There are certain forms of a language that are inherently more difficult to translate than another. One of the most famously difficult things to try and translate is songs. Many Spanish and English Translators have been put on the edge of tearing their hair out as a result of the process.
Not as easy as you might think
Due to the complex nature of songs there are some major issues when it comes to moving them from one language to another. If you want your song translated into Spanish you might have issues finding any English to Spanish Translators that are actually willing to take on the task. The difficulty of translating song lyrics requires a person to not only understand the two languages in depth, but understand song writing as well.
The first issue with bringing a song to Spanish to English translators is that songs can’t just be translated directly. If you just literally had them translate every word directly, then the chances of the lyrics fitting correctly are zero to none. Trying to squeeze words into a beat that no longer fits them is only going to end up in a terrible song.
If English to Spanish translators took a lyric containing the word “singer,” it would be translated into “cantante” which just is not comparable. Trying to shove that word into a song would just seem awkward. Each word translated has a decent chance of coming out a completely different length than it went in. That means that translating an entire song directly could very easily alter then flow and length of the song by a considerable degree.
Due to how easy it is to end up with a song so terribly different than the original it is important that English to Spanish translators working with song lyrics understand how to keep the structure. Even if all of the syllables of individual lines in a song get fit in correctly, that does not mean that the song is going to fit the same. Some sentences may come out too long, too short, or just no longer fit the aesthetic of the song. When you are translating song lyrics it is important to keep in mind that how a word sounds greatly impacts the flow of a song. Using “saddened” vs “upset” in a song may fit the same, and even mean the same, but leave a different feel overall that may alter the intent of the author.
It’s the little variations that matter
Another thing to keep in mind during the translations of songs is that the words may hold different meanings. A great example of this is the now famous Nena song “99 Red Balloons.” Originally the song was released in German and so when translated over to English slight alterations had to be made to the lyrics. Originally the title was “99 Luftballoons” which translates directly to “99 air balloons.” Of course “air balloons” in Germany are just what we call balloons in the United Kingdom, so in order to avoid confusion it was changed to “red Balloons.” This change allowed the song to keep the same tempo and general meaning even after being translated.
The Issues with Metaphors in Spanish to English Translations
Metaphors have been, and always will be, one of the most frustrating things for English to Spanish translators to deal with. See, there is a certain nuance to metaphors that may not translate over so well. A direct translation will often leave the metaphor void of its intent when it comes out in a new language. Metaphors can only ever be a semantic novelty, so it is almost impossible to find equivalence in the language it is being translated to. Instead the Spanish to English translators would be far more successful in trying to find an already existent metaphor that leaves the same impression. If your English to Spanish translators can get the word fitting, word intent, and metaphor situation down, then you might be able to get a successful song translation.
Gangnam Style Translation
The widely popular song that was played WAY to often, was extremely catchy…we will give it at least that much. However, even though the song got people dancing across the world no matter what language they spoke; have you ever wondered what the direct translation to English means or even sounds like? We found an hilarious video you need to watch. Check it out below:
If I went up to someone in the United States and asked them what language they spoke, they would likely answer with English. Of course if I went to England and asked the same question I would receive the same answer. While it is true that both countries have English as their primary language, they are not in fact the exact same form of the language. English to Spanish translators have been struggling with this issue since English is often their second language. Of course Spanish to English translators have to struggle with the exact same problem on the other side.
The Trouble with Translation
If it can be annoying for English to Spanish translators to deal with the difference in UK and US English, then I feel awful for Spanish to English translators. Both Spain and Mexico speak forms of the Spanish language, but have you ever spoken to people from the area? If you put both in a room it’s likely they would have to repeat lines to each other just to understand. Thanks to these differences in languages that are often treated the same by people who don’t know them; translators often end up in confusing situations.
If and when you need to hire translators, you obviously just can’t hold onto the hope that they know which form is which when they hear it. Being fluent in one of the languages does not make a person qualified to translate for both of them. While a person certainly could translate and get most of it right, there would be words here and there that would just be out of place or wrong. The best Spanish to English translators will be well aware of the variations in the different forms of the language, but it can still be confusing.
The difference between these forms of language is almost exclusively spoken though. If it is written down it would pretty much be the same for both forms. Of course this isn’t very handy when you are looking for English to Spanish translators to accomplish the task in the moment.
Imagine moving from the US to the UK – we often hear the stories, and can well imagine. Many from North America will often find themselves asking the British to restate things because they simply can’t grasp what they are saying. It is just the little variations that make understanding language hard, and we are talking about the same language. Could you imagine the difficulty for those Spanish to English translators out there who have to deal with several forms of two different languages?
It is really just something to keep in mind when hiring translators. Be aware of what forms of the languages you are going to need them to utilize. Some may not be all that comfortable with translating to or from a form that they don’t use themselves.
When looking for a good translation company, you want to make sure to get a reliable company who can provide exactly what you are looking for. Our company excels in having English to Spanish translators and vice versa, in order to provide an exceptional level of service for what we do. No other translation agency in London has the sort of focus on English and Spanish that we do. Having this sort of specialization means that we have English to Spanish translators that have one of the languages as a native tongue.
Whichever language you are translating into will have a translator who speaks the same language as their native tongue. This is a guaranteed service that no other translation agency in London provides.
The biggest advantage to utilizing native speakers as Spanish to English translators is context. While most of us over look the little nuances of context when speaking to others. We of course utilize context when speaking, but rarely are we are of how difficult it is for someone outside of our language to understand it in the same way. Our translation agency in London is aware of how complicated these small differences can make translation. After all you don’t always want a direct translation of the words, but rather you want to convey the intent of the words. People who speak the language as a first language are aware of the nuances that should be taken into account with translating into the language.
If you wanted to describe someone as unpopular, you might use the popular slang word “lame.” Of course lames true meaning is being disabled, specifically in a way that impairs movement. A horse with a broken leg would be called a lame horse. Of course if someone is unfamiliar with the language, it is possible that you would translate the word into a word that means handicap, rather than unpopular. That slight change can entirely change the tone and message of a piece of writing in dramatic ways. That’s why out translation agency in London makes sure to have English to Spanish translators on staff that speak the language as a native tongue. It is a huge reason why human translators are always superior to automated translators that are available.
Even just one word being off in a translation can skew the soul of the written piece. This is especially true if the piece being translated is a short work. Just think about the people who get tattoos in a language they don’t read, and end up with phrases and words that are offensive or confusing. You would not want that happening on an important piece, which is why we train our Spanish to English translators to be eagle eyed. Our translation agency in London is ever vigilante in order to keep a confusing translation from becoming a bigger issue. Attention to detail and knowledge of the language help our company to ensure that every single translation will be handled with the utmost care.
If you have ever looked into learning Chinese you may have noticed that it is usually split between Mandarin and Cantonese. Despite a common belief, Mandarin and Cantonese are not their own independent languages. They are actually dialects of Chinese, though it is still important to be aware of how different they are. We try to make sure that our translation agency in London knows these unique difference between dialects. It is easy to get confused when trying to translate something designated as simply “Chinese,” so an attention to dialects is an important facet to be knowledgeable in.
Translation: Focus on the Details
While Mandarin and Cantonese share a general grammar structure, the actual words used in the language vary. For example, if you wanted to say faster in Cantonese you would say “kuai dian.” While if you were speaking Mandarin you would say “fam di,” which is obviously leagues from its Cantonese counterpart. You don’t want to hire on just any London translations services that are unfamiliar with this slight, but clear differences between dialects. Simple confusions with the languages could easily end up with a seriously confusing translation coming through. We understand how important all of these small variations can be when translating in any language, so our translation agency in London knows to focus on the details.
One of the most interesting things about Cantonese is how small the speaking population is in China. Cantonese is the dialect that most of mainland China speaks. It is also one of the four official languages of Singapore. Mandarin itself is made up of a number of smaller dialects that are spread all over Asia. They are all covered under the umbrella of Mandarin, making it the language dialect with the most speakers worldwide. While Cantonese is a dialect spoken basically only in Hong Kong, our translation agency in London tries to remain educated in both dialects regardless of speaking population.
The difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is all spoken. When written down there is absolutely no difference between the two of them. For instance if you asked our translation agency in London to translate a paper written in Cantonese to Mandarin, there wouldn’t actually be anything to do. I think my favorite example of how to explain this is the paper on a train example. If two men are sitting next to each other on the train, one who speaks Mandarin, and one who speaks Cantonese, then they couldn’t really speak to each other without issue. However, if one of them is reading Chinese paper and and other wants to borrow it, they could both read the paper without issue. If you can get what you need translated written down on paper, then you would not even need any London translation services.
While our London translation services are certainly not expensive, having a pen and paper could save you a lot of hassle. Since the written word is identical, you hypothetically could translate from Cantonese to Mandarin in a round about way by having the speakers write it down. Of course, this doesn’t work very well if you’re on a phone. If you have no way to figure out the translation yourself, then ring up the experts at our translation agency in London to give you a hand.
Being bilingual is not the same thing as being able to translate between two languages. It may seem like someone who can speak both languages should have all they require to function as a translator. In reality there are plenty of people who speak English as well as Spanish but couldn’t qualify as an English to Spanish Translator. Spanish to English translators need to not only be familiar with the words themselves but also the context and cultural connotations. When it comes to translation it is important to be able to convey the intent of what is being spoken, more than the actual words themselves.
English to Spanish Translators: “Direct” Mistakes
If you focus on only translating the words directly, then you are going to miss out on what the speaker is trying to convey. For instance, it is pretty normal for someone to refer to something popular in English as something that is “hot.” Of course, if the English to Spanish translators only focus on the words themselves then someone is likely to think the temperature has increased. Even though the word itself was translated correctly, the intent was not conveyed correctly. You would actually want a word that is a synonym for popular rather than hot.
While my above example of English to Spanish translators making a mistake is likely to only end up in a slightly annoying confusion, it could be much worse. Take as an example a man who has food poisoning and is rushed to the hospital. The hospital has no Spanish to English translators, so they rely on his bilingual sister to translate what is being said instead. His family is trying to convey to the doctor why he is ill and use the word “intoxicado” to describe his food poisoning. The sister translates this directly into “intoxicated” for the doctors, who then treat him for an overdose. Of course a native English speaker knows that poisoned and intoxicated while almost being synonyms do not actually mean the same thing contextually. Had there been a proper English to Spanish translators he would have gotten the correct treatment faster, and would have gotten to keep the four limbs he lost.
Another important thing to keep in mind when looking for English to Spanish translators that not every form of Spanish is the same. The forms of Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico while having the same name, are in substance very very different. If you took two people, each who only spoke one form of Spanish, you would need a translator for them to communicate as well. It is important to find out what forms of the language any Spanish to English translators you are looking to hire actually specialize in. Otherwise you could end up with a translator who can’t actually translate from or to the language you need them for. Always be smart, ask questions, and make sure whoever you hire is capable of providing the service you require. Our English to Spanish translators will always let you know what languages, dialects, and forms, they can translate accurately for.