Advertising and marketing texts need to be adapted, not translated.
A marketing text should catch your eye and stir your interest. In other words, the text needs to press the reader’s buttons.
What are these buttons? They are linguistic, cultural, historical, political, economic and emotional idiosyncrasies that often differ from country to country. An advert that is elegant and humorous in Norway might be perceived as stupid in Finland. And something that comes across as intelligent and subtle in English might be seen as pompous in Norwegian.
How transcreation works
When a marketing text is to be used in another country, it needs to undergo a transcreation, not just be translated as it is. The more culturally specific the text is, the bigger the difference between language versions can be.
Cost-conscious companies naturally want to get the most out of their marketing budgets. Creating one campaign for multiple national markets certainly saves money, but it also carries the risk of overlooking the linguistic and cultural differences between the countries.
The solution is to use the same layout material in all countries but adapt the text itself. For this, you need people with advertising and marketing skills who have grown up in these countries, and who understand the source language.
Samtext’s own staff and partners ARE these people. This is our niche. We work with the transcreation of texts within all conceivable product areas.
And sometimes, the humour and surprise of cultural differences are just what is needed to perform a good transcreation.