7 Major Factors to Consider During Language Translation
Aug 16, 2009 English as a Second Language (ESL) 5213 Views
Translation is an important factor in bringing people and businesses across the world closer together. Etymologically speaking, "translation" refers to "bringing across" or "carrying across". Thus, with the help of translation, one can break language barriers which often hamper effective communication. If a company, individual or organization wants to communicate or share information with people and business contacts who speak other languages, you can use the the help of a professional agency for translation in Toronto or any other large Canadian city.
Language translation is a detailed, complex process in which a translator or language expert expresses the meaning of content in the first language in a second language. While converting the text from one language to another, the meaning must remain the same. Usually, the first language is referred to as the "source language" and the language into which the text is translated is known as the "target language".
Language translations completed by an established translation agency in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary or for that matter any other large Canadian city, is usually of professional quality. However, dealing with foreign languages is not as easy as one might imagine. It would be incorrect to assume that translation means simply changing the text word for word from one language into another.
To start with, translation work requires intensive research into the subject matter of the source text. The translator naturally needs to have a thorough knowledge of both the source and target languages. Ideally, the translator will be a native speaker in the target language.. Plus, the translator also needs to have profound knowledge and understanding of the customs and lifestyle of the group of people who are going to benefit from the translated work so that they are able to understand the translated work in its entirety. In addition, the translator must be a subject matter expert, with a specialization such as legal, medical, technical, scientific or commercial translations.
Translation work is not a mechanical process where you just translate each source word to the targeted language. Rather, there are many factors that need to be considered to obtain accurate and culturally appropriate output in the target language.
Here are some of such factors a translator must understand and pay attention to:
1. The actual context of both the source and target language - The meaning and connotations of the same concept can be very different in two languages.
2. The rules of grammar of both languages - Grammar is an essential part of language translation and every language has its own set of structural rules that must be observed.
3. Correct spelling in the target language, for example, even in American and British English the spelling of the same word can be different . For example, the American English word "color" would be spelled "colour" in British English.
4. The writing conventions of the target language - These conventions include spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and paragraphing. The translator needs to employ the correct conventions to enhance the readability of the paper.
5. The meaning of idioms and phrases of both the source and target language is often a complex issue. For example, if we use the English phrase "Wear your heart on your sleeve" translated literally, it will probably not have the same meaning in another language.
6. The usage of points and commas to separate decimals and thousands within numbers has different rules in different languages. This is important as in English the convention followed is 1,000.01, while the same is written as 1.000,01 in the Spanish language. This is something that needs to be considered for high quality service for Spanish translations.
7. Plus, while translating in certain languages such as Arabic and Hebrew, a translator must translate using a right-to left alphabet.
In addition to the above mentioned factors, it is important for the creation of an error-free translation to carefully proofread the translation against the source text. Editing at different stages is a good method to come up with an error-free copy. And even after editing, before delivering the final copy, final proofreading is must.
Keep these things in mind while selecting an agency for translation in Toronto or any other large Canadian city.