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Translation Services Help You Deal With Hard-to-Translate Languages (Part 1)

by Jim Dulin

In the world of translation and interpreting not all languages are treated equally. The ability to translate between any two languages takes a fair depth of knowledge and contextual understanding, meaning that languages that are difficult to learn are also more difficult to source translations for because it’s not easy for translators to add them to their multi-lingual rosters. Then, of course, some languages simply have more translators available for them than others, making it easier to source translation to or from these languages. English, for instance, is popular worldwide and English-to-Spanish is one of the most commonly requested translation events. However, you will be pretty hard-pressed to find a single translator willing and able to tackle a Korean-to-Hindi translation, or more than a handful even familiar with Icelandic.

Hard Languages To Source

When it comes to sourcing high-quality translations, Google Translate just isn’t an option. You need someone who knows not only the interplay of syntax and grammar, but understands cultural nuances. Especially when it comes to business and contract translation, accuracy and clarity of meaning is a key part of the service. For this reason, you would expect native-speaking population size to play a large part in determining the availability of translator services.

However, a recent survey, recently asked it’s 140 survey responders to rate which languages they had experienced the most trouble sourcing, and the results are not what you might think! French comes in first as the top most difficult language to get an excellent translation for at 15%, shortly followed by Japanese and Arabic. At around 10% comes Korean and German, followed by Portuguese and Chinese.

These days, if you need a high-quality translation in any but the most common second languages in your region, you’ll need to deal with real professionals. The more difficult a language is to translate, the harder time you will have to get a good translation. Join us next time and we’ll talk about what makes these languages difficult and how a professional translation service can help you with as many language translations as you need. For more information about translation services, contact us today!

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