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You have a document in one language, and you need it in another, just Google “Translation Services,” right? Well, maybe not. Depending on the content of you project, you may need the more nuanced language services of localization or transcreation. Today, we’ll take a look at the three levels of the same multilingual service to help you decide which is best to invest in.

Level One: Translation

This is the easiest, most well-known language service. Translation is the process of taking a source language and directly and accurately converting it to one or more target languages. The emphasis here translating the words of an original document to their closest equivalent in another. This is the barebones, word-for-word language service.

Level Two: Localization

Localization goes one step past the word-for-word meaning of a piece of writing and takes into account the target audience’s cultural expectations. This involves adapting a product to keep its objective intact but across various languages and norms. Localization is common for websites, apps, and video games. It can save you from offending cultures and breaking advertising and censorship laws. On a more macro level, localization homes in on details of your content to make it connect with your audience more effectively. By adapting it to a certain locale, your you can associate with your audience more closely and make them feel like your content is made for them specifically. This includes adjusting date/time formats, units of measurement, jokes, images and graphics, and cultural values. Going global with your content means meeting your end-users expectations.

Level Three: Transcreation

Transcreation is the process of recreating your content in the target language itself. A mix of translation and copywriting, it is done to make lasting impact through storytelling, language, and visual content. This is common in marketing campaigns. With a specific and focused audience response in mind, a LSP can help you recreate your brand voice in a specific culture. This process can be daunting though, as you’ll end up with completely new taglines and slogans that cannot be translated back to your original language. Transcreation requires clear communication between you and your LSP to be able to brainstorm and create lasting impact, so be sure to partner with someone you trust.

Though these all seem quite similar, you have to choose the right service for you to be able to maximize your multilingual budget and connection with your audience. Any questions? We’d love to chat! Reach out to today.


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