Transcreation, what is it?

Haven’t heard of transcreation? Don’t worry, it’s a relatively new concept in Australia but one that can help your message reach multicultural audiences more authentically.

Essentially, transcreation is the process of adapting and recreating your message to communicate it to a different audience. Transcreation is required when simply translating the original text doesn’t convey the same message across other cultures.

So, why use transcreation? Cultures communicate differently. You need to understand your target audience’s culture and what makes them tick. Knowing how they communicate, their likes and dislikes, what motivates them and their cultural beliefs will enable you to reach them in not only a language they understand, but a way they understand too. For example, some CALD communities have particular information requirements and may or may not be aware of the concept of your campaign. They may also require further education or awareness to understand your message, all of which can be achieved using transcreation.

For the most part, transcreation is made up of a mixture of content adaptation, customised images and of course translation services into the target language.

Not sure if your project requires transcreation? As a rule of thumb, if you message contains humour, play on words or cultural references, you will need transcreation to reach a multicultural audience. See the image below for example, grass ‘dreaming’ is a common concept in China, so whilst the phrase has been literally translated into English, it hasn’t taken cultural nuances into consideration.


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