Auerbach Intl

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CULTURAL ADAPTATION

Some language agencies call this process “transcreation.” Since that word itself needs translating, we simply don’t use it. Instead, we call the process what it is: acculturation or cultural adaptation.

Few translations should be literal. Each language expresses even simple sentences in a unique way, perhaps by changing the word order or adding a preposition that is not In the original language. In the simplest cases, acculturation swaps one term for another:

Simple examples:

  •         Soccer in the US is Football in the UK and in most other languages.
  •         US football is called American football in the UK.
  •         Homogenized milk in the US is “homo milk” in Canada. (Yes, really!)

Correct translations should always be concept for concept, not word for word as AI solutions commonly do (often incorrectly).

Acculturation can take various forms

1. Modify the entire text

Original American ad text:

“We are by far the best in our business and no other firm comes close to providing our level of service, ease of ordering, and customer satisfaction.”

If translated, this would sound too arrogant in many cultures.

Modified to:

“To facilitate ordering and provide satisfaction to our customers, we strive to shine in our industry and to match the best in our business.”

2. Re-editing

Original English (stiffly) translated from German:

“The intervention of governments against undisclosed income and problematic tax models which are by now directed even across national borders are increasingly forcing the parties concerned to get their business affairs in order.”

Our acculturated re-write for the US market:

“These government interventions against undisclosed income and questionable tax structures are increasingly forcing concerned companies to get their business affairs in order – even across national borders.”

3. Evaluations of company names, product names or slogans.

Large IT company’s English tagline: “No limits to your success”
…. which seems too boastful in Europe.
Revised to: “Gateway to new horizons.”

Most technical text does NOT need to be culturally adapted. But conversational, consumer or retail text, books and advertising usually do. Please contact us for a free quote to adapt your files accordingly.