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What is the difference between adaptation and translation?

translation and adaptation - Eurotrad

The adaptation and the translation of a text are two very similar yet at the same time different operations. Each one serves a very specific purpose.

What is linguistic adaptation?

Linguistic adaptation is an operation that makes a piece of text fully usable within a given culture.
The starting point for adaptation is certainly the literal translation of the text, but on top of this a reinterpretation that will serve to adapt the translated text to the intended purpose is also performed.

Localisation is a form of adaptation: this is the operation by which one 'transports' from one language to another not only a text but also everything that contributes to its effective use in a given country. For example, in the translation of advertising texts, it will also be necessary to effectively convey the meanings and nuances of idioms and puns that would lose their effectiveness if translated literally. In this case, the need is for completely different wordplay that represents, in the target language, a concept similar to the one expressed in the original text.
Another very effective example is adaptation for film and TV. Here, the task is to translate the lines spoken by the actors but also to adapt the translated dialogues to suit the needs of the dubbing process. It is therefore a matter of rendering jokes with sentences the same length as the original ones, so that the voice actor can deliver it in sync with the actor.
It is easy to see that adaptation is a very delicate operation that naturally requires an extensive knowledge of the source and target languages. In fact, it is essential to translate and adapt the form of the text while keeping its intention and effectiveness intact.

The difference between adaptation and translation

Adaptation is a process that takes place after the text has been translated. To adapt a text correctly, we must first fully understand its meaning and then produce a complete translation of it.
Unlike adaptation, translation is not concerned with "shaping the form of a text" so that it is more effective in its translated version. On the contrary, the translation acquires more value when it shows that it can act as a transparent medium, restoring both the sense of the source text and the form in which it was conceived.

The importance of translation for corporate business

Translations are also crucial for companies active on the international market: they serve to communicate effectively with business partners and suppliers, but can also be used to produce a successful advertising campaign for a new target market.
There are numerous forms of  specialised translations that can meet the various needs expressed by a business.  Thanks to the work of its professionals, who have experience in different types of translation, Eurotrad is able to produce technical and advertising translations as well as localised translations for software and websites.
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June 26, 2023

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