Types of Translation

by Jonathan Cogley

Translation is the method of translating a text in document from one language to another. It is not just a mechanical translation of words. An accurate translation needs complete apprehending of the original text and then converting it into the target language.

  • Machine translation: It is also called automatic translation, this can be any translation which is performed without human intervention, by making use of software, hand-held translators, online translators like Babelfish, etc. Machine translation is highly limited in quality and efficiency.
  • Machine-assisted translation: Translation which is done using machine translator and a human working combinedly. For instance, to translate “honey,” the machine translator will provide the options le miel and chéri so that the person can choose the one which makes more sense in the context. This is significantly better than machine translation, and some feel that it is more effective than only human translation.
  • Screen translation: Translation of movies and television programs, like subtitling (where the translation is typewritten along the bottom side of the screen) and dubbing (in which the voices of native speakers of the target language are listened in place of the original actors).
  • Sight translation: Document present in the source language is translated orally in the target language. This task is done by interpreters when an article present in the source language is not available with  translation (like a memo delivered at a meeting).
  • Localization: It is conversion of software or other products to a different culture. Localization consists of translation of documents, dialog boxes, etc., and also linguistic and cultural changes in order to make the product suitable and correct to the target country.

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