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A few interesting facts about translation:

  • Translation entails interpreting the meaning of a text in a certain language (source text) and producing a text that has the same meaning and effect on a reader who has a different language and culture (target text). The purpose of a translation is to accurately render the meaning of the source text while taking into account a number of constraints (context, rules of grammar, writing conventions etc.).
  • Translation is NOT a straight forward mechanical process such as word-for-word translations.
  • Translation tools available on the market, such as machine translation and computer-assisted translation, tend to dehumanize translation work
  • A translator is a professional who must translate a text into another language while capturing the essence, meaning, spontaneity and fluency of the original text, something a software program cannot do.
  • A translator must have a good command of translation techniques as well as an excellent knowledge of the language from which and into which he/she is translating.
  • It is essential for the translator to have a good understanding/knowledge of the subject matter of the text he/she is translating.
  • Proficiency at information retrieval, use of common sense and intellectual curiosity are also some of the attributes required to be a good translator.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives”.

WILLIAM A. FOSTER

 

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