Saturday, January 16, 2010

Translation, never easy nor diffficult

Translation is the process of converting one language into another with respect to cultural, social values. It is said that “It takes less time to train an airman to become a fighter pilot than it takes to become a good translator". For Translation it is must that a translator should very well aware with both source and target language. This is why more translators are the native speakers of the required language in which translation is needed. But having knowledge of native language is not only a requirement for being a translator.

Translation is neither very difficult work to do but on the other hand it is not also very easier to do.

What is Translation?

Translation is the transmittal of written text from one language into another. Translation Refers to the written language, and is the action of interpretation of the meaning of a text, and subsequent production of an equivalent text that communicates the same message in another language. The text to be translated is called the source text, and the language it is to be translated into is called the target language.

Translation must take into account constraints that include context, the rules of grammar of the two languages, their writing conventions, and their idioms. A common misconception is that there exists a simple word-for-word correspondence between any two languages, and that translation is a straightforward mechanical process. A word-for-word translation does not take into account context, grammar, conventions, and idioms.

Some of the definitions of Translation are:

• a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language
• a uniform movement without rotation
• transformation: the act of changing in form or shape or appearance; "a photograph is a translation of a scene onto a two-dimensional surface"
• (mathematics) a transformation in which the origin of the coordinate system is moved to another position but the direction of each axis remains the same
• (genetics) the process whereby genetic information coded in messenger RNA directs the formation of a specific protein at a ribosome in the cytoplasm
• rewording something in less technical terminology

How to translate?

As we already discussed that translation needs that a translator should have fluent and accurate knowledge of both the source and target languages. Although before doing translation one should remember few technical aspects also like consistency, accuracy, grammar, vocabulary, glossary etc.

Before starting translation important aspects to remember are:-
• Go through the whole translatable document, i.e. Source
• Check the content given, whether the content is complete or incomplete.
• Understand the theme of the content
• Check whether any terminology has been provided or not.
• Check for glossary
• Read the instructions provided.
• If anything is unclear, or have any query, contact the job provider for accurate details.

Only after going through all the above mentioned points, start translating the document. While translating the document also consider these points:
• Translate the document as per the meaning.
• Please avoid word-for-word translation.
• Maintain consistency.
• Follow the glossary provided.
• Do the translation as per instructions.
• Use easy to understand language.
• Follow grammar strictly.
• Use proper words and
• Avoid using bookish language.

Translation, when practiced by relatively bilingual individuals but especially when by persons with limited proficiency in one or both languages, involves a risk of spilling-over of idioms and usages from the source language into the target language.

The art of translation is as old as written literature. Since the Industrial Revolution, developments in technology, communications and business have changed translation greatly. In particular, the advent of the Internet has greatly expanded the market for translation and introduced a vast array of new tools and types of work.

Once the activity of a relatively small group of clerics, scholars, it is now a profession with accredited schools, professional associations, and accepted standards and pay scales. Translators, professional as well as amateur, have thus played an important role in the evolution of languages and cultures.

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