What is Transcreation?

Transcreation is the translation process of adapting the meaning, intent, style, and tone of the source text, rather than the actual words. It is a more creative form of translations and often results in memorable, high-touch taglines, slogans, titles etc. 

Transcreation encompasses one or more source strings (typically of low word count), and one or more translation options for each source string, together with a back translation.

In Smartling, transcreation happens in the Translation Tool for a Job in a transcreation workflow.

Back Translation

Back translation, or re-translating a document from one language back to its original language, is a quality assurance process within Transcreation. It is a useful method of gaining insight into your final translation using Transcreation.

Back translation, also called reverse translation, is the process of re-translating content from the target language back to its source language in literal terms. The back translation offers the content owner the opportunity to review and understand Transcreation options. The translator will offer multiple options, so the source content owner can decide on the one that makes the most sense for the brand.

This is often confused with double translation, which is a method of translation where one translator creates multiple versions of a piece of content to account for the nuances in different words and phrases.

Back translations do not impact the translation memory.


The following is an example of translating a source string using Transcreation. There are three options, each one with a back translation for quality assurance.

Source String: Move the World with Words

  1. French Transcreation: Des mots qui changent le monde
    Back Translation: Words that change the world
  2. French Transcreation: Des mots pour un monde meilleur 
    Back Translation: Words for a better world
  3. French Transcreation: Quand les mots font avancer le monde
    Back Translation:  When words help the world move forward

Ready to get started with Transcreation?

To ensure your transcreation tasks are translated in the Smartling Transcreation Tool, you will first need to create a Transcreation workflow. The Transcreation Workflow will consist of a Transcreation step instead of a Translation step, and a Translation Review step instead of the standard Review or Edit steps.

When your workflow is created and configured, create a Job with the content you want to transcreate, and choose the transcreation workflow.

Once the Job is authorized, you can access the Transcreation Tool.


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