Transcreation of slogans and advertising copy,
from English into Italian
Your message, recreated for a new audience
An Englishman, a German and an Italian enter a café… Whatever the pun that follows this introduction, you can bet on this: in the real world, only one of the three will laugh.
This is because the words we use and the concept of humour are rooted in our culture. Just think of the difference between British Humour and Italian comedy. Two very different worlds.
Language and emotions are intertwined. The relationship between a language and the corresponding emotions has developed over centuries, and results in unique cultural subtleties. This pervades humour, symbolic language and other features of human expression.
Effective marketing copy is all about eliciting emotions and desire. It taps into evocative and symbolic language to do the trick.
Word play, rhetoric devices, irony, idioms all play their part. In slogans and advertising copy, these and other elements are balanced and dosed based on two questions: who am I addressing? How can I get their attention and trigger their curiosity?
When you’re dealing with a new audience, the answers change.
And that’s why your localised copy needs to distil the intent and impact of the original message into a new formula(tion). Transcreation, a merger of copywriting and translation, does just that.
Transcreation services from English into Italian: what I can do for you
Nowadays, many Italian companies use English as their language of choice for marketing and advertising. As a result, many American and British companies are embracing the trend, and standardising their marketing communication across various markets, with English-only copy.
Nevertheless, this approach has its limitations. Because advertising is all about eliciting curiosity and interest in your audience. But if your audience can’t grasp the essence of your message, it’s game over.
It also sets boundaries to creativity. To meet the needs of non-native audiences, messages geared at international clients are often simplified (a bit too much at times).
On the other hand, speaking in your clients’ language allows you to state your value proposition on your own terms, and in a voice that’s true to your brand. With transcreation, the content and shape of a message might change. But the intent and impact remain.
It’s a subtle play of details. You are in the right place.
Need to recreate the alchemy of your English copy for an Italian audience?
Here’s what I could transmute for you, or for the clients of your marketing agency:
- Slogans, payoffs, product claims
- Landing pages, banner ads
- Scripts for audio or video campaigns
- Micro-copy for merchandising articles
- Ads, calls-to-action, copy for the web and print
Looking for a transcreation course?
Check out my Courses page. Every year, I teach a few workshops and classes (in Italian or English) on transcreation and marketing communication techniques. I work with translation associations and CPD providers in Italy and abroad.
My teaching philosophy, online and offline?
Planning, participation and tons of practice.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the difference between translation and transcreation?
In translation, the source text rules above all. The translator creates an Italian version of the English text, preserving the factual content and style of the source.
In transcreation, the copy is transmuted and recreated using words and concepts that may differ, as these are dosed and filtered for a new audience. The result is a new text: an adaptation that retains the intent and impact of the source.
How do you price transcreation?
Each transcreation project is a world on its own. In many cases, what the client needs is actually a mix of transcreation and marketing translation. The transcreation of slogans, payoffs and micro-copy usually requires the creation of various alternatives to be tested by a panel. The requested number of variations has a role in the price. The final price also depends on other features of the project – such as complexity, restrictions and more.
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