Translation is where science meets art – it requires deep knowledge, attention, strategy and creativity. In this blog, we will describe the differences between translation, transcreation and copywriting in detail. We will explain their importance for the hotel website and marketing materials such as restaurant menus, spa collaterals, hotel brochures and more.
Why Translation, Copywriting and Transcreation are important for hotels?
I worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and I can tell that many hoteliers pay more attention to the quality of images and website’s technicality than to the content itself. The same approach goes with marketing campaigns and promotional activations, wherein graphics and videos for hotels are given top priority.
On the other hand, translation, copywriting and transcreation are considered less important and often neglected. Their significance was so undermined that writing was assigned to people with little experience in the field or entrusted to someone who can speak the language but not by profession. Little did they know that “content is key”, and written words remain the strongest factor to sell products and services.
Words are a powerful tool and translation, copywriting and transcreation are just as important as the images and videos. Written content helps quickly and accurately identify who you are, your story, your unique selling proposition and why someone would choose your products or services. Therefore, it is essential to work with professional copywriters to create original, persuasive and effective content.
Translation, Copywriting and Transcreation – let’s compare the differences
An excellent solution for content that must expressly respect the source text, such as product sheets or technical documentations. In general, this type of content does not require a lot of creativity so translation is sufficient to convey the same information. On the other hand, standard translations may not be the best solution for your marketing content, as a catchy slogan or pun in one language can lose its meaning if simply translated into another language and cultural context.
This is where copywriting and transcreation come into play. Both copywriting and transcreation should be used for translating marketing content and any other text that require a creative touch, ensuring the right message reaches the right audience and achieves the desired result.
Copywriting is “the action of writing text to create advertisements or other forms of marketing”. Furthermore, “the result of copywriting (copy) is a written content aimed at strengthening a brand and, ultimately, persuading a person or a group of people to take a particular action”, as quoted from Wikipedia.
When it comes to content translation and localization, a definite meaning of copywriting is “the ability to write content that can connect with the reader and persuade someone to take a certain action.” It is the art of creating original content without closely referring to the source text. The result is powerful content that conveys not just the identity of your company, brand, product or services, but more importantly it speaks simultaneously to the rational and emotional aspects of your guests.
Successful copywriting starts with a clear and comprehensive brief that includes your communication strategy, brand positioning, tone of voice and desired action from the audience. These details will help the copywriter create content that will not leave your target audience feeling indifferent. As your copywriter will create original content and not based on the source text, it is important to make him/her aware of your requirements from the briefing stage. Detailed and organized instructions avoid hitches in the writing phase and will allow you to speed up the final editing phase.
Transcreation is typically the preferred approach to marketing copy. As the term implies, transcreation is a combination of translation and creation – a middle ground between translation and copywriting. It is a technique that aims to refine the localization of content while elements such as imagery, local colour, religion, customs, social, purchasing behaviour and other important cultural aspects are taken into consideration.
The advantages of transcreation:
- Improve audience acceptance
- Build an accurate brand image
- Increase sales and aim for new target audience
- Cultural awareness
- Cultural sensitivity
Why work with a professional copywriter?
This seems like a trivial question, but it’s not. As in most cases, business owners believe that their internal staff can create, update and publish websites or blog content themselves.
Qualified and experienced linguistic copywriters are invaluable partners for a successful hotel marketing campaign. Translating content that is not marketing in nature should be 100% true to the source. However, writing marketing copy for online local audiences requires creativity and insights to truly capture and convey meaning. Effective content transcreated for online users is the result of careful crafting, localized keywords analysis inserted in the right context and for smart targeting.
Selecting a professional translation agency could mean the difference between inviting your customers to enjoy “finger-lickin’ good” fried chicken or suggesting that they “eat their fingers off”, as what happened to a well-known fast food brand when they expanded into the China market. A costly mistake every business should avoid!
A poorly translated hotel website and marketing materials are like dirty hotel rooms – they can make your guests leave and will not return. On the other hand, a well-crafted content means more than just good grammar and correct punctuations. As a hotelier, your pursuit to creating powerful content is not far-fetched. Working with a reliable translator, copywriter or transcreator is crucial as you expand your market globally.
So, when you start looking for services offered by translation agencies, you might encounter unusual terms such as transcreation, copywriting or adaptation. These services may seem similar but understanding their differences allows you to choose the best solution for your hotel’s content development needs. Remember that a translator can translate from one language to another, but a linguistic copywriter can transform content from one culture to another.