Definition of translation in English:



  • 1The process of translating words or text from one language into another.

    ‘Constantine's translation of Arabic texts into Latin’
    • ‘Helen's mastery of translation flowed from several converging sources that made her unique.’
    • ‘Arabic is said to be a powerfully lyric language, so perhaps the above snatches lose something in translation.’
    • ‘In light of the findings of this analysis, as well as the previously mentioned translation research, a number of implications need to be addressed.’
    • ‘But experts reading those words, whether in translation or in the original Arabic, describe the language as divisive and militant.’
    • ‘That for as much as I love publishing, I no longer have too many earnest conversations about literature or translation, I quit smoking and I wear far more pink than black.’
    • ‘For those who do not speak English, there are 60 booths for simultaneous language translation.’
    • ‘The French, as always, must have a word for it, yet surely something is lost in translation?’
    • ‘Hence the purpose of translation was for performance, though the published version gives no hint about that.’
    • ‘The English text - in translation from the Japanese - was carefully edited by Victor Hauge, a staff member of the United States Embassy in Tokyo.’
    • ‘Her beautiful descriptive poetic language, even in translation, goes some way to helping this happen.’
    • ‘Proceedings were mostly conducted in English, but there was simultaneous translation into six official languages.’
    • ‘The women who have spoken are illiterate but their words, even in translation, emerge like fresh sprouts from a rich soil.’
    • ‘More radical, and more decisive, developments in translation theory took place in Europe.’
    • ‘They were simple conversations, ultimately hamstrung by translation.’
    • ‘Most sessions were translated into English and Hindi, and some offered simultaneous translation into other languages.’
    • ‘Here he describes some of the fables and some of the reality, based on research and translation work that he has done in his sixteen years in Japan.’
    • ‘Many of the problems of getting an accurate model to render properly can be traced to what happens during translation to those formats.’
    • ‘His wife spoke no English, and, despite translation, I was aware that none of our conversations was entirely successful.’
    • ‘After months of applying for research or translation work, Maryan took a job in a new dry cleaning shop.’
    • ‘Still, he reckons it's taught him a lot about translation, and how it is more often the simplicity than the complexity of language that is lost.’
    • ‘Three Arabic texts are presented in translation.’
    • ‘In the colonial context, translation acted as a mediating agency between conquest and conversion.’
    1. 1.1A written or spoken rendering of the meaning of a word, speech, book, or other text, in another language.
      ‘a German translation of Oscar Wilde's play’
      ‘a term for which there is no adequate English translation’
      • ‘Before he went there al-Biruni already knew of Indian astronomy and mathematics from Arabic translations of some Sanskrit texts.’
      • ‘A Slovak translation appeared in what was Czechoslovakia in 1959.’
      • ‘He also revived or bought several publishers for different editions and translations of the book.’
      • ‘Even though some institutions provide for language study, all have to provide translations of foreign texts.’
      • ‘He has published more than 25 translations of poetry from eight languages.’
      • ‘It has been translated into 15 different languages, with further translations planned.’
      • ‘If you know French, you can read French translations of his collected works, which are great fun.’
      • ‘Should we provide translations of our campaign literature?’
      • ‘We published a collection of English and French translations of 50 poems written by Afghan women.’
      • ‘In 1816 the Analytical Society produced a translation of a book of Lacroix in the differential and integral calculus.’
      • ‘He added that booklets with the English translations will be available on the night.’
      • ‘The book includes literal English translations of idioms, but behind them are idiomatic meanings.’
      • ‘My basic attitude is respect for anyone who's published a translation of Homer.’
      • ‘His voice was inaudible, but an announcer read an Arabic translation of his words.’
      • ‘Some editions include a translation of the Gospel of Thomas as an appendix.’
      • ‘Over the centuries numerous translations have appeared in many languages.’
      • ‘New editions of the texts in the original languages and new translations have been published.’
      • ‘As translations of literary texts into other languages go, it is not unexpected that poetry prevails.’
      • ‘After a short while, the computer finally gave him a rough translation of the text.’
      • ‘The literal English translation is simply ungrammatical, and most readers would find it incoherent.’
      rendering, rendition, gloss, conversion, construing, transcription, transliteration, metaphrase
      rendition, adaptation, version, rendering, paraphrase, paraphrasing, rewording, rephrase, rephrasing, recasting, conversion, deciphering, decoding, gloss, crib, simplification, explanation, elucidation, clarification
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    2. 1.2The conversion of something from one form or medium into another.
      ‘the translation of research findings into clinical practice’
      • ‘We need to promote our accomplishments, identify gaps in our translation of research to educational practice and develop strategies for change where necessary.’
      • ‘This kind of thinking also brings out the way in which the balance of a novel can be shifted by the very nature of translation between mediums governed by differing generic conventions.’
      • ‘We also contend that policies and procedures implemented in basic research facilitate their successful translation into preventive intervention programs.’
      • ‘It's up to them, but there are several other classic modules that would lend themselves to translation to a computer version.’
      • ‘The lack of capacity for research will stop the translation of discoveries in basic science into clinical practice.’
      • ‘One area of scientific responsibility that psychologists need to take more seriously is the translation of their research results.’
      • ‘Clinical trials on patients are vital to the translation of new research into clinical practice, but they are in decline.’
      • ‘However, translation of genomic research discoveries to improved clinical outcomes can occur only with an informed professional workforce.’
      • ‘The novel aspect of the research is the translation of an algorithm - the basic method underlying a computer program - into the process of crystal growth.’
      • ‘One obvious solution to this incompatible babble of bits would be special translation programs for converting from one format to another.’
      • ‘The translation of such a miserable message into the medium of film has only been accomplished three times.’
      • ‘Although pomp loses something in the translation to the small screen - on my vintage set, anyway.’
      • ‘Some differences between the paintings and the sculptures are necessary consequences of the translation from one medium to another.’
      • ‘This program will enhance interactions between scientists and clinicians in order to accelerate the translation of research findings into medical applications.’
      change, conversion, transformation, alteration, adaptation, turning, metamorphosis, transmutation, transfiguration, rendering
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    3. 1.3Biology The process by which a sequence of nucleotide triplets in a messenger RNA molecule gives rise to a specific sequence of amino acids during synthesis of a polypeptide or protein.
      • ‘A gene, by the way, is a portion of DNA responsible for encoding messenger RNA for translation into protein.’
      • ‘Protein synthesis inhibitors can rapidly block translation elongation and cause release of truncated polypeptide chains.’
      • ‘The nucleotide sequence and the polypeptide translation of the insert is shown in Fig.1.’
      • ‘The mRNA containing the amber codon then leaves the nucleus and travels to the ribosome where it serves as a template for translation of a specific protein.’
      • ‘All these proteins are synthesized by translation of preformed maternal mRNA.’
  • 2formal, technical The process of moving something from one place to another.

    ‘the translation of the relics of St. Thomas of Canterbury’
    • ‘Bishops might preach at church consecrations or at the translation of relics, or go on occasional preaching tours, particularly to promote crusading fervour.’
    relocation, transfer, transferral, move, moving, movement, removal, shift, conveyance, conveying, transport, transportation
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    1. 2.1Mathematics Movement of a body from one point of space to another such that every point of the body moves in the same direction and over the same distance, without any rotation, reflection, or change in size.
      • ‘Cartesian coordinate fluctuations for all heavy atoms were calculated after subtraction of overall translation and rotation.’
      • ‘A maneuvering body undergoes translation or rotation as opposed to a stable body in which the sum of all forces and all turning moments are zero.’
      • ‘The common motions are rotation and translation across the discontinuities.’
      • ‘There seems to be a movement to direct translation.’
      • ‘These alternative S4 movements, translation and rotation, are not mutually exclusive.’


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin translatio(n-), from translat- carried across (see translate).