How To Translate Idioms

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How To Translate Idioms
How To Translate Idioms

Video: How To Translate Idioms

Video: How To Translate Idioms
Video: Translating Idioms and Culturemes 2023, September

Idioms of any foreign language cause special difficulties in translation, since it is impossible to translate them directly. The translator needs to carefully approach the translation of idioms in order to correctly convey the meaning to the reader or listener.

Translation of idioms
Translation of idioms


Step 1

Idioms are phraseological expressions that are present in most languages. In an idiom, in most cases, you cannot rearrange words, add new ones or remove existing ones. Its translation does not depend on the cumulative meanings of all words in the expression. That is, it will not work to translate the idiom by words, there will be no sense in the resulting expression, or it will be distorted. You can translate an idiom only by its original meaning, inherent in this entire phrase as a whole.

Step 2

For the correct translation of an idiom, it must first of all be recognized in a text or speech. If some expression seems strange in meaning, looks unnatural in context, violates the laws of language, physics, or simply does not translate - there is a high probability that you have an idiom in front of you. For the translation of idioms, there are a large number of phraseological dictionaries, both paper and electronic. The erudition of the translator will help in this case, but if you do not know the exact meaning of the idiom, it is better to turn to reliable sources, otherwise there is a risk of misunderstanding and translation of the expression.

Step 3

When translating idioms, pay special attention to context, as many idioms look very similar to common expressions. For example, such a phrase as "go out with" can be translated as "go out with someone for a walk", and how "roll up your sleeves."

Step 4

After recognizing the idiom, it should be most adequately conveyed in text or speech. To do this, you need to have deep knowledge not only of a foreign language, but also of your native one, to feel the language well. Let's say the same idiom in written and spoken language can be conveyed in completely different ways. And even if it is only a written text, you need to be especially careful with style when translating an idiom. So, in a text describing the life of people in the 19th century, the idiom will be translated differently than in a modern novel intended for teenagers.

Step 5

For the correct translation of idioms, you need to look at the meaning of this expression for a foreign language, to understand well what meaning this idiom has in the life of native speakers. Then you should choose, if not equivalent to it, then the closest idiom or expression in the target language. They can differ greatly from each other in linguistic means and even be dissimilar in intonation and method of communication. But the semantic coloring of the original and translated expressions should be similar.

Step 6

Translating idioms is one of the most difficult moments in a foreign language. If it is impossible to correctly convey the meaning of the idiom, or if its analogues are not found in the target language, it is allowed to skip it in the translation, provided that the author's style and the meaning of the expression are preserved in the text.