Translating Advertising


Translating advertising is very close to copywriting and transcreation. When you think about it, advertising is often based on creative concepts that are not translatable. However, that doesn’t mean that an ad’s message cannot be conveyed through different means and concepts.

The process of writing a piece from scratch in a new language is called transcreation (a combination of “translation” and “creation”), which is a developing specialisation within the translation sphere. In practice, however, only the term is new: there have always been translators performing this task successfully.

Some of the modern standards applying to ad translation are:

  • constraints related to the number of characters
  • focus on keywords
  • consistency requirements (as the message is conveyed through many more channels than it used to be).

If you have an upcoming ad translation project, remember it is a good practice to work with native speakers who live in the market that they translate for.

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