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
- The process of converting a piece of content into another language
- Find the best possible equivalent word, to match as close as possible one to one
- Ideal for instruction manuals, safety warnings, study findings and other content where exact meaning is the priority
- Results in same content word for word
- The adaptation of translated content to make it more applicable to the linguistic and culture of a specific target audience
- Attempt to capture the spirit of metaphors, irony and satire that are often lost in direct translation
- Best when exact meaning is not the priority, where the emotion and intent of the content is
- Results in a new piece of content that resonates with the target audience