Translation, localization, and transcreation are similar in the way they relate to language and culture. All hold equal importance in globalizing a company or product, as they allow a foreign audience to understand a company or product’s service. However, understanding where the differences lie between the three and what role each plays in globalization can be confusing. The following table may help clarify:
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Translation services apply to the literal “word for word”; translation is used when it’s important for the source and target-language text to match up exactly. Localization services are a more involved process whereby the target language is adapted to effectively line up with the culture. Transcreation services are used when a company wants to keep its brand image while adapting its message to the target culture. A relatively new term, transcreation has become fundamental to brand-building in an increasingly connected world. To see it in action, check out the four regions driving innovation and how they’re leveraged by the most forward-thinking brands.
Localization vs. Translation
Adherence to Source: Accurate
Stakeholder Engagement: Low
Type of Asset: Text, Email, Chat, Forums, Help Docs
Stakeholder Engagement: Medium-High
Type of Asset: Websites, Email, Training, Product Info, Blogs
Adherence to Source: Conceptual
Stakeholder Engagement: High-Very High
Type of Asset: Slogans & Taglines, Campaigns, Brochures, Headlines