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2 min read

Getting the Right Type of Multilingual Marketing Translation


In this week’s installment, and for the next few blogs, we’ll be discussing the different terms you may hear when shopping for a professional multilingual marketing agency. Some of the terms described overlap or seem like they are the same thing, but we’ll explain the differences so you can always make an informed decision when it comes to translating your marketing materials.

Marketing Translation Terms


Transliteration is the conversion of words or letters from one script or alphabet to another. This is generally a letter-to-letter conversion with little to no regard for sound, meaning and intent. Transliteration is generally only of use for academic or historical purposes, and is not a method of conveying a message from one language to another. This is not a good option for your multilingual marketing materials.


Translation is the conversion of written text and meaning from one language to another. Translation aims to convey the entire text of the source document as well as the meaning. While this is a good option for multilingual marketing, it does not necessarily take specific local cultural norms or adaptation into consideration.

Read more in our Essential Guide to Translating Marketing Materials.


One step beyond localization is transcreation where the linguist does not simply translate the materials, but takes the idea of the original content and creates new content in the target language to communicate the message.   For example, we offer a package for a business incubator that supports companies expanding into the United States by offering a US English language package that includes a brochure, website, fact sheet and investor deck. The messages and look of these materials undergo “transcreation” from the original language and format so the company can speak directly to US investors and clients. In this case localization is not enough, these materials are transformed to follow the business and consumer norms of the US. This is especially useful when expanding into a market with a culture that is vastly different than the one in which the business was built.


Transcription converts sound to written material. The most widely understood definition is for creating a script or subtitles of an audio or video file.  The transcriber listens to the recording and then writes the words into a document.  Audio transcription is best done in the original language of the recording.  When a marketing client asks for a transcription of videos from one language into another, we transcribe the recording into a written form of the original language, and then provide that file to the professional translator to translate it into the target language. 

Read more in our Essential Guide to Translating Marketing Materials.

Knowing these terms (and the others that we’ll cover later) gives you a good basis for seeking the best possible translation of your marketing materials.  The experts here at Rapport International are always happy to provide you with  free consultations to answer all your multilingual marketing and translation questions. Please contact us if you need more information or if you would like to receive a free quote for your project.

Join us next time when we talk about More Multilingual Marketing Translation Terms.


Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

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