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.