Top 5 Challenges That Every Translator Faces

It’s often said that “life is not a bed of roses.”

Every field of life is different from others but the only thing common in all fields is that each one has its pros, cons, advantages, challenges, etc. Like other fields, translation also has its own challenges, which can become a headache for translators every day.

Author's aSaheem Irshad


1. Language structure

Every language has a specific structure in which it sits. Like in English language sentences are usually made up of a subject, an object, and a verb. On the other hand in German, the verb almost always goes to the end of the sentence. Due to this variation, the end product sometimes becomes jumbled and mixed up.

2. Lexical-Semantic Issues

The lexical-semantic issues may include alternative terminologies, semantic gaps, new words and synonyms, and antonyms according to context. Lexical-semantic issues can be resolved with the help of language resources like online or offline dictionaries or native speakers and language experts.

3. Cultures

Culture affects the way we understand and interpret and therefore translate something. Cultural context can affect translation and change the whole meaning. Like in English language soak, damp, moist, all are used to show the extent of wetting whereas in the Urdu language there is only one word for all of these which is “GHEELA”.

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4. Humor

Humor develops along with culture and context. Cultural differences make it difficult for a translator to translate a joke. Sometimes it takes a great lot of time and humor to retain the humor of source language in the target language.

5. Proverbs and Hidden meanings

A proverb is a short and famous saying used to express a well-known truth. People speaking different languages use different sayings or quotes in their everyday lives. People having different cultural and historical backgrounds often use some saying and sentences which provide complete meaning to only those who are familiar with specific historical and cultural background.

Read more: How Translation Can Benefit Your Global Business

Top 5 Challenges That Every Translator Faces