Creative Translation : Social Media Language

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Creative Translation : Social Media Language

Today, close to 60% of people worldwide speak two or more languages fluently. This means that more than half of world’s population is familiar with one of  literal translation’s  biggest flaws : it often ignores context.

Creative translation was developed in response to this. Rather than transposing each word into the target languages, this adaptive method uses the source text as a launch pad to create a translation that may be less accurate textually but comes much closer to the original meaning. 

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Using creative translation can make up for language length disparities, cultural barriers, nuanced vocabulary and much more.

Translating social media content is an area where creative translation can really shine. The challenges within this particular industry lie in both the complexity of the languages used and each platform’s publishing restrictions. For instance, if a platform like twitter restricts the number of characters you can use, the translated version of a message might be cut off if a larger number of words are needed to get the point across. 

The rise of slang and acronym use is also an interesting phenomenon to analyse from a translation perspective, especially through the use of hashtags. 

For example, should a happy hour picture post on Instagram use #TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) regardless of language spoken, or should it be #DMOEV (Dieu Merci On Est Vendredi) if the user is French? Is the goal then to create a collection of photos with the same idea, that share the same hashtag, or is it to form subgroups of the same idea, sorted by the language spoken? 

These are relatively new questions that really highlight how subjective linguistics can be , making the translation of one simple sentence a true work of art.

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