Jun 22 2012
When it comes to communication in any language – context is really important. For good translation it is important to always let your translators know the context of the text you have provided for translation. When I talk about “arms” are the connected to people or bullets?
The Two Ronnies where masters in understanding English usage and context in comedy. The famous 4 candles sketch is simply about context. It is a clear illustration of how the context is important when translating. Machine translation (free translation on the internet) still delivers bad translations because of its inability to identify context; this is the reason why most mistakes made by machine translation are so funny.
Why is the context important?
Context- The context influences the meaning of a phrase or a sentence. It is linked to the environment in which the communication takes place. In translation the context is very important. One word may mean a different thing depending the context in which it is used.
Understanding- To translate you need to understand the text. A good understanding is the key to an efficient translation. A sentence or a text is composed of words and phrases – but it requires thought, comparing the sentences around it to fully understand its meaning.
Translation- Translation has to take into account the industry or field the document is used and with what it deals with. Translation/language can be different related to specific fields. The context can be technical, medical, legislative etc.
Specialization- Being able to translate specialized documentation means the translator has to have specific skills in order to understand the context and how to phrase a translation. That means that translators need to be specialized in a specific field to translate correctly. You need to understand engines for example to describe them. Knowing an engine is power by combustion and a motor by electrical power – would mean you would automatically use different words to describe how power is supplied to them.