When Nuance Matters

When Nuance Matters in Translation
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We periodically share news and updates about language and our business. We’ll never share your contact information with anyone.

Translation is part art, part science. For some content, translation can be heavier on the science part – like technical documentation, where there is little ambiguity and terminology tends to have a one-to-one correlation between the source and target language. To create an accurate translation in these situations, it’s still important to work with experienced translators, but the clear correlation between the original and the target content means that the translation process is relatively straightforward.

Other content, like marketing collateral or qualitative research fieldwork, requires a more nuanced approach. Your translator needs to have the in-depth language and cultural insight to understand the humor, subtleties and nuance of the original source materials, and they also need to be able to convey that – in some cases, by completely reimagining it – in the target language.

On the EPIC blog, I shared my experience conducting doctoral research and how that informs our approach at Multilingual Connections to capturing nuance and culture:

Languages are alive—vibrant and eloquent expressions of who we are. During my doctoral fieldwork I looked at how people used language to enact and express their identity, how connections and community were created through speech and how forms of talk, particular phrases or words, could transport people across time and space. Words matter. So when contemplating translation, how can you ensure a focus on each word while not losing sight of the broader cultural considerations?

In recent months, we’ve participated in a number of user research and market research conferences, and our message at each one was the importance of nuance. Machine translation and crowd-sourced translation options abound, but when it really matters – when the art is as important as the science – you need more than that. Creating a translation that accurately reflects the intent of the original and creates the same emotional impact in your audience requires human skill and experience. And it’s that skill and experience that our professional linguists at Multilingual Connections bring to your creative projects.

Interested in learning more? Talk to us about our partnership approach to each client engagement.

Want to see more like this?

We periodically share news and updates about language and our business. We’ll never share your contact information with anyone.