Interesting facts about the history of translation

The past of the industry and practice of translation is filled with important names and places. It is important to note that translation did not develop at the same speed all over the world, for example translation advancements happened at a different pace in the Western World to the Middle East.

The introduction and invention of printing techniques in the fifteenth century allowed for several important steps in translation and helped theorists at the time develop their work and spread their word. It would prove to be one early translator’s undoing – Etienne Dolet, whose heretic mistranslation of one of Plato’s dialogues would reveal his disbelief in immortality, led to his execution in 1546.

In the nineteenth century, there tended to be two different schools of thought in regards to translators. One saw translation as more interpretive and placed the translator as a creative body who was almost a co-author, who “improves” the literature whilst putting it into the language into which he or she is translating. The second school considered the translator as an almost robotic function in which accuracy and the author’s original intent and word is supposed to be kept intact and as pure as possible.

The romanticism movement was also born in the nineteenth century, which as we all know led to a whole new world of theories and translations in literature.

In the twentieth century, education in translation became widespread in schools and colleges with emphasis placed on learning another language. Several different methods of translation became common with the benefit of past techniques and the advantage of more recent developments. Spelling, grammar, context and syntax in general were now all considered as fundamental to a good translation that accomplishes the job in the best fashion. Another technique that was popular at this time focuses on the text itself rather than specific words and phrases, intending to get the essence and message more correct than literal translation of every passage, arguably being a truer translation than the precise method.

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In modern times, the accessibility and genius of the Internet and the convenience that it provides have started to change the face of translation. When it comes to the Internet and the online world, website translation is typically the most common type of translation, where a good example with a handful of language versions translated would be Appartements Saint-Sébastien, and another one could be dentistas Donostia. On the other hand, machine translation is the combination of scripts and input from a user that automatically translate each word into the chosen language. The versatility and strength of this concept is not to be ignored and it is proving likely that advanced versions of this technique will likely be the future of the industry and what it looks to provide its on the spot accurate translation needs.

It is not without its disadvantages however, having trouble recognising context and the author’s intent. Machine translation is susceptible to attempts to translate languages word for word without taking into consideration that most dialects have a very different syntax. The result is a literal translation that doesn’t reflect what was originally stated, instead either not making sense or meaning something different in an accidental reinterpretation of the words. Currently, expert human translators are the best solution, when given the time they can accurately translate for a variety of situations, comprising different companies and departments such as subtitling and narration for example.

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