An inside into Translation – The Translation Theory

The comprehension of the Meaning of the text and the production of a text equivalent to it is called as ‘Translation’, the purpose of which is to communicate the same message in another language. The text that is translated is known as ‘the source text’, the language in which the text is to be translated is known as ‘the target language’ and the translated text/ product is known as ‘the target text’. In this relevance, the translators and the interpreters play a vital role in the evolution of cultures and languages. However the study of the translation principles is referred to as ‘The Translation Theory’.

The foundation of the theory is based on the understanding of the languages, as how the language actually works. The encoding of the meaning of language can be in different forms, but it guides the translator to approach the most appropriate way of preserving the meaning. The Translation Theory may include;

  • The principles for translating the Figurative Language
  • Dealing the Lexical Mismatches
  • Metaphorical Questions
  • Including the Cohesion Markers

The purpose of translation as per one approach is to express the exact meaning of each and every word and ignore the original phrase. Another theory elaborates translation as purpose of producing a result that moves into a new language as a native description. But none of these approaches can be ignored for a good translation. For an ideal translation, it is important not to change the actual meaning of the text while translating, while using the actual structure and forms of the target language. However, the form and the code are supposed to be changed and the meaning and the message should remain unchanged. There are certain rules of thumb for a Translation;

  • The content and the intention of the author must be properly understood by the translator.
  • Naturally and clearly translate the message, rather than using the word to word translation technique
  • The cultural word of the translated language must be used.
  • Perfect knowledge of the source and the target language.

The Technical Insight into Translation

The Translation is not restricted to a theory; it has now evolved into a complete industry and technology is playing a vital role in this process, as the process of translation is not limited to the skills of a translator only. The technology has played important role in improving the quality and productivity, lowering the prices and in improving the daily management of translation projects.

Computer Assisted Translation Tools

The translation processes have been aided by some software packages for improving the speed and accuracy. The translation software helps in spell checking, text alignment, creating glossaries; the tools have helped in improving the efficiency and quality of the text.

Translation Memory

The database of translated text is maintained so that the same sentence may not be translated twice. When a translator is translating a text, this tool starts building up a database of the source and target language. The tool prompts a suggestion if the same text is being read again so that the translator may decide to use the suggested translation or re-translate manually. This helps in saving a lot of time as well as money.

Machine Translation

The software has been developed for translating the text automatically in two different ways, rule based and statistical translation. The rule-based machine translation models the rules of language; the statistical machine translation learns of the amount of text that has previously been translated. However, in most of cases it is not recommended to use machine translation in case of business critical content as the quality is inferior to a human translator.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Alexie says:

    It’s interesting how there can be different interpretations on how to translate text. But it is good to know the ground rules of all good translations for all that do this amazing job as you’ve laid it out.

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