translation

translation

[trans-ley-shuhn, tranz-]
translation [Lat.,=carrying across], the rendering of a text into another language. Applied to literature, the term connotes the art of recomposing a work in another language without losing its original flavor, or of finding an analogous substitute, for example, Scott Moncrieff's Remembrance of Things Past for Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, which, translated literally, means "Looking for Lost Time." Translations of the most ancient texts extant into modern languages are called decipherments. Two well-known examples are the decoding of the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone (see under Rosetta) by Jean François Champollion and the decoding of the Persian cuneiform inscriptions on the rock of Behistun by Henry Rawlinson. Translating sacred texts has always been the chief means by which a culture transmits its values to posterity. Important translations of the Bible began with the Vulgate (Hebrew and Greek into Latin) of St. Jerome in the 4th cent. A.D. English translations of the Bible include that of John Wyclif in the 14th cent. (from Latin), William Tyndale's in the 16th cent. (from Hebrew and Greek), and the great Authorized Version of 1611, the King James Version, which has been called the most influential work of translation in any language. The Renaissance was a golden age of translations, especially into English. Renewed interest in the Latin classics created a demand for renderings of Ovid's Metamorphoses (tr. by Arthur Golding, 1565-67), Vergil's Aeneid (tr. by Gawin Douglas, c.1515; Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, c.1540; and Richard Stanyhurst, 1582), and Plutarch's Lives (tr. by Sir Thomas North, 1579). The flavor of these renderings is indicated in the opening lines of Stanyhurst's Aeneid: "Now manhood and garbroyles [battles] I chaunt, and martial horror." In addition there were translations of important contemporary works into English: Castiglione's Courtier (tr. by Sir Thomas Hoby, 1561), Montaigne's Essais (tr. by John Florio, 1603), and Cervantes's Don Quixote (tr. by John Shelton, 1612). Notable translations of the 19th and 20th cent. include Baudelaire's translations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Scott Moncrieff's translation of Proust, and Eustache Morel's translation of James Joyce. American authors whose works have been translated into several European languages include Mark Twain, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Pearl Buck, Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind ), and Upton Sinclair, who set a record with translations into 47 languages.

Art and practice of translating the Bible. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, with scattered passages of Aramaic. It was first translated in its entirety into Aramaic and then, in the 3rd century AD, into Greek (the Septuagint). Hebrew scholars created the authoritative Masoretic text (6th–10th century) from Aramaic Targums, the original Hebrew scrolls having been lost. The New Testament was originally in Greek or Aramaic. Christians translated both Testaments into Coptic, Ethiopian, Gothic, and Latin. St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate (405) was the standard Christian translation for 1,000 years. New learning in the 15th–16th century generated new translations. Martin Luther translated the entire Bible into German (1522–34). The first complete English translation, credited to John Wycliffe, appeared in 1382, but it was the King James version (1611) that became the standard for more than three centuries. By the late 20th century the entire Bible had been translated into 250 languages and portions of it into more than 1,300.

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Pseudo-translation is a technique needed for pseudolocalization that is used in software localization. In contrast to the usual translation process it is the process of creating text that mimics a foreign language without the goal of expressing the source text meaning in the target language. The intent is instead to ensure that there is enough room in the GUI to allow for a full string of localized text based on the size of the GUI in the original language. It it also a check to find whether the GUI is able to properly display foreign-language glyphs from other character sets.

One approach to pseudo-translation involves the addition of special characters typical for the locale of the target language (for example a diacritical mark like a German Umlaut 'ä'), as well as changing the number of characters belonging to the text. In that approach, the text is pseudo-translated in a way that allows to recognize the original source text. Another pseudo-translation solution involves the use of machine translation technology, which not only generates the necessary special characters but also gives developers a good indication of the length of a string in a particular target language.

Pseudo-translation precedes the actual translation in the software development process. Its purpose is to test that the software is prepared for translation.

Pseudo-translation allows verifying that:

  • special characters display properly in the target environment,
  • no string truncations occur because of increased string lengths,
  • no incorrect string concatenations have been used,
  • all strings are extracted for localization.

Verifying no incorrect concatenations have been used requires putting begin and end markers in the pseudo-text. For example: '<' and '>'. It is however not necessary to ensure no truncation in place by using pseudo translation. As the translation from one language to another (for instance, English to German) sometimes requires additional 100% or more space to hold the translated content, it may degrade the quality of the original language (for instance, English) by allocating more wasteful space to just be able to accommodate German version of this item. In this case, subsequent localization process should ensure the translation quality be making sure that the space is adequate for the targeting language.

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