Best Book Translation Techniques to Facilitate Your Work

Any professional translator knows how difficult are the first years of working when you still don’t know all translation secrets. Once you gain more experience and share ideas with other translators, you start to discover new techniques and apply them to facilitate your work. This article will show you some of the best book translation techniques which you can use right away.

Best Book Translation Techniques

1. Calque

Also known as the loan translation, this technique allows you to borrow a phrase from a different language and translate it word-for-word. You will notice that professional translators use this technique in specialized fields. For example, when you translate a book on quality assurance, you will see how helpful is this technique. When you use this technique, you practically adopt the structure of the source language and create a neologism in the target language. On the other hand, whenever things become too difficult, you can always collaborate with some of the best translation services and ask them to help you with this work.

2. Borrowing

This is a frequently used literary translation technique. Moreover, it can be also applied in business or medical translations. What does it mean? You take one word or expression from the original text and place it without any other modification in the target text. For example, you will use this technique for untranslatable expressions which don’t need any special translation or explanations to be understood by the speakers of the target language.

3. Compensation

Compensation is a translation technique used by many book translators. When you use it, you will move one piece of information from one location in the text to another one so that you will keep the same meaning. Otherwise, if you would keep it in the same place as in the original text, its meaning would be altered. This technique is called “compensation” as its main purpose is to compensate for the possible losses that the text would suffer during translation.

4. Adaptation

You need to know how and when to use the adaptation technique. You will have texts when you cannot translate all the text word-by-word. You will have expressions for which you will need adaptation as they may sound different in the target language if you translate them word-by-word. This technique also involved a change in the cultural environment. It mainly appears when a situation doesn’t exist in the target culture. Thus, you will need to adapt the way you translate and form your sentences so that your target audience understands what you want to say.

5. Modulation

When you have a phrase, which is different in the source and target language, but you need to keep the same idea, you will have to use the modulation technique. You will practically change the semantics and create a change in the message’s point of view without altering its original meaning. A successful translation doesn’t have to contain all the words from the source language simply translated into the target language. You will have to keep the meaning first. So, you will need modulation to be able to transmit the same message to your audience.

Wrapping Up

Translation does not only involve changing one word from a language to a different one, but it also implies a movement between two cultures. You will need constant exercise and research to be able to deliver a correct translation. Moreover, before you start the translation process, you will also need to know who is your target audience and what they expect from you.