Tag Archives: translation

The translator and the Internet

translation and the internetOnce upon a time, dictionaries and perhaps typewriters were translator’s best friends. Today, however, the work of a translator doesn’t seem possible without a computer and Internet access. In today’s world, the Internet is the primary source which the translators use when completing their tasks. The net is full of various dictionaries on an unthinkable amount of subjects; however, there’s a lot more to translators’ resources. In this age of information, the Internet as such can be considered as a rich source of linguistic information. There is no doubt that the Internet is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Not only did it facilitate our access to information, but it also provided the opportunity for global cooperation.

So what can the Internet offer to a translator?

  1. Online dictionaries, glossaries and banks of terms.

There are many free dictionaries, glossaries and banks of terms which can be easily accessed from any corner of the planet. The Internet can be considered a huge library which provides dictionaries and glossaries of terms from all kinds of fields on various languages. And yet, they’re accessible to anyone, irrespective of where they are. In the past, a translator had to leave their warm house (or office) or spend a large sum of money in order to obtain what today is literally at our fingertips.

  1. Internet as a means of communication

In today’s world, the translation market is, first and foremost, online. The Internet is the place where clients look for translators and vice versa. Therefore, there aren’t any geographical limits for business between a written translator and a client today, and therefore, in most cases such business is contacted with the help of World Wide Web. Today, it’s possible to say that the Internet has completely changed the market system of translation services.

  1. Internet as a large body of texts

A body is an information system based on a collection of texts in a language in electronic form. A body of a language represents that language on a certain stage of its existence and in all its diversity of genres, styles, territorial and social features, etc. The Internet can be viewed as a large body of texts in various languages. Bodies of texts are very valuable for a translator. With their help, the translator can receive important linguistic information about spelling, terminology, phraseological units, etc. of one language or another. If we view the Internet as a body of texts, then search engines like Google or Yahoo can be considered tools for carrying out body analysis. Search engines are programs that store information about the content of various websites. When a search is carried out, search engines begin to search documents stored online by keywords. The principle of search engines’ work is similar to the system of carrying out body analysis. Search engines allow a translator to, for example, find rare terms and syntax structures, check the frequency of terms or expressions usage in a certain language.

In conclusion, Internet technologies have significantly changed a translator’s professional life. For translators, the Internet represents an opportunity for communicating with colleagues, professionals of certain fields and, of course clients. However, in order to work in the modern world, a translator needs another important skill, in addition to perfect knowledge of the language, translation techniques, etc. – the ability to quickly find the necessary information in the endless sea of the Internet.

Detailed overview of translation

translationAs many freelance translators and professional translation companies know, translation is a process of communication of the meaning of the original language source in a way that communicates the literal meaning and creates a text equivalent that communicates the same meaning as the source. The source is what the original document to be translated is called. The language in which the meaning needs to be communicated is the target language. Therefore, a translation product can be called the target text.

Professional agencies of technical translation should keep in mind that the difficulties and conditions of their job are usually related to grammatical differences between two languages, context changes, figures of speech and other similar features. The perfect purpose of any translator’s job is the accurate communication of meaning.

History and origins of translation

Translation process is older than many think. Academics believe that it’s just as ancient as written literature, perhaps even more so. This is confirmed by Asian translation of a Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (one of the oldest works of literature) created in 2000 BC. To be more precise, the Epic of Gilgamesh could have been read by the authors of works like The Iliad and The Bible that used several elements of this text in their work. Following that, the very word “translation” comes from a Latin word transferre (to transfer). Modern Romantic, Teutonic and Slavic languages have their own words that communicate the same meaning as Latin ones.

Features of translation

There is a very common misconception that each word of each language can find a corresponding word in another. If that really were the case, there would be no need for translators, period. Computers would be used for translation which would have become a totally mechanized process. However, word-for-word translations don’t usually take important factors such as context, grammar and idioms, into account.

In other words, word-for-word oral translation usually leads to a text full of errors and lacking of clarity. Moreover, there is a risk of one language’s constructions being transferred into another. Such a mistake can be made by a machine, as well as a person that connects both languages in their mind.

Replacements and borrowings are often found in bilinguals’ speech, and that of whose who speak hybrid languages, such as mixture of Spanish and English, Portuguese and Spanish, French and English, Japanese and English. Either way, they’re undesirable in translations.

It’s clear that translation is not an exact science and it is developing quite dynamically. A translator should constantly look for a balance between accurate communication of meaning and following the norms of the target language. That is the key to success.