Translation Types

Translation Types

Translation is changing a given text from one language (source language) to another (target language). Excellent skills in both languages are required for a good translator to be able to translate the text accurately.

For example, to deliver good Arabic translations when you translate from English; you should have excellent skills in English language.

There are two main types of translation; written words translation and oral translation.

Written translation is translating given text (word translation); this can be performed using dictionaries and online search for terms or idioms.

Competent translation companies

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Professional translators should be familiar with grammatical structures in both languages, so to analyze the text and translate it into TL while maintaining the original composition; delivering the best English and Arabic translations.

On the other hand, oral translation (simultaneous interpreting) is performed orally. Simultaneous interpretation is much more difficult than written translation.

In this type, interpreters rely mainly on their skills, without any support. It needs high concentration to receive the message and express it to the audience almost at the same time.

Translation is getting more important by time, where many companies and organizations increasingly ask for professional translation companies offering English and Arabic translations.

The major fields for translation are; legal, finance, media, conferences, among other fields.

There are many types of translation; each of which requires certain style and usage of word to be translated accurately. The following are some commonly used types: Word for word translation, faithful, semantic, communicative and free translation.

Word for word

It is also called literal translation. In this kind of translation the translator tends to transfer the text from one language to another word for word, without considering the sense of the original text. For example, when a translator comes to a technical, scientific or medical text, he/she translates word for word, and does not interfere by his/her own sense or understating.


In faithful translation, the translator tries to translate the accurate meaning of the original text within the limits of grammatical structures of TL. The translator tends to translate cultural words, idioms or whatever to be translated, while keeping grammatical structure as it is. Here, the translator tries hardly to be very faithful to the intention of the author.


Semantic translation is about rendering the semantic structures of the TL as far as the language allows; while preserving the exact contextual meaning of the TL.


Communicative translation tries to create the same influence in the TL that has been made by the text in SL.


Free translation mainly depends on creating the same meaning as SL. It aims at delivering the intended meaning of the SL, without paying too much attention to the style or syntax of the original text, while maintaining an accurate translation; just in a very different way.


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