Translating Harry Potter is just about as difficult as literary translation gets, not only due to the book and film series’ global success, but also to the fact that the character names were translated differently from one edition to another, causing confusion among readers, along with a lot of criticism.
Translating and legalising documents are two of the most complex tasks a translator is likely to tackle. The reasons vary but often come down to complex technical jargon and the lengthy bureaucratic processes required to attribute legal value to a translated foreign document.
The task of translating poetry has given rise to countless musings on how best to translate poems into different languages over the centuries. The ultimate goal of poetry translators is to convey the original poem’s intent, meaning and style as faithfully as possible. Of course, this is an almost impossible task, and one that has resulted in some extremely different approaches, many of which have produced memorable and disastrous results in equal measure. But why is translating poems so difficult? And are some techniques better than others?
Dreaming in different languages is perfectly normal. In fact, people who have lucid dreams can sometimes voluntarily switch from one language to another during their dreams. There are many reasons why someone might dream in different languages and there are various theories about what it all means: read on to find out more.
The most studied languages in the world are not necessarily the most spoken languages in the world. Italians were recently shocked to find out that their mother tongue is the fourth most studied language in the world, despite its apparent complexity. But have things changed over the past couple of years? And what are the main reasons people choose to study languages?
Which languages are the most sought-after in the world of work? Is it even possible to rank them? Perhaps it would be best to focus on specific industries? You might be unsurprised to learn that the latter approach makes more sense, despite the same few languages topping the rankings, regardless of sector.
Learning languages is never easy, especially if you want to become fluent. However, it’s widely believed that some languages are harder to learn than others.
Although there may be a grain of truth in this statement, it is worth pointing out that it’s impossible to objectively and unambiguously ascertain which languages are the hardest to master, despite some of them being seemingly impossible to learn.
What are false friends? They are essentially tricky words or phrases that you need to look out for when translating from English into another language. Below are some English words that may deceive you due to their resemblance to Italian words. But watch out, they have very different meanings!
Interpreting is a type of translation work that is done orally on the spot. Unlike translators, who work on written texts and have a lot of time to hone their translations, interpreters have very little time at their disposal and must provide live translations that allow foreign parties to understand each other.
Sworn translations allow foreign documents to carry the same legal value both within and outside the country in which they were issued.
In Italy, the process for correctly producing a valid sworn translation of a driving licence, for example, is very detailed and must be followed to the letter.
How does we determine whether or not a word is ‘beautiful’? In reality, there is no set way to do so, instead, we rely on a sort of ‘feeling’ that certain words (that only exist in some languages and not others) are able to encapsulate concepts with extreme precision or a pleasing sound.
Most translators will be aware that certain cultures can be particularly sensitive to specific concepts, perceiving them in entirely unique ways. Often, this ‘sensitivity’ to specific items, emotions or situations is encapsulated in a word.
The Italian language has a vast vocabulary and naturally as such, contains some untranslatable words. This sort of predicament often requires professional translators to employ some classic ‘lateral thinking.’ We’ve compiled a list of untranslatable words from Italy and around the globe.
While some languages are continuing to gain new speakers, others seem destined for oblivion. In most cases, the latter includes ancient languages spoken by very small and isolated communities, whose inhabitants are progressively diminishing in number or are forgetting their population’s ancient cultural traditions.
Transcreation is a real art, and those tasked with transcreation must ensure that the translated advertising slogan is just as effective in one language as another, while also maintaining the same rhythmic and linguistic features as the original slogan. Sometimes, this attempt fails miserably, but occasionally, a translator is hit with a real stroke of genius that’s destined to remain engraved in the minds of consumers and in the history of international advertising translation forever. Let’s take a look at a few of the most famous examples.
The title of a film is its primary selling point. The cast, director and plot are key to longer-term box office success, but it’s usually the title of a film that’s meant to attract viewers.
That’s why translating a film title is a complex task, and one that requires the translator’s utmost attention, who is often influenced by a number of factors. Here is a list of film titles that have been translated into Italian, with some questionable results, to say the least.
What are the most translated websites in the world? You may be surprised to hear that the most translated website in the world is not Wikipedia or Google. At the top of this list is a website belonging to an international organisation that has made great strides in online communication – proof that it is never too late to enter the digital age. Tech giants will have to make do with coming in second place. Here is an overview of the world’s most translated websites!
If we were to ask you what the most translated book in the world might be, you’d likely get it right: The Bible. This ancient text, together with the Quran, is one of the most translated books in the history of humanity. Translating a text is often the most effective way to promote its circulation and, in this case, to spread a system of beliefs.
Over the centuries, however, things have changed radically: among the texts written more recently, novels clinch the top spot at the most translated book format ever.
Translating adverts is a very delicate task, primarily due to the cultural implications that need to be considered in order to avoid producing a disastrous translation that could have a very negative impact on a brand’s overall image.
Sayings – or idiomatic expressions as they’re sometimes called – can be both a blessing and a curse for translators. In fact, the metaphorical meaning of an idiomatic expression often doesn’t correspond to its literal meaning, which is precisely where its suggestive power tends to lie.
Translation errors on restaurant menus are par for the course, just like parmesan on macaroni pasta with tomato sauce (or ‘macarons to the sauce of tomato,’ of course).
The internet is a real gold mine for people wanting to have a good laugh at the expense of restaurant-owners who have underestimated the importance of translation, and there is certainly a lot of content out there.
Are you wondering why your Turkish contact arrived half an hour late to a company meeting? Do you have a left-handed colleague who was sent by the company to negotiate with an Arab business partner, resulting in disaster?
What are some of the most commonly spoken languages in the world and which are the most important? The answers are complex, especially from a translator’s point of view!
Working as a translator in the digital world: how have things developed and how will professional translation work change in the near future?
The fashion industry is complex and continuously evolving, which means that specialised professionals need to be competent, reliable and up-to-date…