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Translation Methods

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The history of translation is stressed out from 3000 B.C. Since the beginning of the history, humans have found many ways and methods to translate specific language into the target language, as equivalent as possible indeed. There are few translation methods that will be mentioned below which is the most common one until the specific one.

First, Word-for-word translation. This is often demonstrated as ‘interlinear translation’, with The Target language directly translated same as the Source language words. The Source language word-order is preserved and the words translated one-by-one by meanings and out of context. Cultural words are also translated in a literal meaning. The main purpose is to understand the source language structure or to understand difficult text as a pre-translation process.

Secondly, Literal translation. In this method, the Source language grammatical constructions are translated to the nearest Target language equivalents but the lexical words are translated one-by-one and out of context.

Thirdly, Faithful translation. Faithful Translation tries to reproduce an accurate contextual meaning of the source language together with the target language grammatical systems. It ‘transfers’ cultural phrases and preserves the grammatical degree and lexical ‘abnormality’ (deviation from SL norms) within the translation. It attempts to be completely faithful to the intentions and the text-realisation of the Source language writer.

Fourthly, Semantic translation Semantic translation differs from ‘faithful translation’ it is the most effective in the way as it need to take greater account of the cultured value (that is, stunning and natural sounds of the Source Language textual content, compromising on ‘which means’ where suitable in order that no assonance, phrase-play or repetition inside the completed model. The difference between ‘faithful’ and ‘semantic’ translation is that the primary is uncompromising and dogmatic, whilst the second one is extra flexible, admits the innovative exception to 100% fidelity and permits for the translator’s intuitive empathy with the authentic one.

Fifth, Adaptation This is the ‘most flexible’ form of translation. It is used mainly for plays (comedies and poetry; the themes, characters, plots are usually preserved, the Source language culture converted to the Target language culture and the text rewritten.)

Sixth, Free translation Sixth, free translation reproduces the text without a manner, or the original content consideration. sometimes it is much longer than the original, also known as ‘intralingual translation’ usually pleonastic and pretentious.

Lastly, Communicative translation Communicative translation provides an accurate contextual meaning of the Source language in the way that each content and language are promptly acceptable and understandable to the reader.

Beside those seven translation methods that have already been explained above, there are some unique translation method used for a specific purpose or groups. Such as, Plain prose translation, in the plain prose translation stanzas become paragraphs, prose punctuation is introduced and original metaphors and Source language. Information translation, This method conveys all the information in a non-hierarcy text, sometimes rearranged in a more logical form, sometimes partially summarised and not in the paraphrase form. Cognitive translation, This approach reproduces the information in a source language converting the Source language grammar to its regular Target language transpositions, generally decreasing any figurative to literal language. Academic translation. This type of translation, practised in some British universities, reduces an original Source language text to an ‘stylish’ idiomatic educated Target language version.

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Translation Methods. (2019, February 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from
“Translation Methods.” GradesFixer, 27 Feb. 2019,
Translation Methods. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Oct. 2021].
Translation Methods [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Feb 27 [cited 2021 Oct 17]. Available from:
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