Are you enthusiastic about the topic of transcreation? Have you chosen it as the subject of your master’s dissertation or thesis? Then you’re in the right place.
First of all, hat’s off for choosing such a fascinating topic for your paper (ok, ok, I’m biased!).
As a transcreation expert, I’ve had many students contact me through the years, looking for information for their theses and dissertations. This post brings together written and audiovisual content which I hope will help you too.
I don’t know what angle you plan to take in your paper. Nevertheless, the fact remains that there is no universally accepted definition of transcreation. As a matter of fact, not everyone believes that transcreation differs from translation. Even among those who do consider transcreation to be different to translation, they don’t always agree about what it entails and the contexts it can be used for.
I share my position in this interview. I describe my definition of transcreation, the skills it requires, how it differs to translation and the various stages in a typical workflow.
I will also mention the University of Roehampton’s transcreation resource list, because it’s a goldmine!
But let’s move on to the transcreation resources you can find on my website: papers, videos and blog posts.
Papers on transcreation
Although I’m not a scholar, I’ve authored a few papers which have passed a peer review. A peer review involves one or two specialists (referees) reviewing an article without knowing the writer’s identity to determine whether it deserves publication. In turn, the writer doesn’t know the identity of those who are critically examining their short essay. This mechanism guarantees the impartiality of the referees and is the standard adopted by the most respected academic journals.
“Transcreation as the Creation of a New Original: A Norton™ Case Study” (in Exploring Creativity In Translation Across Cultures / Créativité Et Traduction À Travers Les Cultures, edited by E. Bogenç Demirel, M. Cordisco, E. Di Martino, J. Le Disez, F. Regattin and W. Segers, 2017)
In this article, I take one of my transcreation projects (the Italian adaptation of Norton™ AntiVirus’s tagline), explain the approach I took and provide my definition of transcreation.
“When Translation Is Not Enough: Transcreation as a Convention-defying Practice. A Practitioner’s Perspective” (in The Journal of Specialised Translation 29, 2018)
In this paper, I use practical examples to show that transcreation and translation are not the same thing because transcreation cannot be judged with the same assessment criteria as translation. In my opinion, transcreation is a hybrid service halfway between translation and copywriting, and it requires specific skills.
“Hybridisation adds value in translation and interpreting” (in Cultus: the Journal of intercultural mediation and communication 14, 2021)
Drawing on my experience, I talk about two hybrid professional figures: the translator-copywriter and the interpreter-journalist. When it comes to transcreating TV spots, a translator-copywriter not only adapts the script, but is also involved in casting the voice talent and directing the voiceover recording session. Carrying out tasks that are beyond the remit of a translator, the translator-copywriter positions themselves more as a consultant than a language services provider. And they bring considerable added value to the table.
Videos of talks about transcreation
Since 2012, I have given around thirty talks and seminars on transcreation in Italy and abroad, both online and in person. Here are some videos of them.
“Transcreation as the Creation of a New Original: A Norton™ Case Study”
Creativity in Translation / Interpretation and Interpreter / Translator Training International Conference, Università Suor Orsola Benincasa, Napoli, 5-6 May 2016
In my experience, advertising transcreation often involves creating completely new copy, rather than merely transposing cultural references or figures of speech. In this talk, I use my transcreation of Norton™ AntiVirus’ tagline as an example.
“When Translation Is Not Enough: Transcreation as a Convention-defying Practice. A Practitioner’s Perspective”
Translation and the Creative Industries International Conference, University of Westminster, Londra, 7-8 October 2016
What happens if we apply the usual assessment criteria used for translation to transcreation? Translation errors are not necessarily transcreation errors. In fact, they often improve the transcreation. In my opinion, transcreation differs from translation and requires skills which don’t necessarily coincide with those used for translation.
“The Transcreation of Advertisements: Exploring the Space Between Translation and Copywriting”
Translating Europe Workshop, SSML Carlo Bo, Rome, 26 October 2018
Using some practical examples taken from my professional experience, I explain why I believe transcreation is a practice halfway between translation and copywriting.
I also recommend reading the accompanying blog post.
Blog posts about transcreation
My website’s Focus section contains some blog posts about all my services, which range from copywriting to interpreting. There are lots of articles about transcreation.
Click here to see all my posts about transcreation.
Please be aware that not all posts are available in all the languages on my site (Italian, English and German). For example, one post might only be available in English, and you may not see it if you’re on the Italian version of my site. So I suggest also changing the language using the menu on the top right (of the desktop version).
Some posts are practical case studies of transcreations I have carried out. Some examples?
- The Boys: transcreation of the headline Never Meet Your Heroes, used for the launch of the Amazon Prime Video TV series
- Avon: transcreation of the print ad and TV spot (+ voiceover direction) for the Super Extend Winged Out mascara
- Technoform: transcreation of the brochure “Let’s talk solutions”. Because B2B needs transcreation too!
Click here to see all my transcreation case studies.
Not found what you’re looking for?
I love giving a helping hand to those who are struggling with their transcreation dissertation or thesis. Send me an email and let me know how I can help you.