Print, digital, new or used, books have always been – and continue to be – synonymous with knowledge.
The sort of knowledge we can get from a book depends on its type. When we read a novel or essay, for example, we learn about places, stories and lives different from our own, inevitably broadening our horizons.
By contrast, when we read a technical manual, we acquire more specialized knowledge than you would find in a literary text.
In both cases, though, we are faced with a valuable resource whose true potential can only be unlocked by a process we know well: translation.
To translate a book is to increase the number of people who can access the knowledge it holds. This principle certainly applies to literary works, which would be limited to a specific number of readers without translation, but it’s also valid for more technical texts required by specialist fields such as medicine and science.
All too often, translators are overlooked or given too little credit for their work. But in this field, translators play an absolutely crucial role in divulging the information held within those pages.
Translators as sharers of information
There are plenty of barriers that can prevent people from reading a book or limit the number of people who can do so.
The first – and most evident – is the language a book is published in, but that doesn’t mean that you can simply convert a book into another language to make it understood.
There is a second barrier, one that is a lot trickier to deal with than language: culture.
Our words reflect our beliefs, our behaviour and our values. As such, it’s inevitable that books will be full of linguistic expressions such as neologisms and figures of speech that only make sense to people from the same culture as the author of the book.
For people from other countries, it can be really difficult to understand the significance of certain words and expressions, which leads to real comprehension issues with the text as a whole.
Besides translating the text into the target language, translators also need to adapt and rework all the cultural references that aren’t applicable to the target audience. That’s the only way that translators can succeed in breaking down barriers and promoting the spread of knowledge.
While overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers is crucial to allowing more people to enjoy a good novel, it becomes even more important to technical texts targeted at a more specialized audience.
Let’s take the medical and scientific sector, for example. What would happen if a healthcare worker used a medical device incorrectly due to a mistake in the instruction manual?
Any kind of language barrier in this field could have serious repercussions for patients.
As such, the work of translators is of fundamental importance.
Thanks to their extensive knowledge of their field of specialization, translators can find the right equivalent for every technical term they find in a text, thus minimizing the risk that the end user could misunderstand something.
This is yet another example of translations playing a key role in sharing knowledge – not in the form of literary works, but through specialized, technical texts.
At Way2Global, we believe that translation is a powerful catalyst that can overcome any barrier and obstacle. We draw on our network of native-speaker translators around the world to ensure that books of all kinds can be enjoyed in any country.
Our team of specialist translators (in fields including financial, legal, medical/scientific, technical, leisure and media and entertainment) makes us the perfect language partner to guarantee quality translations, regardless of the type of text.
And our project managers oversee the entire process to ensure that each client gets the most appropriate solution, with maximum quality assured every time.
Need a translation service? Get in touch!