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What Are The Different Types of Translation?

Apr 2021

Translation ,

With society so rapidly evolving, more and more jobs are being created that we might never even have considered. It’s no surprise then that as the number of new jobs grows, there is an increasing number of companies that need translation services.


Whether you’re interested in becoming a professional interpreter, or just curious how vast the world of translation is, you’re in the right place! Here we’ll go over the different types of translation, the industries they might be used for, and what they typically translate.


Technical Translation

When it comes to technical content, you’ll struggle to get by with just any old translator. If your company needs to translate complex software, user manuals or instructional guides for scientific or engineering technology, a technical translator will get through your content efficiently and accurately.


If you’re dealing with a niche type of code or software, you probably need to work with a translator that specialises in your industry. Many of these professionals spend years coming to terms with the terminology in just one language, so it’s not an easy task grasping it all in two!


Technical translators may also work with engineers, electronics, and mechanics to translate plans, data sheets, technical drawings and specifications. As these industries often have a language of their own, GLS only uses translators with qualifications and expertise in specific fields.


Medical Translation

Whether they’re working in surgery, diagnostics, or general practice, medical experts can be positioned all over the globe. This means translation is required across all areas of the medical industry, for both patients travelling overseas, and experts hoping to compare or examine other research.


In the machine translation vs human translation battle, a lengthy thesis is unlikely to be accurately translated with a tool like Google Translate. It’s best to use a professional translator that works specifically in the field that you need translation for.


Using translators with an in-depth knowledge of their practice can even be the difference in ensuring no fatal errors occur, as Medical interpreters will often work on prescriptions, dosages, research and in-person patient appointments.

medical translation

Literary Translation

Literary translations are surprisingly complex, with a number of publications, novels, and texts relying on accurate translations for their success. Many writers achieve notoriety through a particular writing ‘style’, meaning translators face additional pressure to replicate this in the translation.


They have to consider their interpretation of metaphors and wordplay, and any nuances that affect the text. These are unlikely to work with literal translation, so translators have the leg-work of proposing similar phrases in the target language.

You’ll often find literary translators working on:


  • Books
  • Academic texts
  • Poetry
  • Academic research


Script Translation

Fairly similar to Literary translation, Script translation focuses more closely on scripts for TV, film, and theatre. If you weren’t convinced by our best foreign language films, Netflix has a whole host of foreign language series like Lupin to prove how in demand script translation can be.


Though foreign language shows originally just featured subtitles in alternative languages, many shows now have the option to watch a dubbed version.


Script translation alone can be pretty difficult, since many jokes and obscure punchlines won’t directly translate to another language. Translators also have to work to a character limit for the text, and consider typographical emphasis.


However translating for a dubbed version adds another dimension to this. Translators don’t need to condense the words to the same extent, but the timing is much trickier. The character’s voice needs to match their gestures and mood, and ideally stops and starts speaking at the exact timing of the character on screen.

script translation

Website Translation

Making your website available in various languages can be beneficial for your business whether you’re running a hotel or tourist attraction, or simply want to target a global market.


But this means considering the alterations you’ll have to make for your target audience. Using a professional translator will have far greater results than machine translators, and can help you avoid any major faux pas. Even converting small details like currencies, date formats, and size guides to suit your audience will really improve the impact your site has.


Say you’re creating a website for a hotel in Turkey. Many European tourists hold some grasp of the English language, so it might seem easiest to just create an English alternative. However, as the most popular foreign arrivals hail from Russia, Germany and Bulgaria, the biggest benefit is likely to come from having your site available in these languages.


Legal Translation

Despite being one of the most complicated services, legal translation remains one of the most common. Businesses can utilise interpretation for foreign clients, interviews, agreements and even contracts, while individuals may hire translators for translation of more personal documents like birth certificates and wills.


Legal translators will often work across a variety of areas like:


  • Immigration applications
  • Police interviews
  • Contract translation
  • Marriage certificates


As tiny mistakes can have significant ramifications when it comes to legally binding contracts, it’s important to use translators that fully understand how to translate legal documents.

legal translation

Judicial Translation

Though it’s often considered under Legal translation, Judicial translation more closely deals with cases hands on. Translators are tasked with interpreting all court related activity, whether it’s testimonies, depositions, judgements or documents.


Legal translation typically looks at documents, whereas Judicial translation is more often interpreting in real time. This can be a challenging task for translators, as lawyers may cite complex or latin legal language that is not easy for the translator to interpret.


They also have to remain impartial, and convey all communication without influencing the tone of the original speaker.



Whether you’re small-scale or large, if you’re interested in using translation services for your business, Global Language Services can help. We always offer industry expert interpreters and translators for a variety of industries from Tourism to Technology.


If you are interested in what translation services could do for you, take a look at the top industries we excel in, or get in touch with us today!

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