Translation is not just translating documents and words from one language to another, there are numerous cultural aspects that have to be taken into consideration during translation. Unlike translation software, a human translator has to understand the context and the cultural background of every single translation source. With cross culture interaction increasing everyday, context sensitive and meaningful translation services are the need of the hour, and culture sensitive translation services are by and large considered an evolutionary development.
When it comes to translations services an interesting question is which culture influences the translator during translation (is it the source language of the document or the language to which the document is being translated to)? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Translation is such a diverse and eclectic field that no matter how 'routine' a translation might sound, every translation task is unique. When a translator is presented with a document, the translator's first task is identifying context specific matter in the document. Not only does a translator have to understand the cultural jargon in the document, but a translator also has to find the most suitable translation for the culture specific references. To elucidate the importance that culture plays in translation lets take an example, A French business correspondence will probably begin with the term "Monsieur", the literal translation of Monsieur in English is "Mister"; although mister is a seemingly accurate translation, the truth is that a professional correspondence starting with mister is considered rude and inappropriate.
Many translation firms actually prefer a translator that has experienced the culture of the language he/she is working with first hand; the reasons are obvious, it takes more than just understanding a language to learn effective translation. Culture sensitive translation is just one of the many features that translation firms offer today. To provide accurate and quality translations, most translation firms frequently offer cultural training to ensure all translations are of the highest quality. Translation services are usually put to the test when it comes to translating books and culture specific writings.
Even the most beautiful writing can be rendered ineffective if the context and cultural background are not taken into account during translation. Translation includes more than just translating text on a word to word basis. Quality translation firms use a ground up approach to translate documents; the context, background, and relevance of a document are taken into account during translation.
With the demand for quality translation services increasing, it has become imperative for translation services to offer more than just basic translation of documents and websites. Today translation services use a more comprehensive approach to translation; there has been a shift in the paradigm in recent years. Cultural training is now a mandatory requirement for most translators, and translation firms the world over are making a conscious effort to improve their services by incorporating cultural relevance in their translations. Corporations too prefer dealing with translations firms that have a culturally diverse work force as it ensures the quality of the translations services are up to the mark.
Neil Payne is the author of this article on Spanish Translation Service. Find more information about translation here.