The term creative content is used a lot, but what does it really mean? And, as a global company, how do you translate creative content? How does the translation process differ from regular translation? What type of translator do you use? How does the terminology differ? Is the creative content industry specific? Let's explore these questions in more detail.
Definition of creative content
For starters, I think a good definition of creative content is "content that is translated creatively". But why is creativity important in some translations?
Well, if we translate faithfully to the original source language, the translation might sound unnatural and be an obvious ‘translation’. Moreover, the original content also might not work for the target country, audience group, or market. While the accuracy, meaning, and message must reflect the original content, the translated result must work in the target language. Artful translation is not a trivial endeavor.
Organizations typically ask for creative translation services when having these content needs: websites, landing pages, banners, offers, Calls to Action or CTAs, email campaigns, marketing collateral, promotional videos, and pieces such as blogs and white papers.
The reason is that the purpose of these content types is to ‘persuade’ a customer or an end-user to ‘engage’ with the brand and purchase products or services. A simple translation might miss key elements that resonate with the customers’ needs and lead to a transaction.
Therefore, I would say that the content type (customer-facing content) and purpose (marketing/product-related pieces) determine the need for marketing translation.
The type of translator
The translator has to take into account not only the message in the source language and get it translated but also look at the entire project with a particular target audience in mind and ‘translate’ and ‘re-create’ the content for the target audience. In other words, recreate from the source language into the target language.
For marketing projects, SimulTrans uses translators who are native, living in-country, and qualified professionals with at least five years’ experience in the marketing translation field.
I am of the opinion that not all translators are the same; some are better at translating marketing and have a ‘gift’ with words, which shows!
Who would need creative content translation services, you might wonder?
Well, marketing managers, as it turns out! Why? These people spend a great deal of time, money, and effort creating content in the source language. When organizations go global and need to get their message across, they do not want a simple word-for-word translation, as the content will no longer be able to carry out its purpose, which is to persuade customers.
Marketers are looking for something crafted in the target language itself that will resonate with their target audience (gender, age group, spending power, etc.) in that particular locale. They expect the translator to understand the brand and research the target market, and at the same time, maintain the brand identity.
I believe that anybody in a creative department would consider translating creative content a necessity for a company that wants to engage global customers.
Do technical or pharmaceutical companies need content to be translated ‘creatively’?
Yes, I say! For instance, a manufacturing company will need translation of product guides, software localization, and marketing transcreation. The same can be said for a medical device company. While they want top-notch medical translators to translate their product and user guides, they might also want their marketing collateral to have more flair.
I believe that the type of industry your company operates in does not determine the need for translation, but rather, the type of content you are producing and the purpose of that content.
Process of translating creative content
Here is the traditional way of translating:
And what we are doing nowadays:
This type of translation is more expensive because of all the extra research and consideration a translator has to put into the translation.
Pricing models can vary from a price per word to an hourly or per-project rate. Project management will require much more work and is typically charged hourly. The cost of transcreation is typically much more than normal translation.
If you are considering going global, translation of creative content is a must to ensure your customer-facing marketing has a locale-specific ‘voice’, which will elicit the intended response in your target customer.
How do you evaluate the quality of creative content when translating? In a “traditional” project, a review process (i.e., a second linguist reviewing the work of the translator) will check at a minimum the following items (these are typical of any language quality review form in the industry):
- Hyphenation/Punctuation/Quotation Marks
- Special Characters
- Date and Time format/Measurements/Numbers
- Telephone numbers/Technical numbers
- Company-specific information/Copyright and Trademarks
But for creative content, we check other items as well:
- User target group
- Tone of voice
- Bias free language
- SEO Keywords
If you are looking for a professional transcreation services company, then reach out to a localization expert near you.