need to consider the purpose of your text so the outcome will be meaningful and memorable.

We hope this article helped you to understand the basics of Translation, Localization, and Transcreation.

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