Marketing translation and transcreation of purchase management software


The client is an American software editor that sells the leading software for purchase and expense account management. To make this software appealing and for it to stand out from the crowd, the company decided to pay careful attention to how both its content and style guides were written. Although the English version – with its well-structured language and short, catchy sentences that say everything in just a few words – may seem very simple, it is actually very elaborate.
The website design was adapted for the English text, favouring short texts, beneath visual aids.


Although the French language uses 20% more words than the English language and tends to use more detailed sentences, we needed to retain a similar tone in the French version. Another challenge we faced when it came to length was being able to fully understand the English text and the extent of the available options for the software, so that the purchaser is immediately aware of the advantages of the product and how it works.


This long-term plan has been ongoing for several months. One part of the texts was translated (quality marketing translation, in 3 stages: an initial translator specialised in marketing texts translates, a second specialised translator revises the text and improves the style and, finally, a final reviser proofreads the text to verify its content), another part of the texts was transcreated. The client actually chose to invest in transcreation for their website’s content so they could obtain a perfectly localised version for their main sales medium – the online shop.

We therefore allocated a dedicated team of linguists and a language coordinator to head this project. This coordinator had the opportunity to meet the client’s French sales teams so they could best get to grips with the vocabulary used in the teams’ normal sales activity. They also attended an important sales meeting, bringing the sales teams and clients together. This immersion stage, which is unfortunately becoming rarer and rarer, is of prime importance. It means that the linguistic coordinator was able to gain a real understanding of the software, to understand exactly who the clients were and what the company’s commercial message was.

For three months, the coordinator supervised the team in charge of translation and transcreation. A professional transcreator thoroughly reworked the texts which had been previously translated, so that the French version was perfectly in keeping with the client’s style guide.


• A clear and striking website that immediately shows Internet users what it is about.

• Cultural references that are adapted to a French setting, so as to create a real link between the brand and its clients and users.

• A brand image that stands out from the competition, with punchy language that reflects the innovative elements of its software solution.

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