Transcreation for international audiences

SIGNEWORDS is also a Transcreation Agency. What do we actually do?

Transcreation for international audiences. Also referred to as ‘creative translation’ or ‘cross-market copywriting’.

It is a relatively new service which has become increasingly popular over the past decade, particularly amongst advertising and marketing projects targeting cross-cultural and international audiences included in our marketing translation services.

Translation creativity for transcreation services

The word ‘transcreation’ combines translation and creativity and consists in taking a given text in a source language and using the content of the source as inspiration for the creation of a brand-new text in the target language.

Therefore, this adaptation translation considers the emotional intention of the message rather than the structure of the message itself.

In other words, remaining faithful to the source text in terms of:

  • vocabulary
  • grammar
  • syntax
  • idiom

… is less important than replicating the SAME EMOTIONAL RESPONSE in target readers.

Transcreation for international audiencesThis result is achieved by content creation that focuses on:

  • the target culture
  • linguistic variations
  • humor
  • religion
  • geographical context

Our transcreation service for international and transcultural audiences

This transcreation service is particularly useful for companies who need to create businesses slogans or devise advertising campaigns, branding concepts or product names in the language(s) of the countries they target, due to its SEO translation condition.

The aim of companies who generally request transcreation is to sell products or services: in order to do so, they must attract consumers and appeal to them on an emotional level.

Failure to connect will result in failure to sell, and thus to achieve the company’s global market strategy.

Our team of international translators

At SIGNEWORDS, we only work with copywriters who have sound knowledge both:

  • source
  • target

Languages cultures ➤ living in any country.

We screen and vet all our resources and liaise with them and the client constantly throughout the transcreation process, to ensure we create the best product tailored to the project’s specific needs.

Translation and localization

But transcreation is not to be confused with localization translation, another buzz word in the translation industry.

Also, the terminology can be confusing, and people often believe the two overlap, but while:

  • LOCALIZATION ➤ shifts beyond the words to consider the cultural expectations of an audience
  • TRANSCREATION ➤ takes a step further towards creative freedom

What does localize stand for and how does it relate to transcreation for international audiences?

➤ LOCALIZATION is the process of culturally adapting a product.

Transcreation for transcultural audiences

For instance:

  • web page
  • mobile app
  • software
  • video game
  • food
  • a program

And a good example of this is the popular cartoon show ‘The Simpsons’, which has been localized into many languages.

See how in its original American-English version, Homer Simpson, the father in the family, is known for his love of food and alcohol. In Muslim-speaking countries, all references to beer and pork have been substituted with soda and other meat in order to respect the religious beliefs of the viewers.

➤ TRANSCREATION, on the other hand, blends language with culture and emotions, adding a layer of creativity. That’s why transcreation implies marketing translation.


  • In film titles like the 2007 film Knocked Up, that was translated as ‘Ligeramente embarazada’ (lit. ‘Slightly Pregnant’) in Catholic Peru, but as 弊傢伙…搞大咗 (lit. ‘One Night, Big Belly’) in Communist China. It was therefore creatively tailored to the target audience’s language, culture and emotions.
  • The 2004 Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in Spanish became ‘¡Olvídate de mí!’ (lit. Forget about me!), drastically altering the feel and intention of the original title… ㋡

⤷ IN CONCLUSION ➤ Movie-goers were dissuaded from buying tickets, thinking that it sounded more like a chick-flick or a slapstick rom-com than the complex, dark, layered drama that it actually is. Sometimes transcriptors get it wrong!

This single example highlights the importance of putting your transcreation for international audiences projects in the hands of experts ✎

At SIGNEWORDS, our team is made up of only native speakers who know the culture of their source and target countries inside out and can convey the same emotional intention of the source text to its target audience.

Would you like a proposal for your transcreation project? 🌎