Do You Need Transcreation For Your eLearning Content?

When Your eLearning Content Needs Transcreation 

Not all content can be directly translated and still have the desired impact for the end user. Even today, there are English words that do not have a corresponding translation. If not handled properly, you can end up with inaccurate translations and misunderstanding on the part of the end-user. In cases like this, you need transcreation, not translation.

As part of our local and corporate cultures, things like slang, acronyms, colloquialisms, similes, and metaphors –if simply translated– will not make sense or be effective in your final localized product. These things will most likely require transcreation during your localization development. Your transcreation team will look very different from your translation team. Transcreation requires a very different skillset than translation does.

Here are a few pointers to help guide you through the localization process:

  • Slang.
    Even in English, slang varies regionally and between age groups. Make certain there is a clear understanding of what the slang means in English so the transcreation experts can convey that same message in the target. You will also need to define your target audience clearly.
  • Acronyms.
    These will never translate and become a snappy acronym in the target language. About the only option you have is the leave the acronym in English and provide a parenthetical explanation of what it means.
  • Colloquialisms. 
  • These will require transcreation for certain. As an example, “It’s raining money” may be a perfect choice for your English if you are launching a new sales training effort. It’s doubtful that this will make any sense or provide any incentive if you are training a sales team in any other country. A transcreation team will need to come up with something just as pertinent and effective in every single target language separately.
  • Metaphors and similes.
    These can be very effective and a fun way to get your information across. But again, these will not translate well at all. A transcreation team will need to substitute or develop something that’s appropriate for the target audience you need to address.

As a developer, you don’t need to compromise on the quality of your localized content. If you need help aligning strong resources, there is help out there. These guidelines will help you qualify those resources.