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Accuracy in translation of the initial language or the fluidity into the target language?

I am sure this has been hashed out many times but I am new and can't seem to find the discussion. When I am translating Spanish to English, am I trying to translate the words or the meaning? Some translations are clearly written to be in an old and formal style. Should I make my translation the English equivalent? Even if it means using entirely different words? Is there any etiquette I should be aware of? I personally just jumped in but a note or two on what I was supposed to be doing would have been helpful.

October 13, 2013



In Immersion, try to make your translation accurate but natural, as if it were originally written in the target language. You should not write anything that was not meant in the original, but feel free to adapt the word order and structure of the sentences.

In lessons, try to be as accurate as possible, but be aware that word-for-word translations are often absurd, so in some cases you have to apply a different syntax.


That's a great question! Either way you will get "edited" by someone who takes the opposing view.


Jumping in is the best way to learn. :) I, personally, try to do a translation that is in the 'spirit' of the article rather than a 'word for word' translation. A web translator can do 'word for word' but be way off the mark when it comes to what the writer intended.

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