In this issue, Monica Machado is interviewed about transcreation and localisation and the application of this marketing term to her technical translation business
In this issue, Monica Machado is interviewed about transcreation and localisation and the application of this marketing term to her technical translation business.
Interviewer – What is the difference between transcreation and localisation?
MM – According to Wikipedia, “transcreation is a term used chiefly by advertising and marketing professionals to refer to the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language.” According to the same source “localisation is translating a product into different languages or adapting a product to a country or region”.
Interviewer – How do transcreation and localisation interact with your technical translation
MM – During my many years of practice and experience I became aware that much, or even most, of the technical material I receive to translate requires more than simple translation. In many cases, we cannot simply translate what it is
written, because if we do the translation will not make sense in the target language. The translation process requires reading and interpreting to make sure the translation reflects the intended meaning of the original. The translation will be the message conveyed, therefore it is important that it reflects the initial meaning and makes sense. Translation is not just about words, it is about meaning and making sure the right message is conveyed.
Interviewer – So, what you are saying is that sometimes you need to rephrase. Is that not changing the original?
MM – We frequently need to rephrase or paraphrase, because languages are not all the same and syntax changes from one language to the other. We often see translated sentences that are perfectly correct in terms of grammar but too close to the original. In this case, the translation may be correct but it is not ideal because a target language speaker would simply not say the same thing in that way.
Interviewer – What is an ideal translation for you?
MM – I don’t think there is an “ideal translation” as two outstanding translators will produce two excellent translations that will be very different. However, both translations will be good, if they convey the message of the original well and are easy to read and understand.
Interviewer – As a client, should I not assume that if my original is good the translation I am buying will be equally good?
MM – If languages followed mathematical formulas, that assumption would be correct. However, translation is about understanding the source language, interpreting the text, knowing about the subject matter, and writing well in the target language. These four components are required to produce a quality translation that conveys the right message in a good writing style. If the translator lacks one, two or even three of the above essential components, the translation result might still be readable but will be far from what clients expect to receive from a professional translator. A good translation is one that is as good or better than the original. To be continued
Interview published in Issue 11 of the Company’s Newsletter.
Monica Machado Translation Services provides technical translation services from English into Portuguese.
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