The accuracy of a translation and an interpretation that takes place in intercultural communication is the main way that communication occurs successfully between speakers of different languages. Precision in the translation is imperative so that the best communication can take place between those involved. That precision depends on the skills of the translator. 

Enabling Intercultural Communication

An accurate translation is related to the role of the translator in communication which has to take into consideration the social context of the translation. It is a well-known fact that achievements in intercultural communication occurred through translation science and in the absence of this science intercultural exchanges would not be able to take place.

Since human life was first created, both non-verbal and verbal messages between many different communities needed to be communicated. All intercultural communication has relied heavily on both translations and interpretation. These are the key tools for forming a bridge for meaning from one single language and culture over to another.

Translation is an ancient linguistic form providing a solution to incorporating the many different languages which involved. Translation is unique in that it allows communication to take place between two different languages spoken by two different speakers who do not share the same culture.

Success in any translation is when it carries the meaning and the accurate transmission of a message between two communicators, who not only do not share a common language but they do not share similar traditions, culture and habits.

Intercultural Communication Through Translation

In the case of intercultural communication, throughout the translation process, the translator is left to select freely any words used to describe the spoken or written concepts when translating them from the source language into the target language. The success of this is dependent on the translator providing an accurate meaning.

A Good Translation is Dependent on Interpreting Culture

The translator needs to address the cultural context of the translation before the right linguistic language is used. The translator not only has to know the pair of languages well but the cultures from where they originate. When taking into consideration intercultural communication, the translator cannot use word for word translation alone otherwise the translation could be a complete failure by conveying an inaccurate or distorted message.

For a person who is not familiar with the new language, the translator needs to translate the message so it matches the culture of the recipient of the translation; otherwise there is a good chance the translation could be misunderstood.

Why is Intercultural Communication so Important?

Translating any type of content for the international market means stressing the importance of all cultural considerations. The best international marketing is when a product is promoted in the right way. The translated advertising material needs to be understood fully by the chosen audience.

It shouldn’t offend or cause any mental harm to the consumer or prevent the consumer from making a purchase. This is the sort of thing that happens when intercultural communication does not meet the requirements of the expected customer.

It is not Just Language that is Important in Intercultural Communication

Translation for international markets involves not just using content in a culturally appropriate way but it needs to include other features such as the right colour, images and types of fonts. There are immense cultural differences in the use of many of these features so a business or other organisation that wishes to transmit a message needs to use these features in a culturally correct way.

There are other features such as the representation of different genders including bisexuals and gays which aren’t always treated in the same way in different cultures. Culturally appropriate clothing is another key feature which varies between cultures.

A Translator must know Culturally Appropriate Colours

Colour as part of intercultural communication needs to be considered. Red for the Chinese denotes happiness but in Britain the colour is typically associated with both love and danger while to the Japanese it symbolises energy, power and vitality. In Egypt and Iran, it is connected to luck. In Iran, it also symbolises courage. In India, the colour symbolizes purity, sensuality and spirituality and purity.

As the world becomes more open, people begin to realize that cultural differences mean every country is unique. Each has a culture that has gone through thousands of years of development and has today ended up with unique beliefs, customs and traditions. It is these differences that make it hard for translators to enact good intercultural communication through a translation.

The translation of content for international markets does not just involve linguistic translation. It also requires the translator looks at many other features linked to the language’s culture before enabling the best intercultural communication. This is a skill a translator develops over time.