What are the problems of translation one may ask? In fact, the art of translation is more challenging than many people think. How to solve translation problems can even be difficult for a translator who has two feet firmly placed in each of the two languages that he or she knows well. There are always potential linguistic traps for the unwary translator.

Challenges of Translations

Below we have Identified some of the Problems and Challenges of Translation which are Problems faced by Translators During Translation every day of the week.

1. Differences in Idiomatic Expression

This is one of the difficulties in the translation process which is most noticeable if a computer-based translator is used rather than a human translator who has a good working knowledge of idiomatic expressions. The reason why non-human translation methods have translation problems and difficulties with translating idioms and expressions well is that they are programmed to translate words literally so they have no idea how to solve translation problems

Of course, most idioms use words that carry a different meaning in their idiomatic use than they do otherwise. This is one of the problems and challenges of translation.

2. Verb and Preposition Combination

This is most noticeably one of the difficulties in the translation process when translating from one language to another. Many verbs have a different meaning in English when followed by a preposition than they do without the preposition. Take the word “shut” for instance. ‘Shut up’ and ‘shut down’ have quite different meanings in English while a literal translation into most other languages would be impossible. It’s just another example of the problems faced by translators during translation which can only be solved by developing an intimate knowledge of the language.

3 Structure of the Sentence is one of the Translation Problems and Difficulties

One of the most annoying aspects that define and differentiate even two closely related languages is the order of pronouns, prepositions, nouns, and adjectives within a sentence. It poses difficulties in the translation process for a translator when translating a chunk of text while using the same order of words in both languages, even if it is only once or twice. How to solve translation problems like this requires both skill and experience.

4 Compound Words

Problems faced by translators during translation are with compound words when words that are comprised of two or more other words are joined together. The new compound word’s meaning may be deduced from the combination of the two component words, e.g. ‘seashore’ but may take on a completely different meaning altogether, e.g. ‘butterfly’. These are translation problems and difficulties that a translator needs to overcome.

Some languages, e.g. German, are well known for their use of compound words. However, it does create difficulties in the translation process even for the best translator.

5 Words with more than One Meaning

One of the problems faced by translators during translation is when a word is spelled the same, but may have two or more different meanings which may often only be recognised from the context and position in the sentence, they are either ‘homonyms,’ i.e. words spelled and sound the same, but are different in meaning, or ‘heteronyms’ that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently. A good example of the translation problems and difficulties of a heteronym in English is the word ‘wound’ as ‘I wound up the clock’ and ‘wound,’ a part of the body that has been harmed. This makes a translator’s job quite interesting when faced with these sorts of problems and challenges of translation.

In conclusion, problems faced by translators during translation aren’t made by the translators but are just part of problems in the translation of language. No language necessarily views the world in the same way so the difficulties in the translation process need dedicated translators to find answers to the translation problems and solutions.