Why Context In Translation Matters?

why.context.matters

Why context in translation matters? Many of our clients are not aware of how important context is for translators to get the translation just right. Translators, on the other hand, are very aware of this fact, as they are the ones who often have to make the translation work with the resources at hand.

This is why we’ve asked some questions to one of our colleague, a translator with 15 years of experience. The answers provided us with some examples that explain the importance of context for all our readers who are not translators.

 #1. The context in software translation

You don’t have to look far to find many examples of ambiguous or unclear software strings. Software files are usually full of code and placeholders, such as:

 Click <placeholder> to save the file.

The question here is what the placeholder stands for? Is this the name of a button (like Save), or is this a word which is also a link (like Click here)?

This issue can be easily resolved by adding screenshots to individual strings. The Text United’s Translation Management System enables you to add screenshots to unclear strings, even via API.

#2. The context in website translation

The context in translation issue looks a little bit different when it comes to website translation. With websites, the biggest problem is homonyms, more specifically homographs. They can cause huge headaches if they are viewed out of context.

Words such as scale, wave, match or home, if viewed as a single word will make it impossible for translators to guess the right meaning, if they don’t have the context to help them with the task.

This is why Text United uses in-context website translation, enabling you to simply run a scan of any URL and translate the content directly on the website. You can do it yourself, or with your friends and colleagues.

#3. The context in video translation

If a translator doesn’t have access to a video which is being translated or subtitled they will have to work with a script, or something similar.

Our colleague gave us the example which he remembers from a Japanese movie festival. In one of the movies, there was a scene in which a protagonist says the sentence I’ll get it. The sentence was translated as I will open the door, while on the screen the protagonist is seen taking his wallet to pay for something.  Obviously, the sentence should have been translated as I will pay, but the translator didn’t have the access to the video and made a guess, which turned out to be wrong.

This is why Text United has made it possible for users to upload videos to the Online Platform, enabling them to translate videos in context, without the need for special tools to create proper subtitles for their video content.

 The context in translation: an essential

In the past, it wasn’t so easy to share all the reference files and immediately help translators and reviewers with the context in translation projects.

Nowadays, thanks to advanced translation platforms like Text United, everyone can share everything in one place, being sure that everyone has access to the same reference materials, without sending a ton of e-mails.

If you want to try it yourself, sign up for a 14-day free trial here, and feel free to reach out to us with more questions regarding the context in translation and your potentially specific needs.

Gosia
Written By:

Gosia loves copywriting and product translation. Additionally, she's a content marketing and lolcats junkie.

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