“Transcreation” Gaining Momentum

The term “transcreation” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it is getting used increasingly by a new wave of firms seeking to distance themselves from translation firms.

This article profiles an ad agency that is marketing transcreation as a value-added service. Here’s an excerpt:

    Tayrona, whose clients include Hilton Hotels and larger ad agencies working for such multinationals as furniture giant Ikea, has some 20 staffers on contract from Los Angeles, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. It’s a virtual office of collaborators connected by Web cameras and keyboards, and helps reduce overhead, Osorio said.

    The firm charges 24 cents per word compared with 30 cents to 40 cents per word from larger agencies, and guarantees more authentic copy.

    “Many advertising agencies are charging too much for clients,” he said. “They’re paying too much for meeting rooms so they can watch people scratch their heads in meetings.”

In defense of the translation industry, a good translator also transcreates. That’s just part of the job. But savvy executives see an opportunity to offer translation-like services at a better rate. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of transcreation in the months ahead. Why? Because translation sounds like a commodity; transcreation sounds like a service.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.