Transcreation and Copywriting

“Sometimes “translation” is not good enough to transmit your message to the new market you want to expand in, and this is where “transcreation” comes into play.”

Transcreation stands for “translation + recreation” and what it does is adapting a specific message from one language to another. At the same time its style, meaning, and context should remain the same. Asian cultures in many aspects are different from the rest of the world. This often means that the literal translation of the original text is different as well.

For Asian languages, there is almost no such thing as a normal translation, editing, proofreading job and if you’ve worked with them for a while you’ll probably know. The literal translation in almost any of these languages is a no-go and sometimes as a reliable translation partner, we have to advise our clients which service to use.


The difficulty of transcreation for Asian languages?

The “natural habitat” of transcreation services is advertising and marketing. It is a necessary tool for almost any company that seeks expansion not only in its own country but on foreign markets too. But let’s see why it is considered a challenge?

Following all the explanations we’ve shared so far about our professional translation services, we must say that good quality transcreation is influenced by two major factors:

The contextual translation is a must. If you want to reach the exact target audience in your materials, we would need factors like the tone of voice, company culture, objectives of the material, and the message that has to reach the audience would improve the quality of the transcreation service.

Yana Dinchiyska

“For Asian markets, all marketing materials should carefully fit language, culture, and design into a complete map of your company. That map includes all the small nuances making your brand ‘click” with the right target audience. This is key to a successful transcreation.” – Yana Dinchiyska General Manager – Europe

To make it easier we’ve prepared a transcreation sample for one of the language pairs we work with – English into Thai language:

Source Language: On public transport, using the noise-canceling feature will soften the roar of engine and traffic. In the open-plan office, it eliminates the constant chatter and limits interruptions. On an airplane, it’s a revelation. (Text Source: The Guardian)

Target Language: เมื่อต้องใช้งานระบบขนส่งสาธารณะ ความสามารถในการตัดเสียงรบกวนจะลดความรุนแรงของเสียงคำรามจากเครื่องยนต์และการจราจร ในสำนักงานที่วางผังแบบเปิด ความสามารถดังกล่าวจะขจัดเสียงพูดคุยที่ดังอย่างต่อเนื่องและจำกัดการรบกวน และจะเปรียบดั่งแสงสว่างในความมืดมิดทันทีเมื่ออยู่บนเครื่องบิน

Explanation: The sentence in red cannot be translated literally into Thai language. The meaning wouldn’t make sense or sound natural within the surrounding context. As a result, our linguist explained it more by translating as it’s like bright lights in the dark, which conveys that this type of earphones are like a new/undiscovered gear that is useful on the plane.

Our Transcreation Team

There are two essential parts of a successful transcreation that affects Asian languages and both of these factors are interlinked.

Linguists – the top and most important people when one deals with transcreation services are the linguists that a company has available. These linguists are not only masters in translation but creative and willing to go the extra mile to achieve the final result.

Project Managers – for transcreation the context is one of the most important tools that a linguist should be provided. For that purpose experienced Project Managers know how to gather the required information. Without backstory, the company’s target audience, tone of voice, and type of objectives, it is very difficult to achieve the proper quality.

Transcreation services and Desktop publishing

Anyone who aims at Asian markets should consider the differences in perception of the East and the West. By that we mean – design and layout, differences in the location of the information on marketing materials, colors meaning, and layout. A lot of these factors are influenced by the writing direction of the languages in Asia. For example, Japanese can be written vertically and horizontally and in some cases, a vertical direction should be used rather than horizontal. These can be signs, traditional audiences etc.

If we take the Chinese language there might be formatting differences due to the fact that the language is character-based. A very strong example is that you can use “Justify” as an alignment for Chinese, but “Italic fonts” are not used in languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

One key service that we do recommend for Asian languages is Desktop Publishing. It is a very specific and demanding task but it gives the final professional touch of your documentation.


While transcreation is a creative translation based on the original writing, copywriting is a completely different thing. Copywriting requires completely re-writing the text so that it has a different story and meaning from the original. That is the reason why copywriters are different from translators and transcreators. At 1-StopAsia, transcreation is the majority of the projects we receive. When it comes to copywriting, we have limited capacity and experience in it. When requested, please have in mind it will take more time and the subjects and markets we have chosen to cover are limited.

Quality Assurance Team

Quality has always been the main pain point when it comes to translation since forever. As a solution, we have recently implemented a Quality Assurance step within our translation process. It is in compliance with our ISO 9001/2015 and ISO 17100 certifications, which are already adopted since 2018.

The QA step is applied to at least 10% of our total projects and is an internal step we are committed to performing on a regular basis. We believe that identifying a potential issue on time is of the essence when it comes to being a professional in the industry.

Here is why to work with 1-StopAsia:

We give you time to take care of your clients

We are a single-stop for all Asian languages

We keep up with your projects’ handover


We, at 1-StopAsia, are aware that responsiveness and excellent project management are the essence when working within the translation industry.

If you feel it is time to improve your time-management and pay more attention to your clients, get in contact with our Production Team and check how we can help you achieve it.

Ask us anything you need to know about:

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  • translations and media services
  • Asian languages

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