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“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes” said Günter Grass, capturing the nature of translation 10 simple words.

Translation ensures “nothing changes”

It is true that “nothing changes” in a good translation – the meaning, style, language, tone of voice and pitch of the language all need to be maintained if the translation is to remain true to the original. However, as some of our recent blogs have shown, the meaning of particular words or phrases may be hard to convey – there is not a direct translation for everything.

However, the challenge that translators face in creating a translation where “nothing changes” is so difficult that Umberto Eco said “Translation is the art of failure”. This rings true to us at Accutranslate – even when a piece of work is polished there are points where we think “should that be phrased slightly differently?” Perfection is never attained. There is even an argument to say that we should not try for a translation where “nothing changes” – it would sound forced and slightly unnatural to a native ear.

Translation should rather be seen as working to convey the meaning and emotions of the original text as well as accurately translating the content.  In scientific papers word for word translation may be possible, when conveying brand messages a “nothing changes” translation is highly unlikely to best serve the client’s needs.  Your marketing needs to convey more than bare facts.

Translation transforms everything

This is where Günter Grass’s first contention ““Translation is that which transforms everything” proves true. This is all about the effect that translation has for the client and their target audience. Good translation can transform your work, business, life; poor translation can kill you.

It transforms business when we start to deal with overseas clients in their own language – suddenly we are building personal relationships rather than selling at people. How much more effective is your communication when you communicate more clearly through a translator?

Transform your overseas communications

If you want to transform your overseas business communications, get in touch with Accutranslate. We know when to nothing needs to change, and when to apply the translator’s unique skills to work local magic on your words – and your call is free! 0800 466 1335