Analyze the nature and functions of translation.

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Translation has always been a topic that has procured many different issues. Given each language includes intricacies that another language does not, problems arise naturally.

The function of translation is to bring inspiring and relevant texts to as many people as possible. Given that the majority of mankind does not speak multiple languages, the texts must be translated.

Translation, by nature, is very difficult. Given that imagery and language of one culture may hold terminology which does not have a perfect match in other languages, many times something is lost. (This is where the saying "lost in translation" comes from.)

The goal of a translator is to make the text as close to the original as possible in regards to exact terminology and ideology. Unfortunately, some words simply do not translate.

For example, some single words are unable to be translated into a single word in another language. The Czech word "litost" has no English mirror. Instead, one must define the word to use it. The closest attempt at translation is "a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery."


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