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Matinee Blog

Translating Slang Terms And Colloquialisms: Part 3

One of the main issues faced by translators is how far they can deviate from the original text. In order to inform their interpretation of a body of text, a translator must bear several factors in mind; the purpose of the translation, the style of the text, and the target reader. There are several different methods that can be applied to the translation of a body of text, whether it uses slang terms or not:

Word for Word translation –

Word-for-word translation is the method of translating the source text into the target language word-for-word, retaining the same word order. This may be an acceptable form of translation if the two languages have a similar grammatical structure. However if the two languages have differing grammatical systems then the translation will not make much sense to the reader as the words will be in the wrong order.

Faithful translation –

Faithful translation recreates the contextual meaning of the source text within the grammatical constraints of the target language. This method aims to stay true to the original intentions of the writer.

Semantic translation –

Semantic translation considers the most important factor of the text to be its aesthetic value, and culturally specific terms can be replaced by culturally neutral terms to ensure the text reads well, but it may lose some of its meaning.

Free translation –

Free translation is an adaptation of the source text which represents the content without the exact form of the original text. The translator is free to adapt the source text in the most appropriate way as they see fit.

Communicative translation

communicative translation aims to reproduce the source text in the target language, retaining the exact contextual meaning whilst ensuring the text is comprehensible to the reader, with acceptable use of language.

We hope you have enjoyed our 3 part blog series on translating slang terms and colloquialisms, feel free to let us know what you think via the comments below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

You can read Part 1 & 2 of the blogs here:

Part 1

Part 2