The 4 Distinctions That Publishers Should Know When Translating Language for Translation and Transadaptation

translating language for publishers and translations

Sure, translating language or content seems like a simple outsourcing project at first. Hire a translator. Better yet, maybe this is the time to try machine translation? Not so fast. Soon this straightforward task shows the need for a deeper grasp of translation services. Still, knowing the key terms helps set the project off for effective cost-savings. Let’s talk about these distinctions between translation and transadaptation when your team is translating language and content. 

The Basics of Translation

Translation is the process of converting content from one language directly into another. Pro translators match the closest equivalent words in one language to the words used in the source content. Translation is best for content such as instruction manuals. Similarly, content that has a universal meaning converts easily. Items such as study findings, math problems, and musical compositions translate one to one well.

Some Translations are not Easily Translated When Translating Language   

Besides that, not every piece of content can be directly translated. The English language brims with cultural, idiomatic expressions. For example, story problems run the risk of confusing the student when converted word for word. The passage may not fit the culture. Sometimes, the exact phrase means different things across different cultures that speak the same language. For example, the storage area in the rear of a car can be either a trunk or boot in the English language. Yes, these expressions prove to be problematic with direct translations. These nuances are when a professional translator is needed for translating language.  

Transadaptation Considers Culture and Emotion 

Most importantly, transadaptation solves this problem. Transadaptation captures the content’s gist. It makes the content relevant to the culture. The target audience gets more out of the content as it resonates with them. Transadaptation is distinctive because it elicits the emotion of the content. It captures the nuances, metaphors, and humor of the culture. Transadaptation differs from translation because it creates a new piece of content. However, this new content is best suited for the target audience in the intended culture.

Transadaptation Takes Time to be Done Correctly When Translating Language  

Still, transadaptation takes time to do well. Yet, the investment in hiring pros pays off. Budget-friendly machine translation services cannot capture the linguistic nuances. Professional translators can guide content creation teams through the process. In addition, seasoned translation service firms can give content authors best practices upfront. These benefits help to reduce time and money off lengthy revisions down the road when translating language.  

In sum, the distinction between translation and transadaptation results in new content that meets the target audience’s needs. Transadaptation seeks the closest possible match to the source materials, in the same way, translation does. Transadaptation aims to find the closest alternative when the direct translation does not work. Below is a table summarizing the differences.

4 Main Differences

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