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What NOT to do in Translation — Continued…

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We started a discussion on the above subject a couple of months ago (around Nov, 2013). In the first part of this series we discussed why a translator should understand the complete document before taking the content line by line for translation, why using the right meaning of a particular word in a particular context is important. In this blog, we shall continue the discussion by adding another parameter – the target audience.

“We all know that a language is spoken / written in different ways and a write up on the same subject can be written using an overtly simple or a complex language (though both would convey the same meaning!). Choosing the level of language needed and hence the appropriate translator, who can provide such translation, is dependent on the target audience. Let us say – a company is looking for professional language translation services – needs its English training module to be translated to Hindi. Here whether the tone used in translation has to be complex or overtly simple depends on the target audience. Thus, if the target audience includes lay men or underprivileged / undereducated people, then the Hindi language tone has to be overtly simple/rudimentary. On the contrary, if the target readers include professors/doctors/writers etc, then the language used should be more formal and professional. Hence, a translator should NOT start working on a file unless he/she knows the target audience.

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