Tag Archives: literary translation

Difficulties of translation

difficulties_of_translationA 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.

Specialized texts

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.

Religious texts

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.

Advertising texts

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.

Literary translation of articles

literary_translationOften, in order to fill up a website with content, site owners not only order articles from copywriters, but also prefer to translate prepared, interesting information from other languages. So what is literary translation? It includes translation of the following types of texts:

Publicist (newspaper and blog articles, news);
Advertising campaigns, leaflets, presentations;
Literary works, novels, stories, poetry;
Letters, correspondence;
Scripts and plays.

A literary translator is faced with a complex task: to communicate the main idea from the original, and at the same time, its primary emotions, narrative particularities, author’s personal style. That’s why professionals with appropriate qualifications are usually recruited, instead of the job being done by one’s own.

How much does a literary translation cost?

Tariffs on such translations vary. The cost is influenced by a number of factors:

Translation language, text complexity. If a language is very common, the prices are maximally accessible. For example, a single page of German translation would not cost much, whereas the same text in Arabic would be twice as expensive;

Volume. Clearly, the longer the text, the more expensive the job. Service costs are usually per pages, not per characters. I.e. if a sheet isn’t completely filled with text, you’d have to pay for an entire page either way.

Deadlines. If you need an urgent translation in the shortest timeframes, be prepared to pay the double fare.
Since literary translation requires good knowledge and skills base and particular abilities, it’s important to trust an experienced translator who has a philology degree. It’s possible to find a professional on copywriting auctions, in translation agencies.