The Essentials of Translation

By: Allegro

Translation is a creative processing of language that can be applied to a wide variety of fields. Translation has elements of both fine art and exact science. By choosing the right words in the target language, a good translation expresses the nuances behind the choice of words in the source language without alteration. The translator must go beyond the appearance and find the precise meaning and true intent of the document to be translated. Ultimately, the message loses if the translation process is not of a high standard.

The Essentials of Translation:
Translation is essentially a decision-making process that requires a combination of language ability, subject-specific knowledge, perception, and research skills. Every two languages have certain linguistic gaps between them, which can make translation a very difficult process. These gaps include "false friends", terms which are the same in two languages yet have different connotations or meanings. Translators have to be aware of such pitfalls, in order to be able to produce a satisfactory target text.

Quality of Translation:

The quality of a translation depends primarily on:

&bullThe quality of the source document. A translator who is given a poorly written document to translate may provide an equally poor translation.

&bullThe translator's knowledge of the specific subject.

&bullThe source language and target language proficiency of the translator

&bullThe perception and interpretation skills of the translator

&bullThe quality checks of the translation

The translator plays a vital role in the process. He assumes a large part of the responsibility for the final result of the translation. A formal qualification is not necessarily a guarantee of a good translator. A genuine interest for the language is essential and cannot be taught. There are many other norms which decide the quality of the translation. A translation can be considered high quality if it satisfies the following criteria:

&bullThe essence and context of the original text remains in the translated version.

&bullThe content of the source text has been delivered completely and correctly in the target language.

&bullThe contents have been adapted to suit the linguistic, cultural and statutory conditions. A reader should not notice that the manual is a translated one.

&bullThe translation is comprehensive, without orthographic and grammatical errors.

&bullThere is no ambiguity with respect to terminology.

&bullIt is consistent with previous and parallel translation projects.

&bullThe translation is delivered on time.

&bullThe translated document serves the purpose just as well as the source language document.

These are the essentials that play a vital in judging the success of a translation project.

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