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07 Times when Translation Changed Human History 

07 Times when Translation Changed Human History 

How significant has translation been throughout history? History is generated when different cultures collide, and translation has played an important role in the construction of historical events.

07 Times when Translation Changed Human History 

How significant has translation been throughout history? History is generated when different cultures collide, and translation has played an important role in the construction of historical events.  

Learn seven examples of how translation changed the course of history: 

1. Translating the Vulgate Bible 

The Bible was translated hundreds of times as Christianity spread over the world. Its historical consequences are enormous. The Bible sparked battles, conquests, and crusades, as well as acts of kindness and bravery. Perhaps the most significant Bible translation dates back to 382 AD. In that year, Pope Damasus I commissioned St. Jerome to translate the Old and New Testaments from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. The resulting translation was known as the Vulgate. For thousands of years, most Christians (Christians) have only experienced this version of the Bible.  

Of course, there were certain distinguishing aspects in St. Jerome’s translation. A notable example is the section where Moses returns with the Ten Commandments. Jerome used the Latin word “cornuta” (horned) for the Hebrew word “karan”. A better translation would have been “shining” or “radiant. “In any event, they interpreted it literally. As a result, the image of a horned Moses arose in medieval and Renaissance art.  

2. Greek Philosophy Preserved in Arabic Translations 

The ancient Greeks have made significant contributions to Western civilization. Classical Greek thinkers influenced and inspired Renaissance scholars and revolutionaries.  

And did you know that Arabic translators have contributed much to our understanding of ancient Greek philosophy? Beginning in the eighth century, the Caliphs of the Abbasid dynasty directed the translation of Greek scholarly writings into Arabic. During a time when Europe and the Byzantine Empire had all but forgotten intellectuals like Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, Muslims kept their ideas alive.  

3. Translator La Malinche translated for Cortés 

During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Hernán Cortés, the general in charge of the army, stated, “After God, Marina is the main reason for my success. ” (“Marina” was the Christian name of La Malinche, Cortés’ local interpreter and wife. ) 

La Malinche was fluent in Nahuatl and Mayan, and soon mastered Spanish. She translated and spoke for Cortes, so much so that Indians referred to them as a single entity. Without her, the New World would have been drastically different.  

4. Did Khrushchev really threaten the West?  

In 1956, during the height of the Cold War, Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev informed a group of Western diplomats, “We will bury you. “The West perceived it as a threat, which fueled fear and animosity between Russian communists and Western capitalists.  

But Khruschev’s statement was not intended as a threat. He used the Russian term “Мы вас пoхороним!” which translates to “We will be at your funeral” or “We will outlive you. “In another address in 1963, Khrushchev stated, “Of course, we will not bury you ourselves. “But your own working class will bury you. “But the damage is already done.  

5. America Drops Bombs 

At the time, most Americans believed that dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary to conclude the war with Japan. Japan, after all, has refused to surrender. Is that really true?  

When reporters asked Japanese Prime Minister Kantara Suzuki how his government felt about the Allies’ demand for Japan’s surrender, he replied: “Mokusatsu. ” 

This one-word response was interpreted as “Not worthy of comment,” although it should have been translated as “[I] have no comment” because the Japanese government has not had the opportunity to consider surrendering. Two explosives were detonated in the following ten days. According to the United States National Security Agency: 

“Whoever decided to translate mokusatsu with one meaning (even if it was the first definition in the dictionary) and not add a note that the word could also mean “refuse to comment” has does terrible harm to the readers of that person’s translation, who know nothing of Japanese, who will never see the original Japanese text and who will never know that an ambiguous word has been used. ” 

6. Vietnam War 

As Vizzini advises in the film The Princess Bride, “Never get involved in a war in Asia. ” That is especially true when the basis for the fight is a lack of intelligence and inaccurate translations. In 1964, the northern Vietnamese army allegedly assaulted American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin (Gulf of Tonkin Incident), twice. The second strike was cited by the US to justify war, although it never occurred.  

According to the New York Times, the NSA made a mistake while translating intelligence information from North Vietnam. Following that, they refused to remedy the error. Instead, they deliberately altered the translation and destroyed the original documents.  

For example, the translation of a line in an August 4 announcement by the North Vietnamese army. According to certain papers, the line “we sacrificed two comrades,” which refers to deaths in the confrontation with American ships on August 2, was mistranslated as “we sacrificed two comrades” ship. “According to the intelligence official, the statement referred to the North Vietnamese military reporting ship losses in a new fight on August 4.  

The original Vietnamese version of this intercepted material, which differed from the information intercepted concurrently, was lost in the intelligence agency’s archives.  

The cost? 1,313,000 people died, countless more were injured, and the devastating environmental impact of Agent Orange continues to this day.  

7. The story of the canal on Mars 

The two situations above are both tragic, therefore let us conclude on a positive note. In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli Virginio began mapping the terrain of Mars, including seas, continents, and straits, which he dubbed “canali. “Fortunately for the science fiction genre, English-speaking astronomers have translated “canali” to “canal. “This implies that there is not only life on Mars, but also a civilization advanced enough to construct canals. This influenced later science fiction works such as H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars.  

Translation Instructions and Efficient Ways to Build Them

7 steps of the basic translation process 

Each LSP has its own translation method, which can be tailored to the needs of the customer. However, in general, LSPs must assure adherence to a defined procedure. In this post, AM Vietnam will outline seven fundamental stages that all professional translation efforts must follow.

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Translation Quality Assurance with Xbench in 09 Steps

Quality assurance with Xbench is an essential stage in ensuring translation quality in professional translation today. Join AM Vietnam to learn how to utilize Xbench, one of the most successful translation QA tools available today.

Translation Instructions and Efficient Ways to Build Them

7 steps of the basic translation process 

Each LSP has its own translation method, which can be tailored to the needs of the customer. However, in general, LSPs must assure adherence to a defined procedure. In this post, AM Vietnam will outline seven fundamental stages that all professional translation efforts must follow.

blank

Translation Quality Assurance with Xbench in 09 Steps

Quality assurance with Xbench is an essential stage in ensuring translation quality in professional translation today. Join AM Vietnam to learn how to utilize Xbench, one of the most successful translation QA tools available today.

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07 Times when Translation Changed Human History 

How significant has translation been throughout history? History is generated when different cultures collide, and translation has played an important role in the construction of historical events.