Translation

Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text.[1] The English language draws a terminological distinction (not all languages do) between translating (a written text) and interpreting (oral or sign-language communication between users of different languages); under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

A translator always risks inadvertently introducing source-language words, grammar, or syntax into the target-language rendering. On the other hand, such "spill-overs" have sometimes imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched target languages. Translators, including early translators of sacred texts, have helped shape the very languages into which they have translated.[2]

Because of the laboriousness of the translation process, since the 1940s efforts have been made, with varying degrees of success, to automate translation or to mechanically aid the human translator.[3] More recently, the rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated "language localization".[4]

Etymology

Rosetta Stone, a secular icon for the art of translation.[5]

The English word "translation" derives from the Latin word translatio,[6] which comes from trans, "across" + ferre, "to carry" or "to bring" (-latio in turn coming from latus, the past participle of ferre). Thus translatio is "a carrying across" or "a bringing across": in this case, of a text from one language to another.[7]

The Germanic languages (except for modern Dutch) and some Slavic languages have calqued their words for the concept of "translation" on translatio.[7]

The Romance languages and the remaining Slavic languages have derived their words for the concept of "translation" from an alternative Latin word, traductio, itself derived from traducere ("to lead across" or "to bring across", from trans, "across" + ducere, "to lead" or "to bring").[7]

The Ancient Greek term for "translation", μετάφρασις (metaphrasis, "a speaking across"), has supplied English with "metaphrase" (a "literal", or "word-for-word", translation)—as contrasted with "paraphrase" ("a saying in other words", from παράφρασις, paraphrasis).[7] "Metaphrase" corresponds, in one of the more recent terminologies, to "formal equivalence"; and "paraphrase", to "dynamic equivalence".[8]

Strictly speaking, the concept of metaphrase—of "word-for-word translation"—is an imperfect concept, because a given word in a given language often carries more than one meaning; and because a similar given meaning may often be represented in a given language by more than one word. Nevertheless, "metaphrase" and "paraphrase" may be useful as ideal concepts that mark the extremes in the spectrum of possible approaches to translation.[a]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Vertaling
العربية: ترجمة
aragonés: Traducción
asturianu: Traducción
azərbaycanca: Tərcümə
বাংলা: অনুবাদ
Bân-lâm-gú: Hoan-e̍k
башҡортса: Тәржемә
беларуская: Пераклад
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пераклад
भोजपुरी: अनुबाद
български: Превод
bosanski: Prevođenje
буряад: Оршуулга
čeština: Překlad
Cymraeg: Cyfieithu
eesti: Tõlge
Ελληνικά: Μετάφραση
español: Traducción
Esperanto: Traduko
فارسی: ترجمه
français: Traduction
Frysk: Oersetting
furlan: Traduzion
Gaeilge: Aistriúchán
galego: Tradución
한국어: 번역
हिन्दी: अनुवाद
hrvatski: Prevođenje
Ilokano: Panagipatarus
Bahasa Indonesia: Terjemahan
isiZulu: Ukuhumusha
íslenska: Þýðing
italiano: Traduzione
עברית: תרגום
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಭಾಷಾಂತರ
ქართული: მთარგმნელი
қазақша: Аударма
Kiswahili: Tafsiri
Kreyòl ayisyen: Tradiksyon
kurdî: Werger
latviešu: Tulkošana
lietuvių: Vertimas
magyar: Fordítás
македонски: Преведување
Malagasy: Fandikan-teny
മലയാളം: വിവർത്തനം
मराठी: अनुवाद
მარგალური: მათანგალი
Bahasa Melayu: Penterjemahan
Nederlands: Vertalen
नेपाल भाषा: अनुवाद
日本語: 翻訳
norsk nynorsk: Omsetjing
occitan: Traduccion
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Tarjima
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਅਨੁਵਾਦ
پښتو: ژباړه
Picard: Erterduccion
Plattdüütsch: Översetten
português: Tradução
română: Traducere
Runa Simi: Rimay t'ikray
русский: Перевод
саха тыла: Тылбаас
Gagana Samoa: Fa'aliliuga
shqip: Përkthimi
Simple English: Translation
سنڌي: ترجمو
slovenščina: Prevajanje
کوردی: وەرگێڕان
српски / srpski: Превођење
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Prevođenje
Tagalog: Pagsasalin
татарча/tatarça: Тәрҗемә
తెలుగు: అనువాదం
Türkçe: Çeviri
українська: Переклад
vèneto: Tradusion
Tiếng Việt: Dịch thuật
Winaray: Paghubad
吴语: 翻譯
粵語: 翻譯
中文: 翻译