Sentro Translation & Localization Services

History of Translation

Translation need had emerged with the emergence of different languages in human history. Thinking that the invention of writing goes back to 5 thousand before, we can understand how an ancient history translation has.

Although history of verbal translation reaches out to earlier times, the first written translation samples were found among the tablets in Sumerian history. The need for translation of official agreements between communities speaking different languages urged the need for translation.

Furthermore, translation also became compulsory for theological texts. For instance, “The Old Testament”, rumored to be completed by 72 translators in 72 days, was translated from Hebrew to Ancient Greek. This Greek version of “The Old Testament” discovered in 247 BC was called “Septuaginta”, meaning 70 in Latin.

Baghdad used to be a significant translation center during 9th and 10th centuries, where translation activities during Middle Ages was limited to church and the Bible. Texts in Ancient Greek were translated to Arabic and made great contributions to scientific studies.

Translation activities gained paste with the invention of printing. Translation of Latin texts to different languages, primarily to German, accelerated with Reformation movement.

Translation experienced even faster developments in 19th century with Romanticism, and issues like what translation is and how it should be had also been clarified.

As the world went through industrial revolution and with the increase in international relations, technical translations grew in number in 20th century. TRANSLATION SCIENCE (Science field investigating translation process and properties of translation products) also began to shape within the same period.

What Are the Features of a Good Translation?

Translation is the process of re-expression, in written or verbal form, of the message content of source language in the target language in the most accurate and complete way possible.

Three most significant features of a good translation are:

1) ACCURACY – Source message should be interpreted accurately and re-expressed as precisely as possible.

2) CLARITY – There may be more than one way to express an opinion. Translator should select the most clear and comprehendible one among them and express the message in a simple way, easy to understand for an ordinary person.

3) NATURALITY – Source language should be used in its natural way as much as possible and thus ensure that the translation is efficient and acceptable. Translation made in such way would not be disturbing.

What is Proofreading?

This is the process of reviewing the translations sentence by sentence by a competent proofreader to check whether the meaning in the original language is expressed in the translation and of editing the translation where required. Moreover, this is the stage where the final touches are made to provide an easier reading for the translated text. Also called “control”, “control reading” or “translation editing”.

What is Localization?

All translations are important; however, some products require use of localization programs due to requirements such as consistency in terminology, text to be translated and codes not to be translated existing in a mixed way in the complete source text and the translation should comply with additional requirements such as use of customer/topic specific terminology lists, special font styles etc. Localization is mostly seen in technical translations and used in translations of computer programs, help files of computer programs, websites, user guides, brochures, presentations, etc. Since “testing” stages are implemented in localization, where post-translation proofreading is implemented, and points such as quality assurance (QA) in terms of language and whether the translated product (software, website, etc.) ensures a proper operation are tested, large firms employ linguists for QA and localization engineers for technical aspects of localization.

How Should a Good Translator Be?

S/he should be capable of expressing the opinions in a clear way to cause no ambiguity in the source language.

Before starting translation, s/he should assess whether s/he has competence on the translation content and accept the task based on such assessment. S/he should not start translating if s/he does not have sufficient knowledge on the subject.

S/he should have comprehensive terminology knowledge both in source and in target languages and should prepare, in advance, any resources to look up where required.

S/he should prepare an efficient time schedule and manage time well.

A translator should not only comprehend fully the source text, but also should be capable of transforming it into a target text which could be understood by persons with totally different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Only a professional translator could have the required specialty to assume such a comprehensive activity.