Translation from Linguistic and Cultural Perspectives

Subject: Linguistics
Pages: 2
Words: 326
Reading time:
2 min

Many translations of foreign languages may be poor. This comes when the translator knows the foreign language extremely well but is poor in his language, and vice versa. There are several difficulties people find when translating foreign languages. In the medical field, for example, new scientific terms are continuously discovered. It is not practical to give an exact translation to mean the same thing. So doctors just adopt them the way they are in English and put them into practice. Dripping means gotejamento in Portuguese, which is not easy for Portugal medical students to understand. Staphylococcus aureus is not easy to translate into the local language. Another difficulty encountered in translation is when translating novels or other books are written by African authors in their native languages. The stories capturing their cross-cultural issues make use of their languages which, when translated into English, may not mean the same thing.

Other translators find it impractical to do perfect translation because several words with different meanings have one collective meaning in English. For example, yifu, shushu, jiujiu, bobo, and gufu refer to different family address terms but are crown as an uncle in English. Vocabularies with significant historical or any other importance are significant drawbacks in translation. The translator may be at a crossroad to either translate or keep it in the source language, followed by some explanation. Worries come because the meaning of the terms is eroded when translated. Ethical issues also make translation difficult. North Americans must include both sexes in their language. In Europe, Belgium is comfortable to exclude women in the language, a style not acceptable in North America.

Technology plays a pivotal role in the translation of foreign languages. The development of software gear for automatic or supercomputer enabled translation has reduced the nightmares translators experience during translation. These machines are feed with words from different languages, hence are able to translate automatically.