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Translation: More of an art than a science

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Finding the right words to express your thoughts and feelings in your own mother tongue is not easy. Finding the right words to speak for others from another language is even harder. Some people argue that translation is just science where you convert one language into another to find the equivalence. But in fact, translation is more of an art than a science.

The job of a translator is not about choosing and picking words from various synonyms and then structurally putting them together, it’s about finding a way to give the original language a new appearance without changing its own virtue. That is the reason why translation is considered the art of language.

When translating, a translator seems like a musician of literature who puts words in rhythm to transmit an unchanged message.  A translator must have the ability to deeply understand the author’s point of view and underlying feelings, not just the visible sentences. It is the connotation that puts words in a puzzle of possible meanings and makes it hard to find the right answer. Only the expert translators who by nature have the linguistic aesthetic and a soulful mind can solve that puzzle.

The argument to determine whether translation is art or science is still controversial and endless. Science is always something stable and systematic while art is flexible and sentimental. However, translation is only perfect when we make the right conversion of one language into another and when we make ourselves become a soul mate of the author.

At Wise-Concetti, we respect the science of translation and the technologies that support language conversion, at the same time we have the soulful translators who pour their hearts out on each page and try to make their work both technically and emotionally accurate.

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