Tricky Translation Results You Never Expected

By eContent Pro on Jul 31, 2017
Tricky Translation Results You Never Expected

You can’t put lipstick on a pig, right? What’s that even mean? And how would we translate that to mean the same thing in another language? Imagine a Turkish native trying to wrap their head around the literal translation of, “I’m as happy as a clam.”

We call these idioms. Understanding sayings that come from another language, or attempting to make your funny phrasing fit into the consciousness of a foreign language, can cause frustration, miscommunications and complete misinterpretations.

There are a thousand examples of this sort of cultural confusion, and making sure your content can be easily translated and sent across borders is paramount to anyone in both academic and professional circles.

The challenge to idioms in language translation boils down to local interpretation or localization. Localization is the adaptation of international messaging for products or services to fit the consumption habits of a local culture. In localization, language not only affects the voice and tone of content, but its flow as well.

Localizing content might mean scrapping that widely-understood saying in English, because in Russian or Polish, it would be rendered completely useless—or frankly, ridiculous. Making sure that the message you want to send is getting interpreted and communicated properly to foreign audiences requires the skills of a culturally intelligent translator, because otherwise, your saying might make a non-English speaker quite bewildered, confused and uncomfortable.

An example of how this misinterpretation can occur is exemplified with an old Russian idiom. If you want to indicate that someone is doing something hastily, or haphazardly, in Russian, you’d say, “James is galloping across Europe.” This saying has a long-held understanding in Russian culture, due to several failed conquests of Russian military leaders to invade Europe. It would make absolutely no sense to anyone in San Francisco using standard Russian to English translation if you went around saying people are galloping across Europe.

In English, one might say, “James is off to the races,” or, “James is jumping the gun.” Both idioms would confuse anyone using standard English to Russian translations, probably because they are taking it literally, or just going off the superficial meaning rather than implied meaning. Obviously, the accepted English translation isn’t explaining that James enjoys hurdling gun barrels.

Effective Idiom translation and interpretation is a difficult task for any professional translator, and certainly an impossible one for machines.

While idioms can bring people together easier, explain the unexplainable, or maybe just confuse the young, we will continue to use them because they are culturally ingrained. And in using these phrases, they’ll continue to be translated and possibly misinterpreted. The key to all of this is finding a multilingual human who knows how to replace it, without stripping away the core message.

How eContent Pro Can Help

To ensure your writing is grammatically flawless, let eContent Pro (eCPro) help you.

At eCPro, we take pride in providing top-notch editorial services that are tailored to meet the needs of our clients. With over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, we have earned a reputation for delivering high-quality work that is error-free and polished to perfection at the quickest turnaround time.

When you choose eCPro for your copy editing and academic proofreading needs, you can rest assured that you are working with a team of experts who are passionate about what they do. Our native English-speaking copy editors and certified proofreaders are highly experienced and specialize in over 10 research areas, ensuring that your document is in good hands.

In addition, we use Microsoft Word's Track Changes feature to perform edits, allowing you to easily review and manage the changes made to your document. We also follow various style guides, including APA 7th edition, MLA, APA, Chicago Style, and more, to ensure that your document adheres to the standards set by your academic institution or publisher.

At eCPro, we are committed to providing excellent service at a competitive price. Our English Language Copy Editing and Proofreading service costs just US $0.06 per word, with a turnaround time of 2-3 business days at no extra cost. Your total cost of copy editing will also benefit from our current 10% academic discount.

Through our analysis, we have seen a much higher acceptance rate and quicker submission processes with manuscripts that have received our English Language Copy Editing and Proofreading and Scientific & Scholarly Editing services. If you use one of our bundled services, you will receive an additional 10% discount that can be combined with our current 10% academic discount for a total discount of 20%!

So why wait? Contact us today to learn more about our editorial services and how we can help you achieve your publishing goals. With our team of experts by your side, you can be confident that your document will be polished to perfection and ready to stand out in the competitive publishing landscape.

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