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Business translation is a professional discipline. In the post-globalization era, where business is not confined in any particular region, business transactions involve readers and speakers of different mutually unintelligible languages. This has prompted great demand of professional business translators. In India, translation of business documents between Indian languages and English has become more important, this despite the fact that English is the official language in India. For nearly the last two decades, business translation has been facilitating communication between, for example, U.S.-based companies, governmental agencies, and organizations and their Indian peers.
In this chapter, we are interested in the different forms of business translation. As there are different forms of business communication, so there are different forms of business translation. Translating business documents like reports, proposals and business agreements is a very serious undertaking. Though, understandably, business translation is not that creative but literal transference of meaning from the Source Language (SL) to the Target Language (TL), however it should not be viewed that in involves only word-by-word translation of text from one language to another. In actual practice, it involves moving the soul of a text into a different body. If a business person needs to be creative, so should be a business translator. However, unlike literary translation, there is not much scope for modulation of the meaning of the Source Text (ST)
Business translation can be done through machine translation as well. There are especially designed translation software that translates directly in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. There are specialized dictionaries and glossaries that are generated through the computer to translate certain texts. However, Machine Translation (MT) or Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) is effective only in case of limited types of text. It is not a substitute to human translation.
A business translator is as important as a business copywriter. He/she should have several qualities that any organization with a need for copywriting abilities will value. He/she should be detail-oriented. He/should have a strong sense for the power of copy, based on uncovering persuasive and unique selling propositions. And he/she should be able to translate a sales story or document in compelling yet conversational language. Further, he/she should exhibit a fundamental understanding of effective business communication.
The different forms of business communication that a business translator generally gets to translate are reports, letters, proposals, procedures, manuals, product catalogues, financial statements, newsletters, etc. website and software localization, and key word optimization.
(a) Read the following extract from a business report.
(b) Complete its translation.
(c) Answer the questions that follow.
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