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 Translation Methods

There are a Number of Different Translation Techniques in use in Translation:


Borrowing occurs in a translation when an identical word or expression that is in the source text is used in the target text.


If a translator makes use of a calque, s/he is using or creating a neologism in the targeted language by taking on the same structure found in the source-language text.

Literal Translation

This is a word-for-word translation. Using this translation technique is only useful if the 2 languages being used in the translation are similar culturally. This means the same style, syntax and meaning are found in the two texts.


Transposition is moving from a single grammatical category onto another without the text being altered in terms of its meaning. Transposition can be described as the first technique or step of oblique translation. The term oblique translation is used for to mean free translation which allows the translators total freedom to find words with exactly the same meaning when being translated from one language to another.


Modulation is a technique used to alter a text’s form through the introduction of a change in semantics or perspective. Translation techniques modulation describes what happens when a phrase is used that is not the same in the source and target languages, but ultimately conveys the same message. Translation techniques modulation helps the translator to generate an alteration in the point of view in the message without changing its meaning and without putting across a false feeling in the targeted text.

Equivalence or Reformulation

This is a procedure in translation which makes use of totally different expression in order to transmit the same message. Using this technique, the names of institutions, idioms, interjections, or proverbs may be translated.


This is sometimes referred to as cultural substitution and it is when the culturally loaded wording is used as a replacement for original text as it’s better suited to the environment of the particular translation.
These are a variety of ways that a translator can use depending on the type of translation but each of the translation techniques offers a chance to make the translation more effective for the targeted reader.