Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (ca. 2000 BCE) into Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE.
Translators always risk inappropriate spill-over of source-language idiom and usage into the target-language translation. On the other hand, spill-overs have imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched the target languages. Indeed, translators have helped substantially to shape the languages into which they have translated.
Due to the demands of business documentation consequent to the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-18th century, some translation specialties have become formalized, with dedicated schools and professional associations.
Because of the laboriousness of translation, since the 1940s engineers have sought to automate translation (machine translation) or to mechanically aid the human translator (computer-assisted translation). The rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated language localization.
Translation studies deal with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of translation.
Famous quotes containing the word translation:
“...it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”
—Bible: New Testament, 1 Corinthians 7:9.
King James translation reads, It is better to marry than to burn.
“Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but informationhence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations.”
—Walter Benjamin (18921940)
“To translate, one must have a style of his own, for otherwise the translation will have no rhythm or nuance, which come from the process of artistically thinking through and molding the sentences; they cannot be reconstituted by piecemeal imitation. The problem of translation is to retreat to a simpler tenor of ones own style and creatively adjust this to ones author.”
—Paul Goodman (19111972)