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Cultural Considerations in Professional Translation

Professional NAATI translators and interpreters bridge the gap in communication between people speaking different languages, providing their services through reliable translation companies in Australia and globally. Translators do not just translate word-to-word, but they need to understand the context and translate from the source to the target language efficiently while considering cultural differences.

Cultural difference and considerations can make a huge difference in how a language is interpreted, to ensure the context is maintained and the outcome is appropriate and reliable, since culture and language are interconnected. This is because culture is reflected in everyday life such as literacy, art, dialect, language, religion, and more.

Professional translators need to address localisation, for instance, if you are requested a contract translation or a website translation, targeting the US market is different from the Australian market when translating from any language to English. For countries that are closer in geographies such as the USA and Canada, there are still many differences and variants to consider as many words are phrases are used in many ways. For example, in the US ‘Fall’ refers to a season, while in Australia the same word refers to a slip or stumble. This is one of many examples of different interpretations of one word, or how a word is referred to in different countries that speak the same language.

Cultural differences apply even between small groups and places, not just between countries. This is why professional translators should be native speakers of the source and target languages to ensure the best possible translation for your document.

This is especially true for medical interpreters or those who are translating medical documents, where cultural sensitivities vary massively, especially in a country with a multicultural nature like Australia. This becomes even more sensitive for certain people where problems like alcoholism are involved, or for those involving patients with cancer, AIDs, or other chronic problems like diabetes.

This is necessary to ensure that the document or message being translated does not cause offence in any way while still being honest and genuine, especially when dealing with cultures from Asia or the Middle East where there are many taboos and more conservatism involved. A professional translator will have the required cultural knowledge translate correctly, which is difficult with interpreting services due to the instantaneous nature of the service. With translations, this is less critical as more work and thought can be given to any situation if needed.

There is a range of cultural considerations when dealing with different people across the globe, so this is important for business’ translators and interpreters that could involve larger international audiences.

Openly speaking about sexual diversity would not be accepted in certain countries where being homosexual is illegal, and the same for discussing gender equality where women’s rights are not yet fully recognised, or where women could suffer oppression. If translating a movie or a script, or even a voiceover, there are many considerations for all these factors and more.

Document translations and interpreting services then involve more than just translating word-to-word or providing a technically correct translation – there is a lot more to it than that. Professional translators and interpreters need to be sensitive to various cultural elements, which can be complex.

At Speak Your Language, we offer reliable and accredited translation and interpreting services to individuals and business across Australia.  We are here to cater for your language services requirements promptly. Speak with our team today to see how we can help with your translation requirements.