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A Contemporary Analysis Of Translation Services

Aug 19, 2008
As Thomas Cranmer huddled secretively under flickering candlelight, his life under threat with every creak and passing voice in the street, I wonder if he ever thought, where are translation services when you need them? In all seriousness, Cranmer translating the bible into English was an action that secured both the future legacy of the Church of England and his martyrdom.

This is a testament to the importance that translation services play in our history and continued global evolution. The motivation for keeping the bible in Latin was that it made it inaccessible to the masses, meaning that only the scholastic regime could maintain control, manipulating by fear. This is why he was burnt at the stake for heresy, because he had done as much damage to the stranglehold of Catholicism as Mary did by burning tens of thousands of her own subjects.

Translation services provide us with open channels of communication. This might seem like an obscenely obvious statement however in this day and age, chronic miscommunication is responsible for many avoidable conflicts of interest. Some of the situations are less severe than others at which we can afford to laugh, but others have more serious consequences.

A great example of how translation services can avoid offending people on a mass scale is the fiasco in June with Chinese handbook for Olympic volunteers. The handbook described disabled people as a special group and continued to say that they are unsocial and introspective. It also stated that they can be overprotective of themselves when called crippled. This offensive document was put down to a poor translation and could have been avoided using efficient translation services.

Translation services can build bridges between nations and faiths, as we see by a group of Muslim scholars translating the koran into Gaelic. It has received a warm reception from Scottish Muslims however a spokesperson from the Western Isles which has the highest density of Gaelic speakers, says it is thought not to be worthwhile.

One might say, the inability to communicate similarities between beliefs and cultures is a major cause of conflict, however sometimes whatever language something is said in it takes at least one party who are willing to hear it. Translation services play practical roles in military operations like in Afghanistan where town names are being translated into western figures so that NATO forces can understand place names.

One of the most famous historical military blunders of all time was the sinking of the Mary Rose, the pride of Henry VIIIs fleet. It has been suggested recently that a non-English speaking crew could not understand the orders from the captain which lead to the vessels demise. Translation services are more common now and have been an integral part of army intelligence for centuries.

It is estimated that the US translation services industry is worth some 12 billion dollars per year. In an ever expanding global economy even the smallest of businesses require translation services to compete in a global marketplace. From contracts to sales letters and technical information translation services can open entire markets in a cost effective manner.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is an expert on translation services with years of experience in the US translation industry.
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