Translation is the Tip of your Overseas Marketing Iceberg

In business,  sometimes the temptation is to take a bit of a shortcut. We all like to reduce costs where we can, and of course, this is an essential part of running a successful business – but there are some occasions when things need to be done properly.

JRR Tolkien once said: “Shortcuts make long delays”. And when you’re trying to create an international marketing campaign that really strikes a chord with a local audience, this couldn’t be more true.

If you operate in overseas markets, the cost effective approach to spreading the word is the wholesale translation of your marketing materials e.g. websites, brochures and online content, into the target language. This approach ensures plenty of reach without too much spend, but does it do your message justice?

Why translation is never enough

Creating effective marketing messages is a complicated process, even in your native language. Typically, if you’re investing in a marketing campaign, the source content will be created over a matter of weeks, often with the help of an advertising agency. In many cases, it will also undergo a number of executive and peer reviews. The point is that no expense is spared to get the message across.

The source message will most likely be created by British marketers, who will not give a second thought to whether their message will chime with overseas customers. After all, that’s not their job.

Once you have an enticing and attention grabbing message written in English, the temptation is to think that the hard work’s done – “let’s translate the message for our overseas markets and roll this out worldwide!”

The trouble is, rather than adapting the message for overseas audiences, the translation team translate exactly what they have in front of them. All too often, this creates a message that lacks much of its initial punch and sometimes doesn’t even make sense in the target language.

What’s the alternative?

‘Transcreation is the process of recreating precise brand content for multilingual consumption. Standard translation and localisation services don’t effectively preserve the creative and emotional intent of content that allows it to best resonate in other languages and cultures’.


When you’ve created a marketing message that strikes the right chord, you should use a transcreation service you can trust to deliver the same level of impact across languages and cultures.

A transcreation service provides the first class translation skills, local knowledge, copywriting expertise and creative flair required to make your message sing in every language. Rather than merely translating the copy, a transcreation team will make your message relevant to local consumers by adapting the style, tone, idioms, analogies and images to meet the local audience’s expectations. The result is a message that resonates with diverse customer groups around the world.

How can we help?

At Linguistica International, we understand that only the very best copy engages, intrigues and compels your customers to act. So, when you’ve gone to the time and expense of creating copy that strikes an emotional chord, we transcreate that message to deliver the same impact in different languages and cultures.

Find out more about how our transcreation service can help your business communicate effectively across language barriers and get in touch today.