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[:en]A part of our day-to-day lexicon – translation is a multidimensional and dynamic process whose history is as old as human civilization. It is the process of communicating the meaning of a source text written in a particular language to another language.

The word translation is extracted from the Latin word ‘translation, which we can bifurcate as ‘trans’ meaning ‘across’ and ‘ferre’ meaning ‘to carry’. Thus, the etymology of the word is self-explanatory and apparent.

Translation has two rudimentary aspects – source language and target language. The former refers to the linguistic composition of the original document, and the latter is the language to which the document has to be translated.

Before getting into the Nitty-gritty of translation types such as document translation, let us first glance over the historical overview of the process.

Also Read: The Rising Significance of Website Localization Over The Globe


History Overview of Translation – When did it All Began?

We can trace the history of translation back to the 3rd century BCE Mesopotamian civilization wherein the Sumerian poem – The Epic of Gilgamesh was translated into Asian languages.

Two other archaic works of translation include the Septuagint and the bible translated by St. Jerome. Europe and Asia both had a tremendous role in utilizing and enriching translation.

For example, Buddhist monks translated the Indian sutras into Chinese during the ancient period, and Romans translated ancient Greek texts.

In addition, the Arabic scholars played a pivotal role in translating the literary Magnum Opuses of Greek philosophers that were obscured from Europe during the Dark Ages.

Also Read: The Veritable Significance of Document Translation in The 21st Century


Interestingly, the Arabic versions were re-translated into Latin during the Middle Ages, mainly throughout Spain, and this entire process culminated into the Renaissance of the 17th century. Modern history is the witness to an unprecedented significance of translation.

The salient feature of translation post-1950 is the rise of automation and machine translation. Solely manual translation became so laborious a process that engineers and innovators were compelled to step in.

In 1954, the Georgetown-IBM experiment demonstrated the powers of machine translation when the machine converted 60 Russian sentences into English within a minute.

The presence of machine-oriented translation services skyrocketed with the advent of the Internet in 1990. Factors such as globalization, postmodernism, liberalization, and international trade have made translation services into a USD 39.61 Billion industry as of 2019.

Types of Translation

1.  Localizing a website has gained phenomenal eminence since the 1990s. The process of website localization entails adapting an existing website into the socio-cultural and linguistic context of the target region.

It involves a holistic modification that only reflects apt linguistic variations but is also attuned to the cultural underpinnings of the targeted clientele. The prime objective of localizing is to customize the website so that its regional contents appear seamless, natural, and rustic.

We can gauge the significance of localization because 72 percent of netizens prefer to browse websites formulated in their native language. With countries like China and India emerging as voracious Internet consumers, multilingualism in websites has become an unavoidable step for achieving success.

Also Read: Mobile App Localization Is Indispensable To Grow Your Business


2. A highly specialized translation type, legal translation services are the heart and soul of cross-country judicial networking. Contrary to the normative practice, translating a legal document requires utmost sophistication as well as certification.

It is usually done by a translator who possesses intense knowledge of the law and the two languages involved. Various countries have different standards for accepting translated legal documents.

For instance, several nations like Venezuela, Turkey, Mexico, etc., require legal translators to perform a swearing-in ceremony and register with the presiding authority.

On the other hand, few countries like the UK and the USA have no oath-taking ceremonies for legal translators, and the official rules are also less stringent. If you are looking for legal translation, remember that credible certification is a must, along with experience.


3. Marketing a technical product on a site other than the original country necessitates technical translation. The process involves translating the technical documentation of an entity from one language to another.

Some of the commonly translated technical texts are product data sheets, user manuals, maintenance manuals, operative systems, product descriptions, and so forth. The need for technical translation is constantly increasing.

While opting for an agency that offers technical translation, you must analyze the training and expertise of the translators by nudging their familiarity with the technological and scientific jargon of the particular industry. The intricacies involved in technical translation are immense, as even a minuscule mistake can lead to the loss of millions.


4. The mobile application industry is witnessing a global boom and is currently valued at USD 107 billion. With the increasing eminence of mobile apps, the phenomenon of mobile app translation is reaching new zeniths.

Studies show that translating an app increases downloads by 300-400 times. In simple terms, localizing an app means converting its contents to suit the socio-cultural and linguistic ambiance of the target region.

Research illustrates that 50 percent of the countries within the top 10 for downloads and revenue in iOS and 80 percent of the countries within the top five for downloads and profit in Google Play Store are non-English speaking nations from Europe and East Asia.

Thus, creating an unwavering English-language mobile app is no longer viable. While looking for mobile app translation services, choose an agency that has worked in this translation niche. Furthermore, positive reviews, transparent communication, and accommodating service providers are always good signs.

Also Read: A Helpful Guide to Choosing the Best Voice Over Translation


5. Medical translation is another niche of translation that has taken the world by storm. It encompasses the transposing of information related to pharmaceutical products, medical devices, patient medical reports, medicine labels, instructions, scientific papers, pharma studies, and the like.

The process of medical translation has a paramount role in the dispersal of life-saving medical knowledge. It also helps healthcare providers implement the necessary treatments on patients who do not speak their native language. As such, trustworthiness is a highly esteemed value in the medical translation industry.

It is crucial for medical translation to be performed by experienced personnel who are professionals in the medical field. Due to the life-and-death context, human translators still reign supreme in the domain of medical translation services.

If you plan to hire website localization services, make sure to opt for an agency that is credible, accommodative, and recognized.


6. Script translation is an eminent process in the entertainment industry. It helps a particular video or movie to reach a wider audience. The method of script translation also makes subtitling easier and quicker. We all know the importance of subtitles, especially for the deaf community.

Even in general circumstances, studies show that people prefer to watch content with subtitles on. The process of video subtitling has garnered phenomenal significance. But, it is noteworthy to mention that quality script translation is the predecessor to successful subtitling.

If you want a reliable and accurate document translation, please ensure that the agency you choose specializes in the subject area of the document that has to be translated.


Translation has become an ingrained part of the 21st century. Yet, despite its millennium-long presence, translation services‘ importance is at an all-time high and is only going to increase in the future.[:]

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