Options
October 24, 2018

How Translation Varies Depending on Its Purpose

by Chad Richardson

October 24, 2018

When you provide translation services, it’s important to keep the client’s needs in mind. What do they need the translation for? Is it a business document? Is it an advertisement? Is it a TV series which needs subtitling? Is it a letter or an email? Depending on the type of document which is being translated, there are different things that you need to focus on.

Basically, there are two main things which matter in translation: the meaning of the words and the way in which they will be received by the audience. In some cases, the meaning is more important and, in other cases, it’s the effect that the translation will have on the audience.

Business Documents

In the case of business documents in which you’re trying to convey important information or instructions to the recipient, the meaning is more important. The elegance of the language does not matter much, although it is important to maintain a degree of professionalism. What’s most important is that the information being conveyed should not be distorted in any way.

Advertisements

In the case of an advertisement also, the meaning is important. However, it’s not as important as creating the right impression on the audience. The audience should be left with the feeling that it would be a great idea to buy that product or get that service. So even if the meaning is not exactly the same, it’s ok, as long as the translation creates the same effect in the minds of the viewers/readers as the original.

Subtitles

When it comes to a TV series or a movie which needs subtitling, it’s important to keep the translation conversational; you can’t lapse into a formal idiom. Conversational speech is different from written speech. People use a lot of slang while talking. When you translate this into another language, you’ll need to find slang (or just conversational speech) in the destination language which corresponds to the slang in the source language. The whole idea is that the translation should sound like people talking normally in day-to-day life.

Letters and Emails

If you’re translating a letter, the meaning is important but you might also want to take the style of the letter-writer into consideration, especially if it’s a letter that’s going to be published in a collection. If you’re translating an email, it’s fine to be conversational but it’s the meaning and the information conveyed that make all the difference.

Contact us for more great tips that apply to different forms of translation.

Related Articles

Avoid the Productivity Trap

Betty Friedan knew what she was talking about when she said, “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” The idea that productivity equals value is an outdated and incorrect business model. It leads to exhaustion, frustration, and burnout. Mind Café defined the productivity trap as “a compulsive need to always…

Is your company providing the best Customer Experience possible?

Customer experience is crucial to every business’s success. It determines the business’s ability to foster customer loyalty, generate revenue, and differentiate its brand. Benefits of delivering an excellent customer experience: More customer satisfaction More customer loyalty More recommendations More positive reviews What is the customer experience?    The term, also known as CX, refers to…

Agile Project Management vs. Waterfall Project Management

What was once a means to keep software developers on task, and within the scope of their projects, Agile project methodologies have pushed the boundaries of what it means to manage a project and be part of a project. Even further, agile leadership has become a near-standard for managers across the globe.   Let’s take a…

here
for you

We’d love to learn more about your translation and localization needs.