A Peek into the History of Translation Services


Geoffrey Chaucer

The unimaginable speedy trend of technology diffused the borders between different states and gradually improved the level of interactional communication between people. This caused people to become more indulged and interested regarding others’ cultures. One of the most popular ways of being familiarized to the other cultures was through their literature.

The concept of translators in literature dates back to the times between first and third centuries when the dispersed Jews in Alexandria who had forgotten their ancestral language, needed to translate their original holy scriptures into Greek. Likewise, in Asia due to the spread of Buddhism, large-scale translation efforts were consistently being made.

The first initial translations in English were made by Geoffery Chaucer in the 14th century. He made Italian translations,French translations and Latin translations. Meanwhile, in the Renaissance period of Italy, the works of Plato, Erasmus, Aristotle and Jesus were also translated. This caused uproar in the readers who demanded accuracy of the translations. They asserted that the strength of the religious and philosophical beliefs expressed in these works depended on the exact words of their authors.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the idea of translation was more like that of adaptation. The main aim of the translators and translation services was that of ease of reading. What they considered to be monotonous and boring or found something in the text that they did not understand, they simply omitted it. The advent of 19th century brought new standards for accuracy and style in the translation procedures, such that, as J. M. Cohen puts it, the rule for translation became ‘the text, the entire text, and nothing else but the text’.

Today, the modern translation requires text to be understood by readers while simultaneously maintaining the sanctity and expression of the original text. This is especially done for classic literatures like that of Bible, or works of William Shakespeare.

The translation of religious texts has played a significant role in history. The first translations in this context were made in the Old Testament which was translated into Greek by the Jews of that time as mentioned before. Considered one of the greatest translations of religious text in history is that of Saint Jerome, who rendered Bible text into Latin translation. Gradually this period saw the translation of Bible into other local European languages as well.

The services of these translators spread the valuable messages of the ancient civilizations to the entire world with the passage of time. Sharing their knowledge through means of translation had a meaningful impact on how different concepts in our world are understood and perceived today. These translation efforts maintained that intellect and creativity should know no boundaries and are meant to be enjoyed, appreciated and analyzed by readers present all over the world.




Globalization, Cultural Conflicts and Language Translators

Global-Village-World-PeaceGlobalization has been defined from economic, political and social perspectives by different scholars. It generally means “available goods and services, or social and cultural influences, gradually becoming similar in all parts of the world.” Cultural exchanges have taken place over the past, as a result of cross-cultural interactions. Spices, tea and herbal concoctions found their way to Europe from China and Asia. Similarly Westerners introduced modern weaponry, modern medicine and things as mundane as bread, cheese and chocolates to the Far East on their voyages. But due to the advancement in technology, cultural interdependency is increasing day by day and the future holds a promise of even greater cultural connectivity. The world has now become a “Global Village” where societies rely on professional translation services and cannot live in isolation. Their mutual interests bring them together. The question arises: Why societies are interconnected more so than ever and what brings them in close contact with each other? Many factors have contributed to develop this cultural interdependency. Fastest means of traveling, expansion of world trade, multitudes of international companies and improvements in telecommunication have resulted in what we call “Globalization.”

How to avoid cultural conflicts

The increasing inter-connectivity of cultures being established, it is now important to understand its ramifications. Dealing with people belonging to other cultures is bound to arise some conflicts. Confucius thinks that human beings have a common nature universally but “habits and customs keep them apart.”  As human beings, it is hard to accept other people’s customs and beliefs because they appear alien to us. This reaction is quite natural. But a global citizen needs to be more open and accepting than the people of the past. In our educational institutions, at our workplaces, in markets and other social settings, we run into people belonging to other cultures,speaking different languages and having different social etiquette than ours. Our first reaction is to become judgmental. Anything which is alien is unacceptable for human nature. To have a surface level knowledge of other cultures is important for every individual in the world. But people who have cross-cultural dealings on a regular basis need to have a deep knowledge of the customs of other cultures,which would develop an attitude of acceptance towards others in them.

Integrated efforts—a step towards the solution of Global Threats

In the modern world, different nations not only have mutual political and economic interests with each other, they are also facing common threats like international terrorism, environmental changes and rapid increase in world population. Epidemics when break out in one part of the world become a threat for other countries as well, not to mention fatal diseases caused by viruses like AIDS and Hepatitis-C.  Combating against these threats requires coordinated efforts and mutually devised strategies. These huge challenges faced by humanity cannot be overcome by individual efforts of nations. In today’s world human beings need to set aside cultural differences. Working together on a global scale, can be the first step towards resolving these magnanimous issues.

Role of language translators in the modern world

Language translators working for various translation companies such as The Marketing Analysts Translation Service, interact with different people across the border. Their job requires a high level of tolerance for other cultures. Developing amiable work relationships can help create an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance across the world. Translators and interpreters can serve as links between different cultures. Whenever international companies set themselves up in foreign cultures, they require the aid of translators to communicate with the local populace. This has increased the demand for translators tenfold. French translators, German translators, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese translators are needed to interact in the oil producing African countries which used to be French, Portuguese and Spanish colonies. This need has arisen due to the ever-increasing interest in the exploration of new resources.

It is our responsibility as peace-loving inhabitants of this planet, to play our role collectively in making this world a better and safer place to live in. The key to this goal is to cast away our cultural differences. Resisting the cultural interdependency of today’s world can lead to disaster.