8 different types of translation services

Do you need to get a translation done? Who can provide you with a certified translation? A financial translation? Or a technical translation?

The world of translation is a vast and varied one. Besides different translation techniques and multiple translation theories, you can find multiple translation services types, including technical translation, judicial translation or certified translation. See 8 different types of translation below:

1. Technical Translation

The term “technical translation” can be understood in two ways:

  • In the broad sense, technical translation refers to the translation of user manuals, instructions leaflets, business memos, medical records, financial reports, minutes of proceedings, clerical notes and so forth. These documents share the distinction of being for a specific and limited target audience, and can have a limited shelf-life.
  • In the narrow sense, technical translation refers to “technical” documentation such as engineering, IT, electronics, mechanics, and industrial texts in general. Technical translation requires a knowledge of the specialized terminology used in the sector of the source text.

2. Scientific Translation

As a sub-group of technical translation, sure enough scientific translation deals with documents in sciences: articles, theses, papers, congress booklets, conference presentations, clinical study reports, etc.

3. Financial Translation

Financial or economic translation deals obviously with documentation relating to the likes of finance, banking, investment, and stock exchange activity. It includes company accounts, annual reports, financial statements and contracts, financing packages, and so forth.


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4. Legal Translation

Legal translation covers a wide range of documents. Think of legal documents such as summons and warrants; administrative forms or texts such as registration certificates, corporate statutes and remittance drafts; technical documents such as expert opinions or other texts for judicial purposes; and a number of other texts in addition to reports and minutes of court proceedings.

5. Judicial Translation

Judicial translation –not to be confused with legal or certified translation– refers to the task of translation undertaken in a court setting. Judicial translators specialize in translating documents such as letters rogatory, minutes of proceedings, judgements, expert opinions, deposition, minutes of interrogation sessions, etc.

6. Juridical Translation

Juridical translation refers to legally-binding documentation. It includes the translation of numerous legal documents: laws; regulations and decrees; general sales and purchase conditions; legally binding contracts such as labor; license and commercial contracts; partnership agreements, accords; protocols and conventions; internal regulations; insurance policies; and bail assurance, among others. Juridical translators must have a solid legal background in addition to their linguistic training.

7. Certified Translation

A certified translator or sworn translator may use their signature to authenticate official translations. These are usually documents that require legal validation and are thus referred to as “certified” or “sworn” translations. Certified translators often work in courtrooms as juridical translators, or act in the capacity of a legal expert, as well as providing translations of civil status documentation, marital agreements, divorce settlements, death certificates, or wills.

8. Literary Translation

This is a challenging type of translation, since the translator must first try to render the semantic content of the original text –this is also the case for the translation of any kind of text– and moreover deal with a number of other difficulties, such as:

  • Polysemic word plays that are specific to literary texts, as behind a word or a phrase, where lie connotations the writer has tried to transmit or hint at subtly and which the translator must attempt to render;
  • The author’s own particular literary style; the translator must try to transmit the unique way in which the writer has couched their ideas;
  • Rhythm, meter and the innate balance of the phrase; this is particularly important in poetry but equally present in prose, where the translator must work out the best way to resolve the delicate task of rendering the music inherent to the text –assonance, alliteration and asyndetons.

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