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Literal Translation & Free Translation

Literal translation and free translation are two basic translating skills. Proper use of the two approaches can make your translation better. Literal translation refers to a method to render of text from one language to another by following closely the form of the source language. Definitely different from mechanical translation (word for word translation), literal translation shall provide fluent and accurate translation that is easily comprehended by the readers of the target language. Free translation is a method to deliver the intended meaning of the source text without paying attention to details such as syntax, style and so on of the original text. Free translation is suitable in case the translation is difficult to be understood or accepted by the readers or the translation seems not as attractive or powerful as the original text by approach of literal translation. In my opinion, we’d better adopt literal translation wherever it doesn’t compromise the accurate meaning and suitable tone of the translation, especially for GI (IT), law and other sectors that is featured by “calling a spade a spade”. Free translation has its own advantage, but if we adopt the approach of free translation throughout the project, easily making an impression of informal or even careless translation on the clients. Let’s take UI translation for example. Are you sure you want to permanently delete the selected user(s)? 确定删除所选用户? 确定要永久删除选定的用户吗? When shipped from the factory, no passwords are set. 刚出厂的计算机没有设置密码。 计算机出厂时,并未设置密码。 When the Security Indicator flashes, enter the password and press Enter button. 当 Security Indicator 闪动时,输入密码然后再按一下“Enter”键。 当安全指示灯闪亮时,输入密码,然后按 Enter 键。 Double-click this icon to test your double-click settings. If this icon doesn't change, adjust your settings using the grid above." 双击图标进行测试。如果图标没有变化再使用网格调整设置。 双击此图标测试双击设置。如果此图标不发生变化,则使用以上网格调整设置。 When translating the UI strings, generally you can follow the syntax the source text and get the accurate and acceptable translation. Please note such pronouns as “you”, “your”, “we”, etc. have not to be translated in most cases. Besides UI strings, literal translation is also suitable for mechanical, pharmaceutical and even commercial materials: Paper mills normally cook native (unmodified) or modified starch onsite to prepare it for use. 造纸厂通常现场制备原(未改性)淀粉或改性淀粉以备使用。 纸厂通常会在现场蒸煮原淀粉(即未改性淀粉)或改性淀粉以备使用。 In modern paper plants, automation is used to ensure consistency and cost-effectiveness. 在现代造纸车间,采用自动化设备能确保一致性和成本经济效益。 在现代造纸车间,采用自动化控制系统,以确保生产的稳定性和控制成本。 In papermaking, the coating working station is a circulation system that pumps the homogenized coating colours from the storage tanks in the coating colour kitchen through filters in the processing tanks and then to the coating head. 在造纸过程中,涂层工作站是将均质涂料从涂料配置室的储存罐中通过处理罐的过滤器抽送到涂层喷头的一种循环系统。 在造纸过程中,上料工作站是将分散均匀的涂料,从涂布厨房储存槽、通过工作槽的过滤器、泵送到涂布头的循环系统。

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