It’s not too difficult to find a translator who can translate your text into a more commonly used language but when it comes to unusual languages like the African languages of Acholi, Ewe, Dzongkha or Mien this can be quite a challenge!
Often, less spoken languages are found in poorer parts of the world where there are few speakers and the educational level of the population is poor. This means it’s rare to find a good language translator who has the skills to translate from or into his or her lesser known and more unusual native language into a language such as English. Finding an online resource to do the job of translating these less well known languages into other languages is a feat in itself, let alone finding an experienced translator with these skills.
What Do You Do When Seeking a Translation of an Unusual Language?
There is always someone trying to find a niche, whatever the industry. So you could probably find someone who does speak the unusual language, but isn’t necessarily that competent in English. Even an experienced language services provider (LSP) may not be of much use as they too may have difficulty accessing speakers of unusual languages.
This doesn’t mean they won’t attempt to find somebody to do the translation job as they will have a good go. They will spend time searching through their database of translators until they come across somebody who has the competency to do the translation job. Basically when it comes to making the decision of who to hire for your unusual translation you take a chance that the translator you eventually hire has the ability to do at least a readable translation.
How Professional Language Service Providers Translate Unusual Languages
They will try to use whatever technology they have to ease the difficulty of finding a competent translator for the unusual language pair. They will, of course, integrate the resources that come with machine translation (MT) but machine translators need to have been inputted with information before they can be used effectively. The chances are with an unusual language that the machine translator won’t have sufficient information stored as this type of device tends to work only when a huge amount of translated content has been completed, analysed and stored so that when accessed it can generate a translation with the help of all the stored information.
Once you have chosen your translation services to translate your text from an unusual language into English you will just have to sit back and hope you have made the right decision.
1. Pop songs
When it comes to song translation of pop songs “This Too Shall Pass” sung by the United States rock band OK Go is the most translated pop song of all times. It was first released in 2010 and was heard often in a variety of shows, like the television series “My Generation” and “The Vampire Diaries.” It was heard also in the as the movie the ‘Vow’s soundtrack which was first released in 2012. This song can be heard in 18 different languages.
2. Christmas Carols
For Christmas carols, “Silent Night” comes out first as the most translated song translation and this is into more than 100 languages. Joseph Mohr, an Austrian pastor wrote the original song. The music to the song was composed by the choir director and organist Franz Xaver Grube. The first title for this carol was “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht.” It was first heard in 1818 on Christmas Eve at Oberndorf in St. Nicholas Church.
“Amazing Grace.” a hymn written by clergyman and poet John Newton in 1779, has had the honour of having its song translation into 50 or more languages which include Spanish, German, Inuit, Russian, French, Cherokee and English.
4. Children’s Songs
“It’s a Small World (After All),” written by The Sherman Brothers in 1963, was written for a Disney production but it wasn’t under copyright rules. It has since been translated into more than 25 languages and is the one of the most translated songs for children.
5. Birthday Songs
In 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records stated that the song, “Happy Birthday to You” has the status as being the most recognized English song in English. Patty Hill, a Kentucky kindergarten principal, with her sister wrote this song in 1893. It has been translated into at least 30 languages, which is one of the most translated songs for birthdays.
6. Folk Songs
The Filipino song “Anak” was written by Freddie Aguilar, a folk singer and means daughter or son was first sung in Manila in 1977 at the 1st Metropop Song Festival when it became a finalist. By 2015 it has been translated into 27 languages one of the most translated songs in the folk song genre it has been and released in 56 countries around the world. It was a song featured in “Gangnam Blues,” a South Korean film.
Technical translation is a specialised branch of translation which involves the translation of technical documents from one language into another. By technical documents may be meant medical, scientific, engineering documents and any other documents that may require a specialised knowledge of the subject and its terminology.
The degree of difficulty involved depends on the subject matter. This can vary immensely from short descriptions of how to use a particular drug through to lengthy scientific research papers and technical manuals.
Generally, it would be expected that technical translation is done by technical translators. These may be freelancers who have started their career in a particular technical field, such as the medical profession, then diverted into translation at some point. Technical translation agencies may provide different types of technical translation to suit most needs.
Technical translation is difficult work and requires a level of accuracy that may not be necessary in other types of translation. Technical translators are usually already well qualified in their particular field and tend to expect a higher rate of payment for their work than more general translators.
In addition to the higher cost of technical translation it would be expected that the turnaround time for technical translation would be longer than for simpler translation tasks.
Perhaps surprisingly, it may be noted that technical translation tasks lend themselves more readily to automated translation software than other types of translation. This is because the language tends to be highly structured without room for personal nuance. The language used, whatever the actual language will always be the standard language used in the country, not a local dialect. The text will not be subject to colloquialisms and subjective expression. The use of translation memory (TM) and glossaries, while not replacing the value of the technical translator, serve to speed up translation, provide a level of consistency in multiple translation tasks and overall provide a cheaper, yet no less accurate product.