The Four Main Types Of Translation

The Four Main Types Of Translation

In truth, there’s no end to the types of translations that you might perform as a professional translator or interpreter after your translation certificate program.

However, like with anything, it’s important to understand what you’ll be dealing with most of the time. Therefore, it’s helpful to categorize the kinds of translations you’ll face.

In general, there are about four kinds of translations typically. Let’s look at what each one of these is. That way you can be prepared for them and focus on a type of career you want to have in this field.

The Four Categories Of Translation

Some people say there are 3 types of translation, or 8 types of translation, or more. We’ve found it’s helpful to put them into 4 primary categories:

Literary Translation

This type of translation is what it sounds like. You’d be translating fictional works like stories, poems, and novels.

With this type of translation, you have several challenges. First, you need to capture the tone of the original author.

Secondly, you need to make sure that the words used sound appropriate for the localization. Whatever language you’re translating to them, it might have different words or phrases for saying the same meaning.

It can take some time to get this just right. The best way to improve with this type of translation is to read as much as possible.

Professional Translation

This type of translation is used for professional industries like medical or legal. The goal here is to accurately translate the information as closely to the original text as possible.

You want to avoid interjecting your own personal creativity or wordplay. With this type of translation, the key is accuracy.

There’s a specific term that has only one correct version in the target language. You should only ever use that version. It can take some time to get used to.

Technical Translation

With technical types of translations, you may be translating documents that describe technical details, software, technology, or other concepts involving systems and math.

Examples include user guides, instruction manuals, or engineering mock-ups. Not only do you have to understand both of the languages well to do this correctly, you also need to understand the topic at hand.

You should be an expert in the field that you’re translating for. Keep in mind that beyond just translating the words, you also have to use the right formatting.

Every industry typically has their formatting preferences. Furthermore, the formatting that you use for one language may be different to another language.

So make sure to do your research before beginning this type of translation.

Administrative Translation

Businesses of all sizes need translation for their documents. They may need to communicate with regional partners or international locations.

So when doing administrative translation, you’re often communicating something that a manager said to a worker in another country.

Corporations commonly use these types of translators for their international organizations.

There are several categories of translations you can get into. The four categories above only scratch the surface. However, they do tend to be some of the most common.

When it comes to translating, keep your options open. Understand that if you specialize in a type of translation that’s already in high demand, you increase your chances of getting more work.

Learning Translation

Translation is no easy feat. You have to have a good grasp of language, culture, grammar, and human relations.

However, with the right skill sets under your belt, you can become the best translator possible. That way you can earn a lucrative income and oftentimes you can work from anywhere.

Plus, you can work on exciting projects. So, continue your translation training today. Set yourself up for the career that you deserve.