Translation Techniques: Top Translation Techniques You Must Know

Just as there are different types of translation, there are different techniques of translation as well.

Translation techniques are how a professional translator translates a given text.

One of the common techniques you probably have heard is the literal translation.

But there are many others. Most of them rely on the understanding of the translator about the cultural roots from which each language has emerged….

There are many translation techniques that come into play when literal translation could not be done. If the chosen languages have many vocabulary and grammar levels that are not the same, then some translation techniques can come to the rescue by providing faultless human translation. Saying that translation techniques are divided into two parts. The first is direct techniques and the other one is indirect techniques. Both of them have some important sub-parts under them.

The aim of this blog is to educate the readers and introduce techniques that are not known yet and can help you immensely.

Effective Translation Techniques You Need to Know

If you are into translation, you probably use the same technique for an entire document. However, understanding these two main categories sometimes becomes very important to accurately translate it. Having knowledge about them will allow the translators providing high value document translation to use the sub-types in the correct place appropriately.

✓ Direct Translation Techniques

Direct translation techniques are generally used when the text that needs to be translated is similar in the source and target languages. Elements like sentence structure and grammar, or some specific concepts, can be easily transferred from one language to another.

1. Borrowing

It is a translation technique that keeps the same word or expression found in the original text as it is in the target text. Whatever word is borrowed is highlighted in Italics. It’s like copying the word or expression from the original text and pasting it into the target one. You can say that this specific translation technique doesn’t actually translate.

Example: The little girl was carrying a Sac à main with some Pomme in it.

2. Calque

Calque is commonly known as loan translation. This technique involves the practice of borrowing a phrase from one language and then translating it as per the target language. When doing calques, translators doing valuable business translation should be very careful as some words could be easy to understand but some could really confuse the readers.

Some examples are mentioned below:

✓ Casa from Spanish when translated into English becomes a house.
✓ The Russian теннисный корт has become a tennis court in English.

3. Literal Translation

The literal translation means a word-for-word translation that helps to create a text which is as correct as it is idiomatic. This type of technique can be used when the languages have almost the same cultural terms. Translators mostly use this technique when they want the translated text to have the same meaning, the same syntax, and the same style as the original text.

Example: Quel temps fait-il? = How’s the weather?

✓ Indirect Translation Techniques

Indirect translation techniques are used when the conceptual or structural aspects of a language can be directly translated into the target language. If a text has to be translated by changing the meaning of the statement, then translators should choose the indirect translation technique as this will help them the best. This technique shows the real importance of translating business documents.

1. Transposition

When you want to convert a text from one grammatical category to another without altering the meaning, transposition could be of great help. This technique brings a change in grammatical structure.

For instance, in French, adjectives are placed after the noun, on the other hand, in English, adjectives are placed before a noun. Hence, transposition is used to make sure the words in the target language are in the correct order and the meaning resonates with the original one.

2. Modulation

Modulation is used to convey the same meaning of the original text in the target language by using a different phrase. The aim of this technique is to change your perspective to maintain the meaning of the original text while simultaneously adjusting the words written in the target language. Here you should utilize the actual benefits of professional translation company.

A few examples of these techniques are:

In French, if a person is saying that it’s the C’est le premier niveau du bâtiment- means it’s the first level of the building. In English, people would expect it to be like “It’s the first floor of the building”.

In Korean, a sentence might say- 생명의 위험- literally “Risk of life”. In English, people would understand more quickly, if it’s “Danger of death”.

3. Reformulation or Equivalence

It is used when a specific expression could not be translated properly into other languages because the original meaning would get changed after translation. This type of technique help translators showcase a statement in a completely different way. Translators can use such techniques to translate interjections, names of institutions, proverbs, or idioms.

4. Adaptation

A sentence that is only understandable by someone from the source language’s culture and needs to be modified to make it relevant for someone from another culture requires an adaptation technique.

For example, Dodgeball (US culture), Bocce (Italian Culture)

It is one of the powerful translation strategies that involve changing reference when a phrase in the source culture does not exist in the target culture.

5. Compensation

Compensation is a technique that is used when a word cannot be translated and the lost meaning is added by compensating it somewhere else so that the entire statement makes sense.

For example, You will find difficulty in expressing the formality of the various “you”s spoken in various languages:

Tu (French)

Apart from having knowledge about the languages, a translator should know which technique to use when and why so that the required information is conveyed properly.

Wrapping It Up:

According to the need of the project, a translator should be able to know the technique that will work the best. In this case, having professionals in support is very important.

At Tridindia, we have a team of talented translators who have in-depth knowledge of various techniques and can bring accuracy to work. Get an instant quote or call us at+91-8527599523 to talk to our professionals.

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