Translation: Is it a Science or an Art?

Translation: Is it a science or an art?

There might be controversial for some people to classify clearly what it is. In our point of view as a professional translation company , Saigon Translation Company, translation is both a science and an art

The people who support for the opinion that translation is a science may oppose to us. Obviously, we all know that language is a subject of Social science, hence, translation, which requires the knowledge of language, litureture and culture must be Social science, too.

The definition of translation in Science view is “transferring the meaning of document or text in source language into target language”. According to this, the translator is not permitted to change the context of source text but find the appropriate words which are equivalent in his native language to translate their meaning. In other words, you translate what you see and read without creation or input. This way of translation promotes its power in translating legal document, minute of meeting, health check result or technical report…

…and sales presentations, traditional poem, marketing documents, as well as artworks?

If translation is always seen as an exact science, it is very difficult to make these documents above translated naturally and understandably. A translator who is in favor of the view of science may face some difficulties in translating these documents as they hardly find the equivalent words in target language for the best describe. Why? As they are product of art or relevant to art, there are “hidden” meaning of words or something that the author did not say out loud. Hence, the translator has to be more tactfult and creative to translate the author’s idea but not make the meaning lost

Moreover, when you give one text or sentence of these above documents to two different and independent translators, you will be returned two different translations. After reading and assessing, you will find the both of translations are equally valid, or only one of them is use-able. This experiment said each translator has their own and unique way to process the translation. The touch of a translator on a translated document is the art part of it.

In a nutshell, our answer for the question “Translation: Is it a science or an art?” is combined science and art. As a client, you surely don’t want your document to be translated in favor of science or art but both trends to make it at utmost natural and the highest quality. Contact us today to experience our 2 in 1 translation service


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