Translating titles from one language to the other is challenging especially when punctuations, idioms, and humor are involved. Yet, translation is only said to be complete when a certain criterion is met such as achieving the intended meaning. For these reasons, you need to hire a professional translator to ensure that you wind up with content that makes sense. The people you hire need to have in-depth knowledge of the language and the skills to overcome translation complexities.
Here are four common translation problems and ways to overcome them:
1. Homophones and homonyms
Homophones are words with the same pronunciation but have different spelling, for example, the words “shore and show” while homonyms are words with the same pronunciation and same spelling for example “date” which could mean a meeting or fruit. In the Roman and English languages, there are so many of these words which also have multiple meanings. When translating language, say from English to any Roman language, you need to be familiar with these complexities or you will end up with a title that does not make sense. Therefore, you need to hire experts in remote interpreting, especially nowadays that everything is online. Professional translators have skills, language familiarity, and are aware of these common problems. Compared to other people who would do a word-to-word translation, experts have rich knowledge in the vocabulary of the languages you want your title translated to. The end product will be content that is meaningful to the audience that you are translating for. So, the only way to overcome the homophones and homonyms problems is to hire a translator that is familiar with both languages that you are working with.
These are words that represent a figurative or nonliteral meaning. They are specific to each language and culture. Idioms can sometimes be difficult to explain when you are not familiar with a particular language or cultural differences. In such cases, you need to go beyond translation and use localization for adjusting the material to different cultures. In other words, you might want to consider professional help who makes eLearning localization possible. For example, an idiom like “kill two birds with one stone” or “let the cat out of the bag” would mean something different when translated by a person with an understanding of the target language and context as opposed to someone that lacks such knowledge. For this reason, when translating text, you need to identify such expressions and understand their meanings. It can be difficult because the dictionaries only provide meaning for single words and a few expressions. Therefore, as a translator, you need to know what these idioms mean and try to find other versions of what they may mean. For instance, “let the cat out of the bag” means giving away a secret. Fortunately, most languages have idioms that aim to explain the concept of secret, therefore you can use a similar tone and voice on the translated version of the text.
3. Phrasal verbs
Another common challenge in translation is where phrasal verbs are involved particularly when translating from English to other languages. These words can at times be composed of adverbs or prepositions or both. No matter how skilled you are, you may at times miss these language variations. Often, this is because most translators are only native speakers of the language they are translating to. Phrasal verbs are words such as “to put down” or “to run into.” For you to get past this problem, you need to understand the context to know what the words mean.
4. Prefix and suffix problem
Prefixes and suffixes are used to create a variety of English words. These phrases turn verbs into nouns and times nouns into adjectives. When the target language does not permit the creation of new words, the translation of such text can be problematic. It is difficult to avoid prefixes and suffixes because they give such deep meanings to English words. There are rules to observe when creating new words using this method. The goal is to ensure that they do not lose meaning. As a translator, you need to familiarize yourself with these rules to translate your title.
There is no doubt that the translation of text comes with its share of challenges. The important thing is to have language skills that enable you to identify potential issues that affect the quality of the text you are translating. To translate homophones, homonyms, phrasal verbs, idioms, prefixes, and suffixes with ease, you need to choose the right words, understand the context behind the text, and the aim of the text.