Translation and Ethics


When it comes to translation and ethics, you’ve got more to think about and understand than just making sure that words are properly used in a sentence. But that’s what makes it such an interesting area.



Putting together content for reaching out to international customers can be easier said than done when you’re looking at the art of translation.  Despite the simple thinking, you can’t just take content, use Google Translate, and pop it out with a few changes here or there. There are more things to be looking at that fall snugly into the category of trusted translation methods.


Respecting cultural differences


That the translation and ethics didn’t contradict each other in the translated text, it is necessary to remember respect of cultural differences first of all. From word choice to verb tenses, to pronoun use to the examples used in the text, it needs to be culturally responsible and accurate.  In order to properly reach this new market of people, the goal is to engage them and help them understand what you are telling them. That means you will need to become part of their culture through the writing.  From localized research to consulting an expert, this step can take time and effort, but it will be well worth it when the time comes to actually put it into place and it’s effective.



Working with social responsibility


When reaching out into another culture and in another language, you have a social responsibility to make sure that you are reaching out in an appropriate way.  That is why it is so important to consider the relation of translation and ethics. With AI and other options to be doing translation in an informal setting, there is more of a responsibility than you’d think to get it done right. From legal situations to informal blog posts, for example, people use direct translators or AI to get it done for them. It totally destroys the text and meaning that they are trying to share. When looking at effective communication and translation, there is a serious responsibility on your shoulders to get the text out in a respectful way. This is also effective to what you’re looking to do.  This allows you to be an effective communicator. It means that the text will work in formal and informal situations, which is, of course, the point.


Being ethical and moral


This is the nugget of the thing.  A translation, when done properly, takes on every part of the text and transforms it into something that can be understood and respected in any culture that it is put into.  It’s a big ask, but it can be done properly with the right guidance. There are a couple segments that go into the place with this, however, to make it productive for all people.  


  •    The goal: The goal is simple is that it is to make the content is understood by the people you are showing it to.  But it goes deeper than that, too. You need to make sure that you are engaging with them and making them care about it.  You have to have them read it and not recognize it as a translation, but as pure content that is effective with everyone that is reading it. The goal is to make it fresh content with the same meaning, not a mere translation.


  •    How to do it: As far as the method, this is done from the inside, out.  The translator needs to get inside the text, pull out its main components and work to form it into a new piece stitch by stitch while keeping all of the parts together from the original piece.  You are, essentially, rewriting the material from scratch, by relaying all of the same ideas as you do so.


  •    Things to consider: One of the biggest things to think about with in the context of translation and ethics is that you are still representing the author in terms of the piece that you are translating. So, you need to be respectful of that and make sure that you aren’t changing what they’re saying.  You need to stay within the boundaries of the piece while still making it effective to all those who are going to be reading it.


  •    Problems to avoid: The number one problem that you have to avoid in order to be keeping tight to morals in translation is changing the meaning of the text.  You don’t have the right to censor or tweak what the original piece is saying. Your goal is to stay objective and make sure the content is simply understood by a new market.  Don’t work at putting your own twist on it. You need to be respectful of the original piece above all else.


The toss up between direct and meaningful translation


AI is known for doing direct translation word for word and phrase by phrase.  The thing is, it’s never going to be as effective as a meaningful translation such as book translations that are published in other countries.  There is a feeling and a comfort that comes from a meaningful translation that only a human can put into it. This is much the same as an AI writing a book.  Sure, it might be accurate, but it won’t be a complete text because there’s no humanity to it. The same is clear with translation, meaning that it won’t be ethical unless it is done by a professional who is in control of the situation.


The bottom line


With all of this, the end goal remains the same: translate the content and engage a new market with international clients.  The trick becomes, however, best determining how to go about doing that. Translation and ethics are important for keeping the field alive and doing its job. So, it’s important to take a look at these important issues discussed above to get it to all come together properly. The wrong way to do translation is to ignore these morals. And the right way is to engage and work with these morals and form a brand new, effective text that is going to make the splash that you need.


Also, read World’s Most Translated Books of All Time