• Ana Catarina Lopes

5 things to include in your transcreation brief

If you struggle with briefing your linguists with relevant information when assigning marketing translation projects, I’ll give you a little help and share five essential things you simply can’t go without in your transcreation brief.

Five things to include in you transcreation brief

When sending a transcreation brief to the transcreator who will work on a project, many clients make the same mistake: sending the exact same brief as they would do for a translation project.


Yes, transcreation has a translation component, but it goes much more beyond that. That is why briefs for these projects should include a whole set of project-specific information that is essential for the transcreator to deliver a high-quality and culturally compliant target text.


Here are five things you should include in your transcreation brief:


1. Quality source texts

This one may seem kind of obvious, but you would be surprised by the quality of some source texts and documentation transcreators receive. Since transcreation involves a lot more creativity and distance from the source, many clients think that providing quality source texts is a waste of time and resources. Such a big mistake! The source texts will be the base of the whole transcreation project, and everyone knows that a quality base works wonders.


2. Different culture, different copy


On the other hand, some clients invested so much time and effort in having a great source text that they don’t want the transcreator to change it that much. This is also a big no-no. Your brief should give the transcreator the freedom to create a culturally relevant copy that works in their language and culture, no matter how proud you are of your source text.


3. Be clear about your idea


Rather than just sending the source texts, provide your transcreator with an explanation of your idea. What is the message you want to convey? Are there any puns or wordplay? What is the role of visuals in your text or campaign? All these aspects will give the transcreator much more to work with and the result will definitely be better.


4. Specify your target audience


Another one that seems obvious, but is very often forgotten. Clearly defining your audience 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. Also, many languages, such as Portuguese, have different forms to address people depending on age, formality, and other important aspects.


5. Provide visuals


Visuals are an important part of a marketing text or campaign. So, it seems rather strange to work on a text that is closely related to images without actually seeing them. Send your transcreator all the visuals you can possibly provide: mood boards, brochures, websites, outdoor posters, etc. Anything that might be useful. Remember those wordplays I’ve mentioned above? Well, they often relate to the visuals of a campaign. If your linguist is missing them, they may miss the campaign’s whole point.


Next time you brief your transcreator, keep these points in mind and you will see a significant improvement in communication and higher quality results.


If you still have questions about this or if you are looking for an English to Portuguese transcreator, get in touch!


About the author:

Ana Catarina is an English to Portuguese translator specialized in Healthcare and Marketing. She helps foreign companies to launch their brand and products in the Portuguese market by translating, localizing and transcreating their client-targeted contents to make them appealing to the Portuguese public.

Med & Mark - A blog about medical and marketing translation