Rates for transcreation
Thread poster: Khurshedjon Mayusupov

Khurshedjon Mayusupov
Local time: 18:38
English to Tajik
+ ...
May 16, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I have been recently approached by an agency for transcreation project. Frankly speaking I have not done any real transcreation yet and do not know how time consuming it can be. So my question is about rates. How trancreation is basically charged, per word, per hour or per project? And what are the standard/regular rates (though I do understand that rates might be different depending on language combination)? Any feedback based on your experience will be helpful.


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
time and talent May 18, 2017

You're looking at the amount of time it takes you, but I would ask you to look at the talent you deploy.

Slogans are an extreme example of transcreation. It so happens that when asked to translate one, either I hit on something great pretty quickly, that can be checked in two internet searches, or I cobble something together painfully, going round and round various ideas that don't quite gel.

In short, when I'm inspired, I spend much less time on the job, yet get a much better result. I bill the same amount though. I believe that my talent for coming up with a telling pun or cool message deserves to be rewarded, it's what sets me apart from run-of-the-mill translators.

The client shouldn't care how much time it takes (except in terms of delivering in time). It's the final product that matters. If their marketing blurb sounds stilted and long-winded, it won't be as effective as if it's incisive and insightful.

A transcreative translator has to consider themselves an artist. Musicians/painters get paid handsomely for a single stadium concert/oil painting. However, they had to practise for those proverbial 10,000 hours to become an expert, and the beauty of their music/painting hinges on their talent, so it's more like a long-term investment than a one-off jackpot. Similarly, I trained and practised for years doing hack translations before reaching my current level.

and the amount you ask for depends more on your confidence than anything else. Repeat orders will show whether that confidence was justified.


Alessandra Chiappini  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
German to Italian
+ ...
Transcreation projects May 18, 2017

Hi, I work on a regular basis as transcreator for an translation agency. The projects are for a German airlines.
I do not usually know the final use, but when I found one of my taglines at the bus stop in Rome (on in the metro line) I was very disappointed...
I charge per tagline. The client provides the German original and the image.
The request is always three different taglines in Italian, together with a back translations in English with comments.
It takes at least one hour. Very challenging task.



Anna Dzidowska  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
English to Polish
+ ...
Transcreation is not for every one May 20, 2017

Be careful with transcreation projects, especially if you don't have much experience in that area. Transcreation is not for every one.

My experience with transcreation is you either love it or you hate it, you either have a talent for it or you don't.
I absolutely agree with Texte Style - transcreation is an art and you need to be an artist of words. This is true for translation in general but it is even more so with transcreation - as a translator you need to be accurate with your words, as a transcreator you need to be able to "seduce" readers with your words, you need to be a word magician. It's a huge challenge, can be very satisfying but can be also very frustrating when you are struggling with words and your own language. When you have a good day, words will come easily. But sometimes it will take hours to finish a single line - I remember many occassions when I cursed myself for accepting a project that seemed short and nice but took me hours to finish. Having said that, I really enjoy transcreation projects.

As for rates, I usually charge per project and it is usually higher than for regular translation. Again I agree with Texte Style - my transcreation skills is what sets me apart and it should be rewarded.


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Rates for transcreation

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