I just worked out a translation piece. There were few “portals” inside. Each got different meanings. Thus, translations should be based on the context of words or sentences, not only the words.

For example: “west portal” and “east portal”.

If there is no context at all, I might translate them into “西入口” and “东入口” respectively, because “portal” has a meaning of “any entrance or access to a place”.

However, the context counts. There is a map for reference. According to the website for reference, we can determine that, the “west portal” shall be translated as “西出口”, and the “east portal” shall be translated as “东入口”.

So during translation, context is so important that can give us many directions.

“Portal” also got other meanings.

Example 1: portal site

In Simple Chinese, it should be “门户网站”.

Example 2: portal vein

In Simple Chinese, it should be “门静脉” or “门脉”,etc.

One word could have many different meanings in different circumstances; we must not only translate them into the most common ones. Instead, we have to judge the meanings by circumstances, context, try to make them more suitable and fit for the whole sentence, whole paragraph or article.

Here is another example:

Executive Format

At first glance, we might translate them word by word, “executive” is translated into “执行”, and “format” is translated into “格式”. However, “执行格式” is so strange in Chinese. Then I moved on, try to find some useful tips. Then I saw “classes and activities”. Form those context, I guess “executive” means “high stage classes for managements or someone alike”,and format might be “classes”, then I translate them into “高阶培训班”. Anyhow, it is much better than “执行格式”. After translating the whole piece, we should go back and check it more carefully.