A good translation isn’t simple. Quite often, your typical literate “transcription” of the text from one language into another isn’t enough. There are several nuances you need to follow. That is why a truly good translator has to not only know the language really well, but to also be able to correctly adapt the result translation to cultural features of the target audience.
Difficulties of translation
As weird as it sounds, the biggest challenge comes from high quality humor translation, particular if it has somewhat of an ethnic character.
For those reasons, a translator of any subject is required to have a profound knowledge of his subject and cultural features of both nations with whose languages they have to work.
The need to adapt is usually evident in advertising and specialized texts. We’ll talk about the specifications of some types of translation now.
A wide and very complex category. In this case in particular, a translator is required to have a profound understanding of the field and the subject in general. It’s hard to imagine a person who knows nothing about theoretical physics translating an article or even a whole thesis dedicated to string theory. While transferring formulas in this case wouldn’t be a problem, the lack of knowledge of the terminology would nullify many phrases and deprive the text of its academic value.
The case of social sciences is even more complex. Quite often, the academics belonging to this category like wordplay and to introduce new terms – it’s hard to navigate here, and the knowledge base required is really wide, touching upon several fields at once. Only that would provide an opportunity to follow the train of thought of the person who’d written the text, and at the same time, to not miss out on its meaning.
Literary texts. Their value is contained in imagery, allegory, and the author’s own language. These categories are exceptionally difficult to meet, because quite often, they have an ethnic character and, if translated into a language of a different ethnos, the meaning can slip away. In that case, the translator would in turn have to look for a maximally appropriate equivalent that at the same time takes into account the style of author’s narrative.
This category also has a very specific characterization. The issue is that all religious books, theological works, are literally impregnated with eminence and trepidation.
That is precisely why only a person who genuinely believes in what he or she is working on and who knows all the aspects of this religion really well can truly do a good translation of a religious text. Only this kind of attitude towards the translation subject would allow to fully convey the feelings that penetrate the treatise and touch upon the spiritual world of a reader like the original work. Otherwise, the translation would end up bland and tasteless.
Moreover, a knowledge of history and cultural features are vital here.
History of consumer market knows many examples of a bad adaptation of an advertising campaign within a single nation completely destroying an overall decent imported product.
That is the biggest challenge of advertising translation. This category implies compliance with a couple of important factors:
Advertising should encourage consumer activity;
Advertising must introduce a product so as to cause demand for it within a certain nation or an ethnic group.
Here, a translator should take into account characteristic cultural features of the target audience and tendencies of the consumer market in question in order to perform high quality localization.
Following that, a translator should be selected carefully, and not until you’ve familiarized yourself with his works on the subject in question. Quite often, highly specialized professionals are required for certain subjects.