logo logo




Ngan Nguyen

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to 2016 when Coca-Cola was gearing up for its most extensive marketing campaign in a decade. They were determined to lift their brand image, and what better way to do that than with a catchy new tagline? Enter: “Taste the Feeling”. But hold up, can you imagine if they had just directly translated it from English to Vietnamese? Yikes. “Nếm cảm giác” just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? It’s like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole – awkward and just plain wrong.

Coke “taste the feeling” – Uống cùng cảm xúc

But “uống cùng cảm xúc” (the official Vietnamese translation) seems to be a mistranslation. Is that okay?

Fear not. This is an example of Transcreation. It is the best option when you want to connect with your audience emotionally and when addressing their cultural context is crucial to your message’s effectiveness.

Transcreation, Translation, and Localization

‘Transcreation’ = ‘translation’ + ‘creation’.

As its name suggests, transcreation techniques combine all the components to produce a persuasive message for particular target audiences.

Let’s look at the difference between translation, transcription, and localization through 1 specific example.

A : I miss you!
B : I miss you too!!
A : Tôi nhớ bạn!
B : Tôi cũng nhớ bạn!
A : Anh nhớ em!
B : Em cũng nhớ anh!!

→ Pronouns adjusted
A : Nhớ gì như nhớ người yêu
Gửi lời theo gió mong rằng tới em
B : Tuy rằng xứ Bắc, xứ Đông
Dù xa khoảng cách nhưng chung một lòng

Wording, only keep the main message

Translation ensures that your content is accurately transferred from one language to another. Localization goes beyond language to address cultural and non-textual elements. And then there’s Transcreation – the superhero of marketing strategies – that takes your message and transforms it to engage your audience on an emotional level.

When do we need Transcreation?

Sometimes it’s not enough to simply translate or localize your message. That’s where transcreation comes in. It’s a process that takes your original message and reimagines it to resonate with a new audience in a new market. In today’s Industry 4.0 era, where companies are going global faster than ever, transcreation is essential for building strong customer relationships and establishing a solid global presence. By considering your target market’s language and cultural differences, you can create a message that speaks directly to their unique experiences and values. This can help you build stronger relationships with your customers and increase your chances of success in that market.

KFC “It’s finger lickin’ good” – Vị ngon trên từng ngón tay.

Transcreation is also applied for entertaining content that helps the content go viral. Now let’s go over a handful of intriguing examples.

When you Lost in Translation? Just try Transcreation!

In Vietnamese, we can use homonyms to convey the meaning of a conversation. This can be applied quite effectively in translating script or song lyrics.

BIGBANG – Monster M/V (2012)
Carol (2015)

When the magical becomes more miraculous

It’s no secret that the Harry Potter book series has captured readers’ hearts worldwide. But in Vietnam, it’s not just J.K. Rowling’s magical storytelling that has made the series so beloved – it’s also the exceptional translation work of Ly Lan. Her creative and masterful translation style has maintained the excitement and high moral values of the original series and created a whole new vocabulary for Vietnamese Potterheads. Fans consistently refer to her translations in online discussions and new translations, making her work an essential part of the Vietnamese Harry Potter experience. In short, Jo’s writing may be magical, but Ly Lan’s translation is equally miraculous.

Harry Potter and the half blood prince – Original work (upper) and Lý Lan’s

Let’s take the phrase ‘Felix Felicis’, for example. It’s a magical potion that every Harry Potter fan dreams of having. But for a translator whose English is a second language, the phrase’s Latin roots can be incredibly challenging to convey in another language. That’s where Ly Lan’s creative genius comes in. She drew on her knowledge of Sino-Vietnamese words to come up with ‘Phúc Lạc Dược’ – a translation that perfectly captures the potion’s fantastic, engaging, and enchanting qualities. Thanks to her skillful work, Vietnamese readers can now experience the full magic and context of the original text in a smooth and harmonious way. ( •̀ ω •́ )✧

When manga meets Transcreation: A new level of storytelling

Transcreation makes comics more culturally relevant to dedicated readers. It takes characters and stories they love and makes them even better by tailoring the language and cultural references to the target audience.

Kozueko Morimoto – Gokusen, Chapter 13
Vietnamese translation by Lady Nana

The perks of being a transcreation linguist

Are you ready to take your linguistic skills to the next level? Suppose you’re looking for a way to stand out in the translation industry and increase your earning potential. In that case, mastering the art of Transcreation is the way to go. Not only will you be in high demand, but transcreation projects often pay better rates than traditional translation jobs.

To become a transcreation wizard, you’ll need a strong foundation in the languages you work with. This means diving deep into vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. But it’s not just about language proficiency – to truly excel in transcreation, you must understand the cultural references and nuances that make each language unique.

How do you do that? By reading extensively in both your source and target languages. Expand your horizons and immerse yourself in the cultures you’re working with. And, of course, practice makes perfect! Keep flexing those creative muscles and honing your skills with real-world projects or creating your own transcreation challenges.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s unleash your creative side and start transcreating today!

Transcreation for interview subtittle – Credit: (FB page Nước dừa có bọ thêm calo)

Ready to take your brand global and connect with audiences on an emotional level? Look no further than Hansem Vietnam for all your Transcreation needs!

With a proven track record in Retail-Marketing Transcreation for a major mobile mega house, Hansem Vietnam delivers nothing but the best for our clients. We understand that every word counts and will work closely with you to ensure your message is conveyed accurately and effectively.

Don’t settle for boring, cookie-cutter translations. Let Hansem Vietnam help your brand speak to the world and achieve success in any market. Contact us today to see how we can take your campaign to the next level!

About Hansem Global

Hansem Global is an ISO Certified and globally recognized language service provider. Since 1990, Hansem Global has been a leading language service company in Asia and helping the world’s top companies to excel in the global marketplace. Thanks to the local production centers in Asia along with a solid global language network, Hansem Global offers a full list of major languages in the world. Contact us for your language needs!