Brand Ambassador, Content Editor, Copywriting, Social Media, Translation

Translation, Transcreation, and Copywriting

Hi everyone!

Today I have a question that I think many of us have actually asked ourselves: What is the difference between translation, transcreation, and copywriting?

When it comes to marketing translation services, sometimes a client might request a translation, but then we find out that what they really need is transcreation or even copywriting. So, before we accept a project that might be confusing in its scope, let’s review these terms and then get back to our client with all the knowledge!


Marketing translation services take the source text and translate it into the target language remaining as true to the meaning of the original content as possible. Some localization may also be necessary, for example by changing measurements into the preferred metric in that country (inches into centimeters, etc.).

Translation is never as simple as just swapping one word in one language for another. It still needs to be read fluently and not as though it’s been translated. T

Bodies of text such as on websites, email campaigns, blogs, and product marketing material are ideal for this kind of translation service.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on


Transcreation tackles the message and feel of the copy. It’s translation + creation. With a more creative approach to translation, transcreation may be a better option for more emotive marketing content and advertising campaigns. For example, when translating a slogan directly it might not sound or feel quite right. Using transcreation allows you to remain faithful to the intent of the copy no matter what language it’s in.  This often happens if the source copy uses language-specific devices such as idioms, puns, and humor, or cultural references that are intrinsic to the text but are not relevant to the target market. Transcreation recreates the copy so that it works in the target language and country, but still retains the conceptual elements that the campaign is built around.

Photo by Pixabay on


Sometimes transcreation isn’t enough. The creative concept might be too far removed from the target audience that the campaign needs original copy written.

For this, native-speaking copywriters can write copy specifically for your target audience. They will have a deep understanding of your target market, your sector, and your brand; so that their copy seamlessly fits in with your brand identity and any other translated content.

As you can see all these translation services are interlinked. However, when quoting on a marketing or advertising translation project, make a distinction between these services. There will be some differences cost-wise and so you’ll want to get this reflected in the quote.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on

Have you worked with all three services? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe!

Thanks to Day Translations for sponsoring this post. Click on the link to find out more about the services they offer.

Until next time, take care and stay safe!



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