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Translation is harder than you think!



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Translation is harder than you think!

Hi there people!

If there are any translators among you, can you share what's the hardest part in translation for you?

Personally, my main issue is not the job or knowledge of words, but when you have to translate an idioma into another language, which may have an entirely different meaning.

What about you?

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gutzman

This is also the reason why google translate is sometimes a fail especially when translating phrases and sentences. Also some words have multiple meaning depending on how it is used in the sentence. Some phrases also varies from countries to cultures. Sometimes these phrases have a different meaning when spoken in a different country. The only way you can translate with high accuracy is when you are fluent with the language.



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theresajane

I agree with you. I always have problems with translating a long text especially if I'm time constraints. Even if you want to rely on Google translate, you can't because there is a high chance that it will just give you a word by word translation.



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Corzhens

You are right that the main problem in translation is the meaning of the entire sentence and not just the word for word meaning. If you are not well versed with the language then you will slip with the idioms. I read one translation about the adage "the spirit is willing but he flesh is weak" and the result was funny. It was translated by a software that was being tested in 2005. The resulting translation was "the wine is okay but the meat is bland."



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Kakashi2020

It's easier to translate another language to English than the other way around. It's because the English language had a lot more words than most if the languages. The only consideration are archaic words of another language which usually has no English counterpart.



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theresajane

I agree with you. It's very hard and impossible to translate something verbatim. Well, as a translator, it's best that you have a skill of understanding of these.



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cks003

Translation is harder than writing a research article as one has to maintain the flow and the overall meaning and context of a write up. The language and grammar used may not be suitable in a context as the two languages or terms should be used in different situations. That makes the translation a difficult task. Things become impossible when it involved idioms. Most of the idioms in one language are not available in other language and hard to translate them literally.



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Alymae

True. Every language has a different meaning when translated to another language. You are totally right about the idioms too. I have this favorite Chinese book that I am reading in English. I found out that the English translation is not exactly the same as the Chinese translation. What they do is they translate to the nearest possible meaning if it is not possible to translate it exactly. It is very hard.



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Judas2018

Translating languages is very difficult but I've always been intrigued by the process and machinations, and would like to give it a try one day.



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Alymae

I would like to give it a try too. It seems very challenging and it will take a lot of hard work but I am willing. I want to learn Chinese and Korean languages and translate them into English because most of my favorite books are in these languages.



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Wenkx03

Me too. Even though they can translate a whole sentence perfectly. I think it's still amazing. I think the vocabulary that they program with it is still awesome.



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Kakashi2020

Translation jobs are really tough. I got a job once translating a religious book to my native tongue. At first u was happy because the contract was for $175, and in my calculations it would only take me about 3 days max to translate it, it was a fairly small book. Well I was wrong, it took me 10 days to translate it because a lot of words have no direct translation at all.



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edencaga

Sometimes you don't know if its idiom or just a literal words. Of course people who are not a native speakers of english find it hard to translate those things especially if you are just new to that. Yes it's tough to work as a translator as sometimes you jungle the words if you are not that good in translating.



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theresajane

Yes, you are right. Fir some people, who are not native speakers of the language, it would be really hard to translate and idiom as it may become word by word.



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mcnasci24

The fact is that I speak 3 languages and I am fatal in translation. The other day, I could not find a word in Portuguese to "precise" in a conversation with my mother (and Portuguese is my native language). In fact, translation is not as simple as it seems. The meaning of a lot of words depends a lot on the context, often framed by the cultures of the languages involved. Translation is the compromise between respecting the source text and the need to make it understandable in the language to which it is being translated.



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edencaga

Yeah that's right. Sometimes you can't find words or can't fully express what you want to say as you can't find a suitable words that matches your feeling or matches your ideas in mind and that's very hard especially if you translate it directly to the person or to your job.



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burgosmichael24

I agree with you. Translating is not an easy task. I remember when I study Theology and the history of Bible. The translator's were very careful about every words and every phrase they translate. They were very sophisticated in their translations to make sure that they made it right.



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kaushikangara

Yes, it seems very easy at first but you realize it is a lot more difficult when you start doing it. There is a lot of time and effort involved in translating. You need to move back and forth and spend a lot of time analyzing what words were spoken. Also, most of the websites pay very less for translation although there is a lot of effort involved. There are numerous qualification tests beforehand and that makes it even more difficult to get accepted.



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Jeane

Though I am no translator I am a bilingual writer and occasionally I have to write the same article in two languages. Though technically that isn't translation since as the writer I can change a few things here and there, what I find most difficult however is translating certain words. You've heard of languages which don't have words for, say, kindness? It can be really hard to convey the idea of kindness in words in this other language. For me it is some sports terminology that I had difficulty translating.



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amelia88

I'm not a translator but I've heard the same thing, that it can be really difficult when there's no direct translation for certain things. Sometimes you're trying to not just translate words, but emotions or feelings - and that can be tough too.



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luv2xacosta

It is true. Translation a lot more harder than you think it is especially if you will translate it into English or even the other way around. Most language have different meaning so even if you have translated some of it, some might understand it in another way.



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agbuyarashel

I have tried to register in gotranscript.com but I did not passed because the test is hard. I already quit being a transcriber and I don't have plans of becoming a translator. It's already hard to transcribe what more if I translate, I'll probably lose my mind.



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Martinsx1

My first experience with online transcription job didn't go well for me. I gave it my possible best for 4 long months but I wasn't making any decent money from it, so I had to give it up.

Transcription is not as easy as most people advertise it to be. It's difficult seriously considering the stress you are getting into pass through trying to transcribe any work.



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superlicca

Translation is very challenging and I think if a translator is lack of vocabulary knowledge of two languages then it will be harder for him to do the translation. Sometimes, some small words are difficult to translate and the meaning of the words depends on the context. The other difficulty that you can encounter is when translating the poems and songs. These are hard to express their same meanings in another language since the writer might have another meaning for writing these.



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anyone01

There are two or three reasons that strike a chord the extent thats why interpretation can be so troublesome. One reason is that distinctive languages frequently are organized diversely to the extent the request that parts of discourse are put in a sentence. For instance, a few languages, similar to English, pursue the subject-action word question structure, implying that you generally say who is doing the activity before you say what the activity is.



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jaymish3

I have never had to translate or taken on any translation job, but I can imagine that it is no walk in the park. I know that it is hard to think in another language, and that is the problem most people face with translation. What helps illustrate this is have you ever had to translate using google translate. It distorts everything and the translation means something totally different. I agree that translation is not as easy as it looks.



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hstinscdln

The word by word translation. There are some words in a language that doesn't have a direct translation to another language. For that reason, we just have to explain it or just try to put it into words. Also, sentences cannot be translated with the same order of words. You have to change the sentence construction and play with grammar a little bit to make the translation correct.



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Martinsx1

My own language - Igbo language is not even recognized and not in Google translate. Imagine trying to translate another language to Igbo language.

This is actually why I have a big respect for anyone who read language and linguistic because it's a very difficult course to study.



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Martinsx1

Some people think that Google translate offers all languages. It's not because their are some languages that aren't recognized by Google. So, using it would be very difficult. Language translation is very difficult because one thing can practically mean a different thing in another.



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Barida

Idiomatic expression is something that you want capture by making use of Google Translate and this is the reason we should not be making use of it when doing this kind of work as the limitations will always tell.



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Jelineex

I absolutely agree that translation is not an easy task to do. It needs expertise and knowledge to know a certain language. Every word or sentences changes it's meaning when translated to other languages. It needs wider understanding. It takes a lot of patience and determination when pursuing this field.



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Barida

This is one of the reasons that it is advised that we are sure that we are translating from two languages that we know we'll about. One thing that I also know about this is that you won't find it easy using any tool to do this work.



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katarinamurtin

For a short time period I was a translator for a site that posts Korean dramas. i translated from English to Serbian and it was hard! It takes a lot of time and every sentence has to have a meaning or else you are bad at what you do. And personally I hate that!



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allyn2017

I agree with you, I did a little part time as translator too and it was really hard because there are some phrase in my native dialect that doesn't have exact English translation.



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jayjaydimson

Yes, I agree with you, like for example English to Your Tounge language, there's no exact meaning of an English word to your Language.



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allyn2017

I agree with you, and there are words and other phrases also that has meaning in your native language but doesn't have exact English translation.



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allyn2017

I agree with you and there are several words in each dialect that doesn't have exact English translation.



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esteban123

I prefer to translate some English words to tagalog language because I feel more convenient about it since I am already used to it for a longer period of time already.



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Ekateresh

A word, sentence or a paragraph needed to be translated may have implied meaning clear to the bearer of the original language of the text, but quite obscure for the translator, if he/she is not well familiar with the cultural content. At times, to translate just one word a professional translator would dig deep into cultural and historical connotation to disclose what the author of a text really wanted to say. The translation of "difficult" idiomatic expressions should not be a problem for a professional if he or she not only knows the meaning of them but understands their socio-cultural usage. Definitely, I am talking about the translation of fiction, not science or technology literature, where a professional translator must understand specific terms and know their equivalents in the target language. The hardest of all translations that I had a chance to do was poetry, where the right choice of words is dictated by the rhyme and rhythm ( number of syllables, length of stanza etc.) and you need to preserve the style of the original.



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emiaj55

The hardest part is missing the context that was used. Different words mean differently when they are meant differently. Thus a simple direct translation may never be wise if you miss the context in which it was used. Especially, translating Chinese into English. They have standard Mandarin, Mandarin Chinese and Uyghur. All three have thousands of characters, all of which differ in the context that they were used.



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koki12346

Agree with you, that is definitely the hardest thing. You have to know both languages very very well to do that. But when it comes to translating from English to my native language, i find that easy because i know both very well. But the problem is that people that read the translation, they don't know the languages well, so you need to be a good translator to really show them what does the text mean.



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Franzel2oo

I studied two languages back at my university and we had to do some translation exercises at some point. Idioms were particlularly tough as well as phrases with ambiguous meaning. The trick with such phrases was to situate the proper context within the text from which point you could proceed with the proper translation. There are also a some words that do not have a direct translation in the target language. Those were a pinch too. I completely get it when you say translation is harder than most people think.



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Steve5

It's like you're trapped between a fork road of sorts. You could go either way but you're not sure which one to take. That's how translating can feel at times. Context is key to accuracy and precision.

Like in any conversation, we must understand what's being said in the basis of the person speaking.



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mhingnhormz

Translation is harder than you think: I will agree on this because me myself also encountered instances that i can't really translate one word into other language like for example the Tagalog into Bisayan term it was different dialect used in our contry. It as hard for me to let them understand what i supposed to say if your not really really good in both dialect. It was reaaly hard.



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Steve5

Dialect alone is hard enough to translate. What more for different languages? It's a useful skill to have. The fact that you can aid in understanding between different people shows your importance. Others even decide to study to become a professional translator. They pay you good money for that.



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stormbreaker10

In what you said is really the hardest part, like for example only the sign of ok, is different meaning on the other country like on japan the meaning in it is money.



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Steve5

That's cool. It shows just how diverse language really is. I find it amusing when a word has a different meaning in other countries. Kind of like how nodding your head means no in a certain country.



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NerdIndeed

Some phrases or sentences do not have any counterpart in English and other languages vice-versa. To me, that is the hardest part. So I think being a native speaker of a particular dialect does help in situations like these because of the full range of vocabulary you might possess.



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Steve5

That's so true. It can be tricky to translate words that don't have counterparts for other languages. You'll often encounter them since they're used a lot. The best thing to do would be to focus on the actual meaning rather than the words themselves.



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NerdIndeed

And that's the hard part, looking for the exact words that have the precise meaning of languages vice-versa. I envy those people who can speak and probably translate three or more languages effectively.



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agbuyarashel

I can't apply as a translator because I only know two languages which are Filipino and English, even my english is not that good but I can start a conversation using it, my grammar is bad and I have limited vocabularies.
I should have studied more when I was in highschool but right now I'm trying best to improve because I will need it in my future job.



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Steve5

That's okay. A lot of us aren't even skilled enough for it. Translators are really good at what they do. It's the first thing required of them. They must be incredibly professional. This is probably why live speaker translators have high salaries.



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Bravosi

Hey there dear people! Thanks for replying to my thread.
Glad to know that I'm not the only one having the exact same problem, as the majority here. Perhaps I should open another thread as to how to improve on this issue. The main problem is that you can't study other nation's idioms, it would be too hard as a translator. Especially if it's your job, then it would be extremely time consuming.



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jpk0007

Well, I have done a few translation jobs in the past and I must say that doing a translation job is never easy. One has to to be very patient and precise in the work of translation. There is no margin of error allowed in a translation job because even a small word wrongly translated can change the entire meaning of the content. When you are translating from English to any other language or vice versa, there can be times when you have to use your own words to retain the meaning of the content because some words in English can have a completely different meaning when translated directly to the local language.



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Corzhens

That one wrong word can ruin everything in your translated work. It is important for a translator to read the entire translated manuscript and check for the meaning not only of the sentences but also of the phrases and you have to put emphasis on the idioms that you had used. Any kind of translation always suffer from the idiom so it is one aspect that should not be neglected.



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Steve5

That's true. It generally not recommended to use any form of expression. Idiom are notorious for either being hard to understand or easy to misinterpret. What more when you're translating it in another language?

Simplicity is required to excel at this work. Better to use familiar words than complicated ones.



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Steve5

I agree. I have no doubt that translating is a delicate process. You can't just use any words. Meaning is crucial in this work. What matters most is that you're accurate with whatever it is you're saying. That way, the original words are consistent with your translation.



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