Types of Translation: Everything you need to know

December 14, 2021

Types of translation

Whether you have been searching for online translation services or you are a professional translator, you may start to wonder what the multiple types of translation are. Worry no more! In this guide, you will know them all. Without further ado, let’s begin! 

Why is translation important?

Suppose you receive a text in a language you do not know. What would you feel? Since you are not aware of what it says, you would feel disappointed right away. This is where translation can come to the rescue. It would help you understand any piece of information, whatever the language you write and speak. 

Many people are pursuing a career in translation. It is no wonder as the profession provides a good salary, especially for deserving talents. In 2019 alone, translators can make around $51,830. How to become a translator, though? Your main goal here is to be fluent in another language. While it is cost-effective to explore the language yourself, it is better to attend specialized training for better results. Then, once you are ready, you should take a certification exam. If you pass, apply to the company you want to gain experience. 

Most common types of translation 

The most common types of translation are: literary, administrative, professional, and technical translations. Let’s take a look at each one separately

Literary translation

As the name implies, it focuses on translating plays, stories, poems, and other literary works. Unlike the other kinds of translation, it is considered the hardest because translators need to get the meaning of every word right and the context and the sound. 

Before you can become a literary translator, you have to be well-informed about the culture of each of the languages to evoke the right amount of emotion and humor at the same time. It is tricky and challenging. It really is a long process and does not happen overnight. Practice can also help perfect this craft. You will fail a thousand times, but all of your efforts will not go to waste. 

It is also wise to search for literary translation online for some inspiration to make your life easier and less stressful. It is overwhelming and daunting at first. But remember that everything is possible with patience and hard work. 

Administrative translation

The second most common type of translation is an administrative translation, and you perhaps have encountered it a couple of times already. What is it, though? What makes it different from the rest? Well, it refers to translating any managerial texts used in a wide variety of organizations, corporations, or businesses as a whole.

Although it is not as simple as literary translation, do not underestimate it as it can also be technical. As a translator, it is a prerequisite for you to know the nature, culture, or the ins and outs of a company you work with.

If you do not have any relevant experience, your journey will be overwhelming and tedious. But even if you do not have prior knowledge, a good grasp of the language, creativity, and commitment can help you survive the profession literally.

Professional translation

For our third spot, we have professional translation. It is a type of translation used for professional purposes. A famous example is a legal or medical translation. 

If a literary translation has elements like rhymes and puns, this one is different, making it a little straightforward to translate. Yes, it is easier than translating any literary work. 

But do not relax, as accurate translation is something translators cannot ignore. Poorly translated information can cause legal battles, hefty fines, wrong prescriptions, accusations of medical malpractice, and even closure of the facilities. 

When you choose this profession, whether it is medical or legal fields, make sure to keep your translation as accurate as possible to avoid causing any confusion or other serious problems. It is always best to work with a team so that there are other experienced professionals who will check and assess your output. Remember, patients rely on your translation.

Technical translation

Last but not least is technical translation. As the name suggests, it is a type of translation that is too technical, involving an instruction manual, engineering documents, technical training, and user guides. 

Who says the only job of a technical translator is to translate words into a targeted language? It goes beyond that, as you should have a deep understanding of specific formatting requirements. Sometimes, you might need to change all available images to avoid any misunderstanding at the end of the day. 

For businesses that require a technical translation, direct your attention to a reputable company or certified transcriptionist. With the increasing demand and popularity, there are multiple professionals to choose from. 

While it can be an advantage for some, the number of options can be a headache for others. The trick here is to direct your attention to an expert who has been in the business for many years. It is all right if you need to spend an extra sum of money. What matters is that your document is translated according to the industry’s highest standards and best practices. 

What are the other types of translations?

Aside from literary, administrative, professional, and technical translations, there are other kinds of translations you should know and understand. 

Machine Translation. Commonly recognized as automated translation, it is where computer software is employed to translate any text from a specific natural language to another. It could also be manually done, in which a translator needs to examine every element in a text, requiring expertise in semantics, syntax, and grammar. 

Website Translation. This is the process of translating any website content to different languages to make it more usable and accessible to customers. 

Financial Translation. This involves the conversion of financial audits, documents, reports, and statements from a particular language to another. It is also technical. That’s why the translator should possess excellent communication skills apart from extensive financial expertise. 

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