Globalization and Translation

By Slava
Aug 17, 2009 · 3 min

Globalization has a simple meaning, but many interpretations. In order to not get lost in the muck of politics and intrigue, this article will focus more on just one or two aspects of the term. For instance, one key feature of globalization is that it should never be considered all-encompassing. Globalization is best taken in limited doses, such that it should refer to some countries instead of all world nations, or some languages instead of all global dialects. It's simply more practical that way, what with the sheer number of countries to consider and languages to translate (about 6,000 languages strong). When talking about globalization, six at a time is the manageable number to deal with.

A Better Understanding of Globalization Globalization's meanings and connotations may have taken a turn for the worse nowadays. News media used to refer to it as economic globalization that, as anti-globalization factions contend, should be preceded by the globalization of human rights and social programs. At present, it's not a word to be taken lightly. The only point of agreement between the pros and the antis is the fact that, as a thesaurus would say, globalization refers to making something global. In terms of globalizing translation-whether it's done by a solo translation service, machine translation, human translation, or a professional translation firm-it involves spreading translation services into several different nations and making it useable and applicable in those countries. Because of the rather social nature of this line of work, it's quite easy to see how it can be applied and used in, say, bridging cultural gaps, fostering international relations, or affecting anything related to diplomacy and diplomatic missions.

A Better Understanding of Translation It has already been established how human translation services fit into the globalization landscape. Dealing with other countries naturally entails handling different languages, so international organizations should hire a fluent diplomat or a professional translation firm to handle that particular issue. Globalization is so intrinsically connected to translation that the former cannot do without the latter. When it comes to applying translation for globalization purposes, there is a requirement to make translation into one task-one time consuming, expensive, yet important task-that makes it an umbrella term for both linguistic operations and the adaptation of text, speech, or general communications to suit a given locale or culture (otherwise known as localization). As culture develops and society evolves, so do word meanings and languages. Localization and translation has thus become crucial in making the globalization phenomenon a feasible and beneficial concept. Also, localization may not be a separate discipline from translation any longer, because in order for global-scale translation to work, translators must at least know the fundamentals of localization.


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