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Translation Techniques

December 16, 2008 8 Comments »

To avoid  falling into the trap of a literal translation (an exceedingly strict adherence to the source text’s composition and grammatical structure), which is justifiable only in some isolated cases, we generally use a variety of methods. These are almost always done automatically, without knowing which approach we are using or what it is called. These strategies, which are quite useful when we cannot find the perfect structure to match the original, are:
ADAPTATION: a cultural or social element from the original text is replaced with a different, but corresponding element in the translation. This is usually something that is more familiar to the intended audience. This is valuable when translating poetry, plays and advertising.
LOAN: this is an untranslated word from the original language (usually written in italics). Examples: fiesta, loco.
CALQUE: is the creation of a neologism with the source language’s structure. Example: fútbol, a word created from the English “football.”
MODULATION: the message’s form is altered by a change in perspective or semantics. A phrase’s angle is adjusted so that it sounds better in the target language:
•    Original in English: It is not difficult to show.
•    Literal Spanish translation: No es difícil de demostrar.
•    Modulated Spanish translation: Es fácil de demostrar.
TRANSPOSITIONING: changing one part of speech for another without changing the meaning of the message.
•    Original in English: After he comes back.
•    Literal Spanish translation: Después de que él regrese.
•    Transposed Spanish translation: Después de su regreso.
EQUIVALENCY: using a word whose meaning is a synonym of another word in the source.

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8 Responses to “Translation Techniques”

  • Commented on December 17, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    […] Translation Techniques […]

  • Sandy
    Commented on January 28, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Excelletn article

  • Sandy
    Commented on January 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Excelletn article

  • henrique
    Commented on August 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    hi! excellent article I would like to buy a book about translation techniques

  • henrique
    Commented on August 20, 2009 at 5:52 am

    hi! excellent article I would like to buy a book about translation techniques

  • Commented on May 21, 2010 at 6:06 am

    A GREAT AND USEFULL TASK.- nevertheless sometimes clients do not quite undestand the basic English they handle. Congratulations for your work.-

  • Maria Dickson
    Commented on October 1, 2011 at 6:25 am

    excelent article. It explains very easy the main translation techniques

  • Lourdes
    Commented on April 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Please could you tell me what are de differences between techiniques, methods,strategyes and types of translations?