Trascreation for the Life Sciences: Why, When and How

Miloš Matović 2 years ago Comment

Transcreation is most definitely not one of the things that spring to mind when we talk about the medical translation or localization of pharmaceutical materials. With all the seriousness of study protocols, summaries of product characteristics and correspondences with the regulatory bodies, we tend to forget that medical and pharmaceutical companies also need marketing solutions to propel their business and reach their customers and clients.

Kreativno prevajanje za medicino in farmacijo: zakaj, kdaj in kako

What is transcreation?

Creative translation or transcreation is a sophisticated language solution that cuts through localization, translation and cultural adaptation to communicate the rhythm, tone and intent of the source material on the foreign markets.

It is used whenever a particular aspect of a corporate message targeting the widest circles of users needs to be adapted for a foreign market’s environment.

Unlike translation that communicates the meaning of the source material with the utmost precision and accuracy, transcreation communicates its particular emotion, style and values, with the linguists focusing on the intent of the original material and its marketing aspects, such as target audience, brand philosophy and, more often than not, the harmony of the transcreated message with the company’s visual identity.

Succinctly speaking, the message is reworked and recreated in the target language rather than translated or localized.

When do pharmaceutical companies and medical devices manufacturers need transcreation?

The short answer would be – whenever they need to adapt any copy/marketing material to a foreign market.

The purpose of creative translation is to preserve the creative juice, punch and effect of the original message that may come in different forms such as taglines, advertisements, product/service brochures, websites – and even brand names in some cases.

Another, very important purpose of transcreation is damage prevention – in addition to bringing the company and its products closer to the target audiences, creative translation also functions as a protective layer that prevents any instance of the product, service or company being negatively perceived on the target market.

Every market demands different approach and, in some cases, even different materials.

Direct translation of marketing materials is therefore never the right solution as it may (and does) cause the product/service to underperform on the target markets, or, even worse, confuse or offend the target audience.

All external communication coming from the medical and pharmaceutical companies must convey the message of expertise, professionalism and well-being and transcreation is the solution that preserves these values on the target markets, helping the companies achieve their full potential and build a positive global presence.

Additionally, all marketing materials must be approved by the regulatory bodies operating on the target territories, which actually provides another layer of quality assurance – if the regulators understand and approve the transcreated message, the chances are good it will be accepted on the target market.

How we do it?

Successful transcreation for  the life sciences industry is a team work that typically requires close cooperation and constructive communication among the stakeholders – the client, the project managers, the linguists, the marketing experts and the regulators.

Check out our case study describing in detail the process of tagline transcreation to 11 languages that we did for JGL, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the Adriatic region.

When Trascreation Meets Pharmacy - A Case Study

From Successful Tagline Transcreation to Continued Cooperation with JGL


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