Why Transcreation Briefs are Necessary Before Starting a Transcreation Project

When working with a transcreation specialist, it is extremely helpful to have a high quality transcreation brief on hand. Having a thorough transcreation brief at the ready can improve both the speed of the transcreation process and the final quality of the content delivered.

Transcreation is a time-consuming process that requires ample research. You can speed up the process, and limit confusion, by creating a brief that tells the transcreator the key information they need to know to get started. Outlining things like idioms, culture-specific terms, double meanings, and imagery that is specific to your brand in the transcreation brief can provide some much-needed clarity from the get go.

Let’s take a closer look at the questions a transcreation brief should answer.

Questions a Transcreation Brief Should Answer

Not sure where to start when creating a transcreation brief? Consider adding the answers to the following questions to your brief.

Questions About the Brand

Unless the transcreator is already familiar with your brand, make sure to introduce them to who you are, what you do, and what your brand values are. This will help the transcreator deliver the message in a way that aligns with your usual branding efforts.

  • What is the brand?
  • What is the product or service?
  • Why is this product or service different from the competition?
  • What is the brand essence (personality and voice)?
  • What does the brand stand for (mission and values)?

Questions About the Campaign

When you identify answers to important questions about the campaign the transcreator will work on, take care to clearly define your audience. Doing so will allow the linguist to work with specific references that may or may not be perceived by all age or social groups in your target audience.

  • What is the purpose of the campaign?
  • What message should the campaign convey?
  • Who is the target audience of this campaign?
  • What response are you looking for?
  • What should the customers’ next steps be after consuming your brand’s content?

Questions About Style Preferences

When it comes to style preferences, you’ll want to pay big attention to what you do and don’t want the transcreator to say. For example, a brand may want the transcreator to stay away from certain words or concepts that are against its values or their messaging. On the other hand, the brand may be used to referring to certain ideas or using select words to convey their personality and may want to make sure that style carries through to this project.

The source copy is likely already a very creative copy that may include wordplays or other creative devices. While the meaning may be evident, it’s helpful to explain why it was chosen and what it accomplishes in the copy. Is the aim to make the reader laugh? Is the aim to use an analogy? This helps the transcreator create the same effect using different creative devices in the target language.

It can also be helpful to share your plans for the campaign, such as where the copy they’re working on will appear (such as a social media ad, billboard ad, or TV commercial). This information will help the transcreator put themselves in the target audience’s shoes and guess how this message will come across in a certain medium.

  • Are there any things or concepts you want to avoid?
  • What things or concepts should be included?
  • Where is the copy going to appear?
  • Are there reference materials or other relevant websites?
  • Are there space limitations such as character limitations or a max word count?
  • In which format should the job be delivered?
  • Are there any special clarifications regarding wordplays or jargon?
  • Will there any other visual assets accompany the copy?

Visuals are an important part of a marketing text or campaign. Send your transcreator all the visuals you can possibly provide: mood boards, brochures, websites, outdoor posters, etc. Anything that might be useful should be included. Remember those previously mentioned wordplays? Well, they often relate to the visuals of a campaign. If your linguist is missing them, they may miss the campaign’s whole point.

The Takeaway

Answering all of these questions in written form may take a lot of time, so if you’re in a time crunch, you can walk your transcreator through these questions verbally on the phone. The essential thing is that all of these aspects are talked about so that the target copy can reflect not only what the source says, but also what the brand/client had in mind when they created it.

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