“Translation services” are often understood as interpretative services. However, “translation” further indicates any form of rendering from one language to another. For example, while Burg offers interpretive services, we primarily conduct document translations. We service nearly every major and minor world language. There are, however, other types of translations that occur on a day to day basis, which some argue are harder—if not impossible to translate. This discussion looks at two different meanings of the word, “translation:” the common meaning, and the other meaning.

The common meaning is most frequently associated with the word “translation.”  That is, “translation” as “a rendering from one language into another.” This definition of “translations” is akin to a transposition, a transcription, or a change in substance or appearance. The majority of individuals think of this definition of the word when “translation” is used. This is what is meant by the name Burg Translations.

The need for translation services is an interesting one. It is virtually a necessary evil. Companies or groups needing to globalize, or market their materials for an international audience, require firms and other Language Service Providers (LSPs) like us. According to Matthew Romaine and Jennifer Richardson, the translation and localization industry’s net worth was $14.25 billion in 2008. By 2013, the industry is expected to increase to $25 billion, roughly a 47% increase over the course of five years.

Obviously, companies or groups reaching out to these markets—or for legal purposes, reaching their audience / client—need translation services. Our industry becomes the necessary evil when regulation determines that the company, or group, must use credible sources for their translations. Thank God for standards!

The other meaning of the word “translation” is a little harder to describe and certainly harder to grow into a necessary industry. Let me attempt to explain: Often times, there is a divide between two individuals who speak the same language. When two individuals who speak the same language engage in dialogue, they are not always understood by one another. How is this so? One might ask. Very simple. Though two individuals may speak the same language; they are certainly different people, comprised of different minds, who may formulate thoughts into words very differently.

This other meaning of the word “translation” is disclosed in the root word, “translate” (2.c:), which indicates explanations. Explanations happen on a day to day basis. How many times have you heard: “I do not understand what he / she are trying to say?” This kind of a “translation” is similar to a reiteration, or “in other words…”

Apply a recent situation in which you were misunderstood, or encountered difficulty understanding another individual. To be sure, communicative misunderstandings happen across nationalities or ethnicities, because of linguistic barriers; but they also happen amid identical nationalities and ethnicities. Further, misunderstandings happen under the same roof, and within the same office.

It is imperative, that when these misunderstandings happen, one proceeds to reiterate oneself or clear up the misunderstanding.  If not, the message sent when no attempt to repair a misunderstanding is made, can be lack of care. The message’s sender can—at the very least—repeat oneself until the recipient of the message (receiver) receives the correct message. Wouldn’t you agree?

It is most helpful when misunderstandings occur to take note of them for the purpose of improving one’s communicative ability. I find this meaning of the word “translation” (the “other meaning”) to be harder to resolve. Please note that while miscommunication can be irritating, you can keep them interesting by trying to solve them! If only there was an industry for these types of translations.