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Common Problems Faced by Today’s Translators

As the world we live in becomes increasingly global, translation is more valuable than ever. As a freelance French translator, I know clear communication is necessary for governments, companies, and individuals to function effectively and successfully. As a business, translation necessarily deals with complicated languages’ nuances and phrasing, making it potentially more at risk for issues and problems than other, more mundane business types. Dealing effectively with any potential translation problems is best done by understanding the various issues that can go awry. Here, we will explore some of the most common translation problems translators encounter today.

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Many specific languages have several different dialects within the same vocabulary. Often regional, each dialect may offer varying degrees of differences for similar words or phrases, ranging from slightly to totally different. Translation training may center on the standard or correct dialect without adequately preparing the translator for the differences in morphology, pronunciation, and vocabulary in other dialects of the same language.

Translation problems also frequently arise due to cultural differences in the usage of certain words and terms. What may be perfectly acceptable usage in one area may mean something completely different in others, causing translation issues. To some extent, most languages are filled with metaphors, similes, idioms, and other terms that provide color and description. These nuances may be confusing in translation when they have more than one meaning. To discover the intended meaning in these cases, the successful translator may seek additional details to ensure a correct final translation.

As people of any language speak, it is common for the same phrasing to have different intended meanings. For instance, when giving a speech to an audience, a simple phrase could mean something other than the same words spoken among friends. This translation problem is an example of pragmatic differences, which may be affected by time, setting, relationship, intended audience, and many other factors.

Borrowed words can also cause a lot of problems in translation. Scholars of the English language understand that many English words are borrowed from Latin, French, Greek, and other languages. Correctly transcribing these borrowed words can be confusing if the translator is not well-versed in the transcribed language. Finally, the written word may not accurately reflect the same meaning as the spoken word. One word can be said in many ways, such as in anger or sarcasm, but these differences in discourse may be difficult to discern and reflect in transcribing the written version. Becoming a scholar of the languages you translate can be the best way to consistently provide the highest quality translations and meet your business goals.

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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