05 February 2018

Translation, Localization or Transcreation?

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Professional Translation, Proofreading, Localization, Transcreation, and more!

Translation, Localization or Transcreation?











Expanding your business into new markets will often require translating multimodal contentadvertisements, websites, instructions, descriptions, and videos. However, depending on your translation purposes, and where your translation will be used, you can select different processes to communicate effectively. For example, you could use translation, localization or transcreation. Let’s check out how you can translate and what the differences between these processes are so that you can choose the best option for your business.



Machine translation

Machine translation is a fast and free method you can use to translate your content. A very popular translation tool is Google Translate, for example. You can use machine translation for personal reasons, to translate something fast and understand its meaning. But if you are looking to expand your business by means of quality products and services, this tool is not advisable.

Crowdsourced translation

If you use crowdsourced translation, your content will be translated by a group of volunteers. Given that those who collaborate on crowdsourced translation projects are often not professional translators, the result will probably be a poor quality translation. Your company could try crowdsourced translation for non-urgent projects, but later it will require proofreading and revision by professional translators.

Professional Translators

The best way to translate your content ―and the most expensive— is hiring professional translators. This way, you will get the best results within the agreed time period.







To put it simply, translation could be defined as transferring the message of a text from one language to another, maintaining semantic and stylistic equivalences. It entails a complex mental process, and different abilities and strategies. Translation is enough for more standard content and internal communications.

CONS: It might not be enough to convey the message effectively; misunderstandings could arise (check out the article about translation mistakes)

PROS: There are different ways to translate —from free to hiring professional translators.


Localization has been widely defined as the linguistic and cultural adaptation to the requirements and the locale of a foreign market. Localization activities include translation and other activities and it is more concerned with software programs. Whereas some cultural elements from the source language are kept in translation, localization adapts those elements to the target audience. For example, if a currency like ‘Dollars’ is mentioned in a text and it requires localization, dollars will be converted to the currency of the target audience. I.e.: If it is Spanish European localization, the currency used will be Euro.

PROS: If you need to tailor your message to your audience keeping cultural elements, it will be far more effective than translation.

CONS: It is more expensive and time-consuming than translation.


Transcreation is the best choice for multilingual marketing content. It is about adapting a message from one language recreating it in another language, with a focus on the emotional response by viewers in the target market. Transcreation implies more than translation and localization; it is a highly creative process by means of which the right cultural nuances are used to recreate and convey an effective message.

PROS: The best way to make your customer understand your product.

CONS:  Expensive and time-consuming.

translation transcreation



The purposes for which you need to use your content will determine which process is best for you. Now you are ready to choose. :) 



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