- Posted by Stephen Whiteley
- On 25/01/2018
When it comes to translating text, there are some truths about translating that are accepted by every translator. As translators spend more time translating, they develop some essential expertise on their subject matter that makes translating more interesting and accurate. Translators need to learn some very complicated concepts in various subjects including but not limited to science and technology as well as philosophy and law. Unless they understand the subject matter perfectly, it becomes hard to convey the concept properly in the target language.
No matter how well versed a translator is in a particular field, there will always be some new material awaiting that will test their abilities to the limit. The truth is translators need to do much more than translate languages or words. They need to be good at translating ideas. When it comes to business English, it means the translator needs to translate ideas that are deeply mired in complex thought processes. Unless he or she understands these ideas, it would not be possible to do a good job of translating the material.
Even translators who have a good grasp of both business English and colloquial or normal English will find it hard to do a good translation unless they understand the ideas being conveyed. Business English is more formal and normal English is more casual. The differences between the two are not about being correct or incorrect but the differences are between something called a register. This register is nothing more than the words used in a particular subject or area of activity. It involves certain words and expressions that along with syntactical features characterize a particular area of English. So, there may be registers for technical language and another for academic language and still another for mathematical language. For the translator to do a good job, he or she must understand the register well, if not perfectly.
Different ways of saying the same thing
In business English, we might come across sentences like “The Experiment was carried out” but in normal English the same idea would be expressed as, “They did an experiment”. Business English is used in official and literary as well as academic circles while normal English is used in everyday personal conversations. Business English is more correct and carefully written and writer normally polishes their text. Normal English on the other hand involves improvised speech in which the speaker talks in a conversational tone that is very informal.
Long and complicated sentences
When translating business English, it is important to keep in mind that this type of English involves longer and more complicated sentences. On the other hand, when translating normal English, sentences are sloppier and involve delaying expressions. Business English also involves a higher standard of correctness while in normal English, there is use of everyday phrases.
Translators need to be very careful when translating business English. There are going to be many words and phrases that are very formal. In normal English, however, the translator will come across many words that are used in normal everyday conversations. Also, when translating business English, translators need to understand that they must avoid using phrasal verbs. In normal English, this is not the case.