A non-literal, creative translation

Your existing marketing materials are in English and you need to make them appealing to a Dutch-speaking audience without launching a separate campaign – but how? The non-literal form of translation known as transcreation is the best way to go.


Transcreation puts the focus on the purpose and intention of a text rather than its exact wording. With this technique, the translator has more freedom than is usually the case. By writing, adding, eliminating and/or rewording text, the translator is able to transmit the intended message effectively while retaining the essentials of the original.

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Translation or transcreation?

Transcreation of marketing materials is a useful approach in the following cases:

  • A company motto, slogan or product-specific tagline. I provide two alternative translations, and a creative rationale and back translation for each option.
  • A culture-specific element that would lose its meaning in translation. For example, baseball has less associative value for most Dutch speakers than football.
  • A culture-specific element that would be puzzling or obscure for the target group. For example, knock-knock jokes are not generally effective with Dutch-speaking audiences, since they are not familiar with the concept of these jokes or the wordplay they entail.
  • Rhyming texts.
  • Any texts that you want to stand out from those of the competition thanks to creative Dutch translation.

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