Advances in technology have made our world smaller and larger at the same time. A person in Vietnam can simply access documents from the UK, which means the world is getting smaller. However, because of that, the knowledge we have access to has also become broader, and this is making our world larger. Either way, translating different languages as well as different types of content is therefore necessary.
When translators come across a term, they associate it with a particular field. Identifying the expertise of words will determine translating method applied for them because each word can have many translation options. Translators sometimes need to be researchers to see find the meaning for the word they are translating. Types of translations also vary in accordance with different types of content.
Fields with great needs for translation
- Technical translation: This type of translation refers to the translation of technical documents, technical files, IT or manufacturing documents, etc. When translating technical documents, translators with relevant experience and technical knowledge are definitely needed. Sometimes they need the help of engineers or experts.
- Scientific translation: It refers to the translation of scientific research, i.e. articles, journals, experimental experiments, etc., that will be specific to each field. The scientific documents are characterized by its novelty, academic and scholarly nature. It is really not easy to have a successful translation of a scientific document if the translator does not have the same qualifications or at least understand the basic content of the document to be able to ask for further assistance from the author.
- Medical translation: Includes translation of documents related to healthcare, medical products, pharmaceuticals, as well as biotechnology. This field also includes the translation of many types of documents such as patient records, financial documents, etc. There are also many linguists who challenge the medical field but without any doubt it still needs the help of doctors and professionals.
- Financial translation: This includes translations of documents related to banking, stock trading, forex, fintech, blockchain, financial statements, insurance, etc. Translations of other documents such as corporate financial regulations and taxes are also classified as financial translation.
- Economic translation: It deals with the translation of documents related to economics and specific economic sectors.
- Legal translation: This is a fairly broad field and governs many other fields. However, some specific cases such as legal documents, legal reports, legal contracts, litigation documents, court judgments, legal advice, are typical types of legal documents. This is one of the most difficult forms of translation because each country has its own legal system.
- Patent translation: Patent translations are translations of documents related to patents or intellectual property. Patent filings are typically technical documents for specific designs or innovative ideas.
- Literary translation: This type of translation is related to literary works such as novels, short stories, essays, poems, video games, etc. Literary translation is also a difficult type of translation, requiring the translator to have foreign language skills, abstract thinking and good language proficiency
- Business translation: This type of translation deals with documents within a business. This type of translation covers a wide variety of documents such as operating, marketing, financial, technical, legal regulations, etc.
- Marketing translation: This includes translating for advertising, marketing and promotional events. This type of translation is specifically designed for the target audience. Marketing materials nowadays are usually published in formats like pdf files or web pages, e-commerce, mobile apps, etc.
- Energy translation: This is a fairly broad field including fossil energy, solar energy, hydroelectricity, wind energy, nuclear energy. Translating energy documents also requires translators with professional knowledge and long-term translation experience.
- Environmental translation: Documents in the environmental field are often impact studies, environmental communication or clean-up technology transfer.
How to determine the type of document you are in need of translation?
Determining which type of document needs to be translated into is sometimes not easy. For example, you have a construction contract, which may include legal, technical, financial or sometimes environmental knowledge. To define the type of the translation we need to define two main fields of the document. Exactly determining the expertise of the document will help translation companies implement translation projects with quality assurance and accurate cost estimates.
In general, it would be true that translators only need knowledge of languages to translate a text from one language to another, but that is only a necessary condition. In fact, there are many different types of content, each of which usually contains at least some knowledge about a specific field, such as medical, financial, legal, scientific, technical fields, etc. The translation process will become more challenge and require more than knowledge of the language from the translator.