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A Brief History of Translation and A Glance at Its Future

We at Translators USA pride ourselves to work in one of the oldest disciplines. Translation has been around as long as written language, while the theory and practice of modern translation date back to antiquity. However, translation as an academic discipline emerged only in the second half of the 20th century.

 

Translation Until the Mid-20th Century

Even though translation has been practiced for thousands of years, it was considered of secondary importance in language learning until the mid-20th century. It existed as a part of language learning - first of classical Greek and Latin and later of other foreign languages - in the form of the so-called grammar-translation method. The latter was used to learn grammar and structure, or/and to learn to read foreign language until getting proficient enough to read the source text.

By the mid-20th century, translation was gradually abandoned as one of the methods of language learning. It became more or less limited to higher education and professional translator programs.

Translation Since the 1960s

In the 1960s, translation started to gain more importance in the US universities, while translation theory and practice began to attract more and more attention. The emergence of translation as an academic discipline was closely related to the introduction of comparative literature which involved reading of translated texts and the rise of contrastive analysis. By the 1980s, translation as an academic discipline was thriving. Just like other studies, it continues to evolve and develop while continuing to follow proven practices and theories many of which have their origin in antiquity.

The Future

With the international exchange of ideas, products and services growing at a rapid rate, translation has a bright future both as an academic discipline and profession. Even though the technology is advancing at an unparalleled pace and translation programs are getting increasingly advanced, they are unlikely to replace human translators in the near future, if ever at all. This is due to the fact that computer programs understand only what they are programmed to understand. And currently, they are able to understand only words and in best case, a few short and simple sentences. But they are unable to comprehend the language as such.

Rather than declining, translation is more likely to continue to grow in the future both as a discipline and profession.

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Translators USA has a database of over 9,000 language specialists who provide professional and fast translations in more than 150 languages: Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic and many others. We are also proud to offer both personal and business documents translations at the best rates in the industry. Our services are available 7 days a week!

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Wednesday, 17 January 2018
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