3 Types of Specialized Translation

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Specialized translations are focused on translations that require subject matter knowledge to translate. Unlike standard translation that relies on cursory translations of the text, the goal of specialized translations is to focus on matter experts subjects to translate the content, so it is not a general translation. The role of official translation of documents in international activities takes on great relevance.

The evidence of the existence of translation is essentially as old as the evidence of the existence of written text. The Ebla tablets (from Ebla, in modern Syria) are dated around 2500 BCE and include a set of bilingual word lists in Sumerian and “Eblaite”. Translation and/or interpreting would have to be at least as old as that “dictionary”. Being able to give a date to the birth of translation as a profession is more complicated. We simply don’t know much about the people who did the translation that we know existed in the ancient world.

For example, the Hebrew religious texts were at one point translated into vernacular after the end of the Babylonian captivity, probably around the end of the sixth century BCE, but we know nothing about those who did the translation.

However, unlike history, translation has not rapidly evolved into specialized fields.

The major types of Specialized Translations

1. Journalistic Translation

Journalistic Translation is one of the biggest forms of specialized translation. The translation of news articles or magazine content. This usually occurs when the story is being recreated for a newer audience. It is also required in scenarios where there is a multilingual audience. There are several challenges involved in this kind of translation. It is not just a simple exchange of words.

While the major aim of Journalism is to be objective, most content creations and writers have a slant. Either in the register or politically. Most students of media are aware that there are only a few neutral word choices which although arbitrary, can express a lot.

For example, there is a major difference in the US between “undocumented workers” & “illegal aliens”. Even though both can be defined in the same terms, one implied a favor towards strict immigration policy and the other sways towards leniency and easier paths to citizenship. 

On Back translation we can see an example of the process of translating a document, already translated into the original language.

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Legal document translations are very crucial forms of specialized translation. They usually involve the translation of important legal documents which include birth certificates, wills, contracts, and marriage certificates. These are usually produced in countries outside the origin of the legal affairs. This job legally binds the translators to be accurate and there can be severe attached repercussions for errors as they can be viewed as intentional attempts to meddle in the case. Even minor errors such as the format of the page can cause a massive issue. Therefore, the work of translating different types of legal documents is taken very seriously. A large deal of research goes into an accurate understanding of the text and its source. A major example is a difference in naming conventions across different cultures and it can be difficult to determine the Family name and given names. 

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3. Medical translation

Accurate medical translation is extremely significant in this field. Healthcare professionals want to ensure that patients are aware of detailed information about the medication. The provided details often include the information regarding the condition, home-care instructions and resource options that are generally translated. Professional medical translation must be, therefore, extremely cautious in their work. It can be very risky to tell patients to exercise during bed rest or misinformation regarding the ingredients of the medicine.

It is important to have a local touch when it comes to medical translation. Some cultures have scientific naming for issues whereas others have different naming conventions. 

Technical translation involves translating documents or materials concerning technical and scientific subjects and using the specialized terminology of the technical or scientific field involved. 

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Another important factor to take into consideration while translating technical content is the words which are required for the reader to be aware of. If the translation process is being carried for patients living in the same area of the medical office, they might need to search in the local pharmacy for that specific product. 

Technical translation services

All of these specialized texts in translation require a high level of language related to the fields to make sure that the translation completed accurately reflects the sentiments and contexts that were important in the previous text. Aside from that, it is double-checked to prevent any mistakes as in a lot of these circumstances, single mistakes in legal documents can lead to loss of millions of dollars in lawsuits and otherwise. These fields are extremely lucrative to work in due to the high accuracy and content standards however there is an essential requirement of complete linguistic awareness to do the best job possible

Translation is a field that is seeing a lot of activity nowadays, thanks to the increasing globalization of businesses.


 There are many different types of translation that may be required, and each one is unique, with its own process and specific requirements. 

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