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Translation is the act of tranferring the meaning of text in one language into the text of equivalent meaning in another language, taking into account the linguistic and cultural considerations of both the source and the target languages or dialects.

Translation is a special skill, requiring the translator to have native-level fluency in the target language, an excellent knowledge of the source language, knowledge of the subject matter of the text to be translated, and an ability to convey the meaning, and not just the equivalent text, of the source language into the target language.

Translation can be divided into several categories, including technical translation and literary translation, the former requiring a strong technical knowledge of the subject matter, the latter requiring an excellent knowledge of the literary nuances of the source and target languages.

In addition to human translation, attempts have more recently been made to use a computer program to translate text. Known as machine translation (MT), this field has made great strides, and can be useful in the localization practice known as gisting. However, machine translation still falls far short of being a viable option for professional quality translations.

See also internationalization, localization


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