Types of translation: learn about existing modalities

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Did you know that not all translations are the same? Learn about the main types

Translation services are part of our daily lives and drive the world in many ways. However, not everyone knows there are different types of translation.

The translation concept is the same, but each type has a different application, which in turn makes it more suitable to certain audiences and needs.

Let’s talk about the translation market and the most requested types of translation. This will help you gain a better understanding of this important and versatile segment.

How is the translation market doing?

It’s booming and it will probably stay that way for a long time. This can be explained by globalization, a trend that is constantly growing.

We have already talked about the translation market before, and figures from Statista portal stand out. These figures represent the estimated growth of the segment, which should reach USD 56.18 billion worldwide in 2021.

In 2018, market value was estimated in USD 46.52 billion, that is, USD 127.45 million were spent per day in average, a very high value that confirms the power and importance of this segment to the world.

This value includes several types of translation, requested by individuals, legal entities, researchers, government agencies, among others, and we will list the main ones below.

What are the main types of translation? And what is the purpose of each one?

The translation market is much more complete than it may seem at first, and knowing the different translation variants, as well as interpreting services, helps you understand why it is such a booming segment.

Sworn translation

Sworn translation, also known as public translation, is a service intended to meet legal and bureaucratic needs and can be requested by businesses and individuals.

This type of translation is used when documents have to be translated and their legal validity maintained, so that the translation can be accepted in countries other than the one where the original document was issued.

This is one of the most popular types of translation, as it can be used by an exchange student who needs to submit  his/her diploma and transcript to an educational institution, as well as by a company that needs to validate business contracts and technical certificates in other countries.

In addition, sworn translation can only be done by a duly authorized professional, called a Public Translator and Commercial Interpreter (TPIC), who must take a public examination at the Board of Trade of his/her state, be approved and duly sworn.

This procedure is necessary because sworn translators have the authority to attest their translations, that is, they can confer legal validity to translated documents without having to resort to a public agency to do so.

Technical translation

Technical translation is a service that really drives the world. As the name implies, its goal is to address technical content, i.e. those belonging to a certain area of knowledge.

For example, anyone who needs to translate a scientific paper, a legal contract, a drug prescription, or a chemical test report should resort to a technical translator. Technical translators ensure the entire vocabulary of the document is correctly understood and effectively translated to the target language.

A peculiarity when compared to other types of translation is that, in addition to mastering the source and target languages, technical translators must also be specialized in that area of knowledge, which gives them the skills they need to understand and translate the terminology found in the text.

For the translation of a medical report, for example, you need to have a translator who speaks both languages and has extensive experience and knowledge in medicine, preferably trained in the area, which would put him/her in a privileged position in this regard.

This shows how important it is to look for a quality and reliable technical translator because the criteria to be followed are quite specific so that results are in line with customer’s needs.

Free translation

Free translation does not belong to the sworn or the technical fields, i.e., it covers more general content, which can be translated by most professionals who master the language pair involved.

Books, plays, websites, advertisements, and movie and series subtitling are some of the needs covered by free translation, which also has a very important demand in the market.

Importantly, despite being different from other types of translation, it is not less relevant; quite the contrary, it only has a different application.

Each type of translation has its own purpose

It is not possible to say one aspect is more important than the other, since it depends directly on the needs of each client. The fact is that translation addresses all of them and stands as an essential segment in today’s market.

Globalization, as mentioned earlier, aims to overcome geographical barriers and make the world fully connected – translations are one of the main players in this regard.

Whether for technical texts, legal documents, literary works, films, series, songs or any other type of content, different types of translations are required so that translation quality is as high as that of the original text.

With such high demand, different types of translation tend to grow and get stronger together, and this is beneficial to everyone involved, from translation agencies translating contents to satisfied customers, to the market that can enjoy the results.

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