The Linguist

The Linguist 59,5 - October/November 2020

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 8 of 35

FEATURES @Linguist_CIOL OCTOBER/NOVEMBER The Linguist 9 their premises from 4pm to 10pm and sit with their creative team. The 'live' aspect of the assignment meant I was given a few concepts, including the copy, imagery, video, brand messaging, style guide and hashtags, and my job was to come up with the transcreated copy instantly, on-site. It sounded challenging. I asked for as much information upfront as possible, but the project was shrouded in secrecy. I knew the time, date, venue and the industry involved: coffee and beverages. I read as much as I could and researched the companies based in the building, looking at their clients to see which ones worked in the drinks industry, so that I could be as prepared as possible. Luckily, two days before the assignment I was given more specific details about the brand, which helped me prepare in a more targeted way. On the day, I arrived to find a team of around 35 creatives and linguists working in the same venue: a converted loft in East London. The room was buzzing with energy. There were cameras, lights, desks, laptops, endless snacks and unlimited coffee supplies. At that point, I realised that they had hired 10 linguists working into 10 languages. They asked us to sit round a big table all together. It felt a bit like being back at university. Over four hours, we were given seven concepts designed for the UK market and we had to come up with a concept for each one in our target language. The client's creative team consisted of photographers, designers, illustrators, copywriters, copy editors and marketing communications specialists. The concepts were given to me one by one as a brief, and I had about 30 minutes to produce a concept for the Greek market. Each concept had its own dedicated creative team, which was standing by for questions. TEST DRIVING CONTENT One of the challenges in generating the Greek copy was that the concepts were quite similar yet different. For example, the phrasal verbs 'level-up' and 'rise-up' use 'up' as the common word to link two different advertising concepts. Aside from the fact that they are quite similar in meaning, Greek, like many other languages, does not have phrasal verbs. The key message being conveyed was the movement of rising, and this was achieved by using the verb 'to rise' in Greek (ανέβα) but in different tenses. Another challenge was that English words at the core of a concept were problematic in translation. In English, many words can be both verbs and nouns. At the hands of creative writers, this is a fantastic tool. The word 'brew' can mean 'to brew (coffee)' but it can also refer to the coffee itself, as in 'such a great brew'. Greek is not as flexible. We don't have a great equivalent for the word 'brew' either, and in one of the concepts this word had a key role. This meant coming up with an entirely new concept for the Greek market with the guidance of the client's creative team. This was achieved by understanding the product, target market and desired outcome. I proposed certain phrases with back translations and details of the associations made by Greek people when hearing or reading these words. For the less problematic concepts I entered the Greek copy into spreadsheets along with back translations and my rationale. After that, I worked with the creative teams to produce the content and test it. The Greek content needed to be transferred to different apps and platforms: InDesign for the leaflets and posters; a survey platform for the customer survey; and video editing software for the video. I then sat with each creative and read through the posters, took the survey and watched the videos to ensure everything was placed correctly. This was a critical point in the process as many errors were introduced during production. For instance, a graphic designer without knowledge of Greek would not know if a word in bold had moved from second place in an English sentence to fourth place in the Greek translation, so the wrong words might be emphasised. Part of the meaning that is achieved through design would be lost if the wrong words ended up in bold. ACCESS TO THE CLIENT At around midnight, just as I was leaving the venue, I realised that this was one of my most interesting recent projects. Transcreators, just like translators, tend to work on their own, but I found myself producing copy in a second language surrounded by other linguists and a creative team in an open-plan office. The working environment was a little stressful at first and took some getting used to, but then I started feeling the energy in the room. Soon everyone was bouncing ideas off each other. I had the client right there, which meant I could ask anything I wanted, whenever I wanted, and get an immediate response. This was particularly useful. I expressed my concerns about the areas I felt didn't work very well for the Greek market, suggesting I ASKED FOR AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE, BUT THE PROJECT WAS SHROUDED IN SECRECY BRAINSTORMING Collaborative working in a creative office space (above and top) IMAGES © SHUTTERSTOCK

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