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  1. What is Translation? Translation is the process in which a written communication or a text in a first language is produced as the written communication or text in the second language interpreting the same meaning. Here the text in the first language is the "source text" and the equivalent text that communicates the same message is the "target text" or "translated text". Initially translation has been a manual activity. Today, together with manual translation, there is also automatic translation of natural-language texts, which is referred to as machine translation or computer-assisted translation which use computers as an aid to translation. Translation is one way to bring the world closer.

  1. Rosetta stone

The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Original stele

The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of a larger stele. No additional fragments were found in later searches of the Rosetta site. Owing to its damaged state, none of the three texts is absolutely complete. The top register composed of Egyptian hieroglyphs suffered the most damage. Only the last 14 lines of the hieroglyphic text can be seen; all of them are broken on the right side, and 12 of them on the left. The following register of demotic text has survived best: it has 32 lines, of which the first 14 are slightly damaged on the right side. The final register of Greek text contains 54 lines, of which the first 27 survive in full; the rest are increasingly fragmentary due to a diagonal break at the bottom right of the stone.

  1. Origin of the term Etymologically, "translation" refers to "bringing across" or "carrying across". Originated from the latin word "translatio" , the perfect passive participle of which is "translatum" or "transferre". Trans implies "to transfer" and "ferre" implies to "to carry to bring across". For the modern Roman, Germany and Slavic European language, the word "traducere" is used for translation which implies "to bring across" or "to lead across" in English. The Greek term for translation is "metaphrasis" which implies "a speaking across". "Metaphrase" implies a word-for-word translation or literal translation while "paraphrase" in Greek means a saying in other words.

  1. Types of translations

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(If you have ever tried free online translation software or even the much heralded Google Translate, you will know that they simply serve up a load of incomprehensible rubbish. There is a huge difference between translating a document in meaningful, expressive language and just serving up each word or phrase in a nonsensical sentence construction. You get what you pay for, and if you pay nothing for your translations that’s exactly what you will get.

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Administrative translation The translation of administrative texts. Although administrative has a very broad meaning, in terms of translation it refers to common texts used within businesses and organisations that are used in day to day management. It can also be stretched to cover texts with similar functions in government.

Economic translation Similar to commercial or business translation, economic translation is simply a more specific term used for the translation of documents relating to the field of economics. Such texts are usually a lot more academic in nature.

Legal translation Legal translations are one of the trickiest translations known. At its simplest level it means the translation of legal documents such as statutes, contracts and treaties. A legal translation will always need specialist attention. This is because law is culture-dependent and requires a translator with an excellent understanding of both the source and target cultures. Most translation agencies would only ever use professional legal to undertake such work. This is because there is no real margin for error; the mistranslation of a passage in a contract could, for example, have disastrous consequences. When translating a text within the field of law, the translator should keep the following in mind. The legal system of the source text is structured in a way that suits that culture and this is reflected in the legal language; similarly, the target text is to be read by someone who is familiar with another legal system and its language. Literary translation A literary translation is the translation of literature such as novels, poems, plays and poems. The translation of literary works is considered by many one of the highest forms of translation as it involves so much more than simply translating text. A literary translator must be capable of also translating feelings, cultural nuances, humour and other subtle elements of a piece of work. Some go as far as to say that literary translations are not really possible. In 1959 the Russian-born linguist Roman Jakobson went as far as to declare that "poetry by definition [was] untranslatable". In 1974 the American poet James Merrill wrote a poem, "Lost in Translation," which in part explores this subject. Medical translation A medical translation will cover anything from the medical field from the packaging of medicine to manuals for medical equipments to medical books. Like legal translation, medical translation is specialisation where a mistranslation can have grave consequences. Technical translation A technical translation has a broad meaning. It usually refers to certain fields such as IT or manufacturing and deals with texts such as manuals and instructions. Technical translations are usually more expensive than general translations as they contain a high amount of terminology that only a specialist translator could deal with.

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