Translation Techniques

There are many different ways to translate languages, some of which work better than others. The method that works best usually comes down to the language itself, and what it allows for when it is being translated.

One method is to borrow the words from one language, and to put it into another without translation. There are many instances of this including names for software in technology and other terms in culture.

English for example borrows many words from other languages; abbatoire, café, passé and résumé from French are a few examples.

Borrowed words are often printed in italics when they are considered to be “foreign”.

Word-For-Word Translation

Word-for-word translations, or literal translations are used only in certain languages, depending on the sentence structure. Because of this word-for-word translations are somewhat limited.

For example, a Spanish sentence could not be translated into French or German using this technique because the French and German sentence structures are different. Another reason is if one sentence can be translated literally across a certain language, it does not mean that all sentences can be translated literally.