One of the most challenging aspects of translation is cultural translation, which requires not just being bilingual, but understanding the cultural differences between two parties. For example, it is relatively easy to literally translate what a person says, but it takes another skillset entirely to understand the meaning and convey it correctly in another language.
Cultural interpretations often require the translator to have personal experience in both the cultures they are translating between. For example, an immigrant to the United States who does not speak English faces many challenges when seeing a doctor. He or she might already be scared and overwhelmed, and to make matters worse the descriptions of their symptoms (in their native language) may have nuances, slang, subtleties or barriers that require the skills of a cultural translator.
Beyond Lost in Translation
The world already lacks qualified interpreters around the world, and current technology can only do so much to translate within cultural barriers. This is why premium translation services are so critical. Even within languages it may be necessary to differentiate among dialect differences or read between the lines. Translating has two parts: understanding the language and understanding the culture.
With written documents, the cultural part remains an issue. For example, an English-speaking entrepreneur who wants to pitch a project to a potential investor in China but only communicates in Mandarin has a much bigger challenge than merely translating his or her business plan into Mandarin. A minefield of cultural faux pas is on the line, even if the communication only occurs in writing. This is where cultural translation can play a key role.
An Understanding Approach
Superior translation services don’t simply translate word for word. The goal is clarity and understanding. This is similar to understanding cultural norms when visiting a foreign country. In some countries you may shake hands, brush feet, slightly box or kiss on the cheek. Getting a greeting correct contains seemingly endless options, so imagine the challenge in translating documents.
Seek out a translation services company that prioritizes cultural translation as well as literal translation. You need both in order to be successful and best represent yourself or your company in another language. Otherwise, an innocent oversight could lead to disastrous results. Trust your translation needs to the experienced professionals at Verbatim Solutions. Their translation skills are top-notch, and they understand the importance of all the distinctions in a thorough cultural translation.