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  • Writer's pictureJarmo Honkala

Transcreation: Recreating your content for new markets

Taking on new markets can be a difficult task, especially if the target audiences you’re looking to reach speak another language. From product names that do not exist in the target language to companies whose whole catalog needs translating and organizations that wish to expand to Asia without ever even visiting the continent, the road to new business horizons may sometimes include more twists and turns than originally expected. Translating your brand in a way that makes it genuinely relatable to new customers, or localizing your campaign in a way that achieves the desired impact on foreign audiences, is crucial to this process. Tapping into the benefits of culturally tailored foreign-language communication that truly speaks to its intended audience requires cultural and linguistic expertise. To gain these benefits, conventional translation may not always be enough. Instead, the content needs to be transcreated. This means recreating the materials in another language in a way that takes into account cultural differences and adjusts the content, tone and other relevant factors as appropriate.

Transfluent’s skilled and experienced linguists will transcreate your texts in line with brand-specific guidelines and tone of voice to ensure that the resulting project is a real bullseye – or “fits like a fist into the eye,” as they would say in Germany.

When you are looking to expand to new markets, there are many important matters to consider. As a result, communications can sometimes take a back seat. Below are two cases involving world-renowned brands that illustrate why it really does pay to have a team of professionals by your side in localisation matters.


As unlikely as it may sound, phonetics can also play an important part in marketing. When Coca-Cola entered the Chinese market in the 1920s, the brand name was first transliterated to Mandarin Chinese on a purely phonetic basis. Although the transliterated version did sound like the original brand name in English, it could be mistaken for such unfortunate Mandarin phrases as “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse fastened with wax”. So although the transliterated brand name sounded “correct” to foreign audiences, to the Chinese-speaking public, it was nonsensical. Once the company realized this, they saw that they needed to amend the transliteration to make it more appealing to the target audience. While the new pronunciation was not quite as close to the original English, the Mandarin meaning was transformed to “can mouth, can happy” – a much more suitable slogan for a beverage company.


Transcreation aims to transmit the tone of the original text to the reader and replicate the original impact of the source text in the target culture by rewriting the text in another language and adjusting its contents. However, no two markets, languages or cultures are quite alike. Industry expectations may also vary, so sometimes the tone of the original text may need to be changed to avoid unwanted implications. 

A good example of this is Intel’s slogan “Sponsors of Tomorrow”, which had to be changed for the Brazilian market in light of the findings of a market study conducted by the company. The study found that Brazilian audiences took the use of the word “tomorrow” to imply the chip manufacturer was not ready to sponsor anybody today, but only tomorrow. Thus, potential customers remained unconvinced. The IT giant ended up localizing their slogan to “In Love with the Future”, which resonated better with Brazilian audiences.

Jumping from one language to another may require significant changes to any type of content, even if the new market is located as near as the neighboring country. Entering new continents presents a completely new set of cultural challenges, making the help of a trained professional even more valuable in terms of achieving the desired results. Transcreation ensures that all culturally significant details are fine-tuned to convey your marketing messages in a way that truly speaks to your target audience.

Transfluent offers a wide variety of localisation and translation services for different purposes. Our more traditional translation services are a good choice for translating everyday business content, such as knowledge base articles, product descriptions or bulletins. However, if you are looking to translate strategically important materials for a new locale, our transcreation services may be a better fit for your needs.

Contact our sales team today to get started with expanding your markets!



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