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How Crucial is Context in Ensuring Accurate Translations?

Importance of Context The Translation Company

Contextual translation transcends mere word-to-word translation, delving into the cultural and situational nuances that give the language its true meaning. Consider the word ‘set.’ The word ‘set’ could mean different things: a ‘set’ of dishes, to ‘set’ a record, or the sun might ‘set.’ Each usage paints a distinct picture, emphasizing the importance of context in translation. The power of contextual translation lies in its ability to capture a message’s essence, going beyond words’ literal meaning. Contextual missteps can lead to significant blunders. A classic example is when a well-known American car company introduced its car in Latin America with a name that, in the local dialect, meant ‘No Go.’ Instead of attracting customers, the name turned them away, demonstrating how a lack of contextual understanding can lead to embarrassing and costly mistakes.

Understanding the context is paramount in today’s interconnected world, where every word can have multiple interpretations. A marketing slogan, for instance, needs to resonate culturally to be effective. Similarly, a legal document requires precision to ensure every clause is interpreted correctly. The role of a skilled translator is crucial—they must interpret the source material, keeping in mind the cultural and situational subtleties, to provide a translation that accurately conveys the original message.

As businesses seek to engage with a global audience, the demand for translators capable of capturing these contextual nuances has surged. Their expertise ensures that your message is translated, culturally aligned, and impactful.

Ensure your message transcends language barriers with the right context and cultural touch. Contact us at for a consultation with our expert translators and make every word count in your global communication.

Sarah Winnemucca

Womens History Month general Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins (c. 1844 – October 17, 1891) was a Northern Paiute author, activist (lecturer) and educator (school organizer). Her maiden name is Winnemucca. Her Northern Paiute name was Thocmentony, also spelled Tocmetone, which translates as “Shell Flower.”

At 27, Sarah began working in the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Fort McDermitt in 1871 as an interpreter.

Subsequently, Winnemucca became an advocate for the rights of Native Americans, traveling across the US to tell Anglo-Americans about the plight of her people. When the Paiute were interned in a concentration camp at Yakima, Washington after the Bannock War, she traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress and the executive branch for their release. She also served US forces as a messenger, interpreter, and guide, and as a teacher for imprisoned Native Americans.

Winnemucca published Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims (1883), a book that is both a memoir and history of her people during their first 40 years of contact with European Americans. It is considered the “first known autobiography written by a Native American woman.” Anthropologist Omer Stewart described it as “one of the first and one of the most enduring ethnohistorical books written by an American Indian,” frequently cited by scholars. Following the publication of the book, Winnemucca toured the Eastern United States, giving lectures about her people in New England, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. She returned to the West, founding a private school for Native American children in Lovelock, Nevada.


Carol Chomsky, Linguist

Womens History Month general

Carol Chomsky was a prolific linguist and known for her research and development of childhood language and reading. She is considered a hero in the world of language and has earned a place in Women’s History! Carol Doris Schatz was born in Philadelphia on July 1, 1930. She married Noam Chomsky in 1949, the two having known each other since she was five years old and he was seven. Her mother had been a teacher at a Hebrew school where his father was the principal. She was awarded a bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951.

She earned a doctoral degree in linguistics from Harvard University in 1968, having attended the school in order to ensure that she would be able to make a living in the event that her husband would be sent to jail for his active opposition to the Vietnam War.

Chomsky’s best-known book is The Acquisition of Syntax in Children From 5 to 10 (1969). The book investigated how children develop an understanding of the underlying grammatical structure of their native language, as well as how they use this skill to interpret sentences of increasing complexity as they get older. Despite earlier scientific beliefs that children complete their acquisition of syntax by the age of five, Chomsky’s research showed that children continue to develop the skills needed to understand complex constructions beyond that age.

As part of her research to understand how children develop the ability to read, she developed a method in the late 1970s called repeated reading, in which children would read a text silently while a recording of the text was played. The child would repeat the process until the text could be read fluently without the tape. Research showed that four readings accompanied by a recording could be enough to provide added reading fluency for most children. More than 100 studies have been performed on the technique, with most finding statistically significant improvements in reading speed and word recognition.


The Acquisition of Syntax in Children from 5 to 10 by Carol Chomsky

Inside Lebanon: Journey to a Shattered Land with Noam and Carol Chomsky, Edited by Assaf Kfoury

5 Marketing Tips for Business Expansion

Marketing Tips for Business Expansion

When expanding your business to new markets, it’s important to understand the cultural differences and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly. To ensure that your business expansion is successful, consider implementing the following marketing tips.

Investing in marketing for the fastest-growing languages in the US can lead to significant business opportunities. According to a report by the American Marketing Association, the three fastest-growing languages in the US are Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic, with the Hispanic population alone estimated to reach 106 million by 2050. By investing in targeted advertising, culturally relevant messaging, and bilingual support, businesses can tap into this growing market and gain a competitive edge.

Following these 5 tips will help your business to tap into this market. 

1. Use Targeted Advertising

Targeted advertising allows you to reach specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. By using data to create a targeted advertising campaign, you can increase the effectiveness of your ads and reduce your advertising spend.

2. Use Culturally Relevant Images and Messages

When marketing to a new audience, it’s important to use culturally relevant images and messages that resonate with them. For example, if you are targeting a Hispanic audience, consider using images and messages that reflect their culture and values. 

3. Offer Bilingual Customer Support

Providing bilingual customer support can help you connect with customers who prefer to speak in their native language. This can improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

4. Localize Your Website and Marketing Materials

Localization involves adapting your website and marketing materials to the language, culture, and customs of your target audience. By localizing your content, you can make it more accessible and appealing to your target market, leading to higher engagement and conversions.

5. Hire a Professional Translation Service

Professional translators can help you accurately convey your message in the target language, while also ensuring that cultural nuances are taken into account. By hiring the right team for your translation project you can save time and money. Schedule a consultation with our team to create the right strategy for your business. 

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Spanish speaking population in the US


The Spanish-speaking population in the US is one of the fastest-growing and most influential demographics. 

According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 62 million Hispanics living in the US, and this number is projected to continue growing.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses that are looking to expand their reach and tap into this lucrative market. However, to effectively connect with the Spanish-speaking population, it is essential to communicate in their language and with cultural sensitivity. This is where professional translation services come in.

According to a recent study, the Hispanic population in the US has a purchasing power of over $1.7 trillion annually, making them a significant and growing consumer market. As this demographic continues to grow, businesses that fail to cater to their needs risk missing out on a significant revenue stream.

In order to effectively reach and engage with the Hispanic market, businesses must invest in high-quality translation services. This means more than just a literal translation of their advertising and marketing materials – it requires an understanding of the nuances of the target audience’s language, culture, and values.

Investing in professional translation services can seem like a significant expense, but the potential return on investment is substantial. By accurately and effectively communicating with the Hispanic market, businesses can increase brand recognition, loyalty, and ultimately sales.

Consider the following statistics: companies that invest in translating their materials into Spanish can expect an average return on investment of over 100%. In addition, businesses that effectively cater to the Hispanic market can see average annual revenue growth of 7.5%.

Some facts to take into consideration:

  • Over 62 million people in the US identify as Hispanic or Latino
  • The Hispanic population is projected to reach 111 million by 2060
  • Hispanic consumers have a purchasing power of over $1.7 trillion annually
  • 70% of Hispanics in the US speak Spanish at home
  • The median age of Hispanics in the US is 29 years old, making them a young and dynamic market
  • The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing minority group in the US

It’s clear that ignoring the Hispanic market is no longer an option for businesses looking to stay competitive and profitable in today’s economy. By investing in professional translation services, businesses can tap into this growing consumer market and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.

By working with a trusted translation company like ours, you can ensure that your marketing messages, product descriptions, and other communications are accurately and effectively translated into Spanish. This not only helps to connect with the Spanish-speaking community but also demonstrates a commitment to cultural diversity and inclusivity.

At The Translation Company, we understand the importance of accurate and culturally appropriate translations. Our team of expert linguists has years of experience in providing high-quality translation services to businesses of all sizes and industries. We can help you bridge the language gap and reach new audiences, giving your business a competitive edge in today’s global marketplace.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with the rapidly growing Spanish-speaking population in the US. Contact us today to learn more about our translation services and how we can help your business thrive.

How To Get Started

Free Quote


#1  Contact us to get a free quote or questions answered, or

#2  Upload your files for an instant translation quote, or

#3  Schedule a free Zoom meeting with our team now.

Black Women Authors Book List

Black Women authors Book list

Today is the end of Black History Month and tomorrow begins Women’s History Month. We decided to celebrate both of these important  months by creating a list of Black Women authors we love and want to share with you. Pulitzer prize winners, Nobel Prize winners, and a first lady are on this list of works.  If you do not already have these books in your library, we have provided a link after each author to get a copy of your own, or listen to the book on Audible.

Happy reading!

Zora Neale Hurston– “Tell my Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica” (1938)

A collection of folktales and documenting African based language and religions, such as Voodoo and it’s American Couterpart: Hoodoo. buy ‘Tell My Horse’ on Amazon

Alice Walker– “The Color Purple” (1982)

Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.

In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning 20 years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all. buy “The Color Purple” on Amazon or listen on Audible

Nicola Yoon– “The Sun is also a Star” (2016) We all love a YA novel, and this is where you can get your fix. Fall in love with a story of two teenagers, from vastly different backgrounds, as they fall in love, just as their worlds are falling apart, as Natasha’s family faced deportation to Jamaica.  Buy this book on Amazon or listen on Audible

Toni Morrison– “Song of Solomon” (1977); Also read “Beloved” and “The Bluest Eyes” Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rust belt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world. Toni Morrison is also a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1988) for Beloved and  Nobel Prize for Literature (1993)Buy on Amazon or listen on Audible

Michelle Obama “The Light we Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times” (2022) Also see Becoming (2018)  There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with listeners, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much? Buy “The Light We Carry” on Amazon or listen on Audible

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Translation Company understands that this Thanksgiving is not like any other and prepared a fun infographic showing that Thanksgiving has not always been the same. We hope that these fun facts can help you have a more enjoyable Thanksgiving in 2020 despite all the challenges faced during these confusing times.


Working to Ensure that Police Officers Are Never Lost in Translation

When it comes to protecting citizens and maintaining public safety, effective communication between police officers and citizens is absolutely crucial. Yet in linguistically diverse cities, language barriers can prove to be a hindrance to such communication, jeopardizing overall community safety.

A Multilingual City with a Monolingual Police Force

Take Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for example. With an estimated population of just over 164,000, this city is rapidly growing and becoming increasingly diverse. Though approximately 93 percent of the city’s population speaks English as a first language, there are sizeable minorities of nonnative English speakers, which can make communication between citizens and public officials difficult.

It is estimated that the current number of languages and dialects spoken within the city is now more than 140. Roughly 6 percent of the population speaks Spanish as a native language, while 1.4 percent speaks Dakota and 1.3 percent speaks German. Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Amharic, French, Tagalog, Czech, and Korean are also spoken by minority segments of the community.

In spite of this diversity in foreign languages, virtually all of Sioux Falls’ 231 police officers speak English as a first language. A handful of the officers do speak Spanish, but their abilities are limited. “I would love for our department to be representative of the community,” explained Police Chief Doug Barthe. “We know we are nowhere near that, but we certainly welcome candidates with those skills.” Certainly, finding a police officer for each one of these languages would prove to be unrealistic. Barthe explained than during the hiring process, speaking a second language is considered to be a plus, but ultimately the department must hire the most qualified person for the job, taking into consideration education and experience.

Saving Lives with Effective Translation

The gap between officer language skills and linguistic diversity within the city has proved to be quite challenging for the department. High-quality, instant translation services have proved to be key in closing this gap. The Sioux Falls Police Department spent more than $10,000 on interpreter services last year, up from $6,528 in 2012. The department is on pace to spend more than $10,000 again this year.

The price, however, is well worth it. Just last month, Sioux Falls Police Officer Greg Logan explained that a woman called 911 to report that a man was attempting to break into her mother’s home. Yet when Logan arrived on the scene and inquired if anything was amiss, the mother told him “no.” As it turned out, the mother’s English abilities were limited. But thanks to access to translation services, Logan was able to quickly get to the bottom of things.

“I found out she was strangled by her boyfriend and thrown on the bed the day before,” Logan explained, adding that if he hadn’t had access to a translation service, the boyfriend may have gotten away. In some cases, translation really can save a life.

Quote Source:

New Translation of 13th Century Persian Poet

Wise words left to us by one of the most famous poets of the 13th century, Jal?l ad-D?n Muhammad Balkh?, or in English simply known as Rumi, have, over the years, become quite the trend on social media sites like Facebook. Rumi’s work was renowned in the field of theology, since he was regarded as a mystic whose words encouraged spiritual transcendence, therefore his poetry is the legacy of that work.

These poems were translated worldwide and Rumi is one of the most praised and best selling poets in United States.  The original writings were in Persian and are widely glorified in Persian speaking world (like Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan), moreover it had a significant impact on literature in these countries.

Rumi quotes on Facebook

His works were translated by a retired professor from the University of Georgia, Coleman Barks, and the Google search for “Rumi Facebook quotes” rates at above two million results. It seems a bit odd that a work devoted to spiritual advancement somehow ended up as a Facebook trend, which some may find paradoxical.

This feeling of confusion is probably caused by the fact that predominant content, or mood, on Facebook consists of photos that display drinking, partying, revealing outfits, bikinis etc. Even though that is true when one thinks about it, Facebook is a really vast network that has a number of users which is extremely high. It actually isn’t hard to believe that there are at least two million users who like the poetry written by Rumi.

Chris Jansen the translator

According to Chris Jansen, quoting Rumi on a social network like Facebook is not such a bad thing. He stated that it had been good medicine and that Rumi’s wisdom had introduced some mischief into the culture.

Chris Jansen is an Athenian who also dabbles in the translation of Rumi’s writings – his new book that consist of collected translations of Rumi’s work is called Illumination. Jansen added how Rumi’s poetry helped to bring these two cultures together in a way, despite the ongoing turmoil between them.

He also formed a partnership during the creation of the “Illumination”, her name is Fatima Saidi. Jansen started working with Saidi after he met her at the Maine humanities conference in 2013. Saidi lived as a refugee during her early life and spoke how, during those days, poetry saved her life, which left Jansen standing in awe. Once the conference was over, the two of them stayed in touch, and in the fall of 2013, Jansen brought up the issue of translating Rumi’s poetry.

They worked on those document translations via e-mail and Facebook chat and by spring of 2014, they created a collection composed out of forty poems.

About “Illumination” 

It’s worth mentioning that these are, as Jansen said, “versions” rather than direct translations. Since Rumi’s work was very tightly connected to religion and mysticism and Jansen being an atheist, who studied molecular biology, wanted to simplify them. Spiritual ascension is something an individual must do on his or her own, there are no answers for something like that in those translations.

To put it bluntly, the words have no literal meaning. Saidi simplified the poems in English and Jansen did that in American. Jansen quoted Robert Bly, one of his mentors who also gave task to Coleman Barks to tackle the issue of translating Rumi. Bly stated that translating poetry is an equivalent to robbing a bank, since a poet does all the hard work and a translator gets all the joy out of it. He added that everyone should try to translate poetry for the sake of witnessing just how much is lost once the translation is compared to the original.

One must agree with this statement after all the language of a certain culture is there to serve the needs of that culture, therefore the philosophy and perspective of the same culture is reflected in its language for the purpose of shaping the minds of new generations. When you try to translate that into a different culture which followers are influenced by a different philosophy, you are very likely to be dissatisfied with your work, no matter how hard you try to adapt it.

Translation of Untranslatable Words, Understand the Science

There is a whole science dealing with words and their meaning, and it is quite fascinating when you think about it, as even the simplest language that exists in the world is complex enough to support all the frequent actions, feelings, and can be used as a great source for explaining thoughts and ideas.

When you look at words, they are nothing more than the combination of a few dozens of letters, and speech is made up only from the sounds a human body can produce, but also all the non-verbal cues that we can give.

But, despite being an almost flawless tool that is unique to us, humans, did it ever happen to you that you wanted to explain something but you lacked the proper word? Was it because you forgot it, or the word simply does not exist in your native language? This is quite a common thing, as we have already talked about untranslatable words before, and translation studies is a whole academic discipline that deals with this.

Translation studies deal with both theory of translation and the practical application of translation, interpreting and localization. It is a discipline that relies heavily on other fields of study such as linguistics, semiotics, semantics, literature and the history of language.

The original purpose of translation studies was to offer advice to new translators on how to actually do their job, and later on it developed to be more focused on what translation actually is. Now, it deals with theory of translation, how it can be used, where it can cause problems, without having to solely focus on translating literature, which was the original purpose.

There is even a grammar-translation method which focuses on teaching a foreign language via learning grammatical rules and then applying those rules on translating between sentences of the target and native language. Word-for-word translation is common, and the whole point is to learn a new language by translating back and forth, mostly from Latin. This method went hand in hand with the original translation studies which were focused solely on translating literature as an equivalent, than trying to prioritize the purpose of the original text.

In the second part of the 20th century, with the development of the Internet, translation has gained a new meaning, and its importance steadily grew, as well as the importance of translation that is true to the source increased. This gave birth to new procedures that allowed new ways of translating, especially for words that cannot be simply translated into another language:


Adaptation is a procedure of translation where the translator is totally free to use whatever he or she thinks is best so that the connotation of the original text or language is maintained. This is most commonly used for cultural connotations, and subtle jokes that are only available in the source language. The adaptation is not always accepted as good translation, as it is highly subjective, but it can be recognized as a good adaptation of the source language to the target language.

The common example used here is how detectives from the Belgian comic book The Adventures of Tintin, Dupont and Dupond were translated into foreign languages so that they have names that are not Belgian, but from the targeted language, so in German they became Schultze and Schulze. The original joke of similar names remained, while it was adapted to the target language, and the same is applied to the word “Thanksgiving” which has no meaning in itself, so it is translated usually as “Day of Gratitude”.

Literal translation

Unlike adaptation, word for word translation is maybe the least free translation, where every word has to have an equivalent, without paying attention to the original sense of purpose. It is the most scientific translation, used as a technical translation. The quality of translating this way can be quite poor, as it can be full of errors, as the translator does not have to make any effort to convey the original meaning, joke, or idiom.

This is mostly used by unqualified translators, who do not have a good knowledge of either the source or the target text, and this was the most commonly used method of machine translation until the development of translation software which nowadays uses examples from both source and target language.

The simplest example would be to translate the German word “Kindergarten” as “children garden” in English, while this word is actually referring to the school year before the first grade. The literal translation cannot be used for untranslatable words, and that is why this approach cannot be used at all for words like “Waldeinsamkeit” (German) which stands for  a feeling of solitude and happiness in nature, and not “Woodsolitudeness”

Can a Translation be as Good as the Original?

This all leads to a bigger question: can a document translation be as good as the original document? Saying that those two most important methods we’ve described above are all of them, that would be a huge understatement, as there are numerous other methods that can be used in order to convey meaning between languages. How does all of this deal with untranslatable words? Well, it tries to find the best responding equivalent or phrase in another language without the fear of having to describe the word.

While untranslatable words exist, they are gathering much more attention than they should because the statement itself is wrong; those words do not have a single word as an equivalent in another language, but they can be translated as an idiom, or a phrase.

Look at it this way. A human brain thought of a word so any human with a brain could understand it, despite the fact whether his or her language has the corresponding word to describe it. The translation may be longer and complex, but it is still a translation nonetheless. Some people would say that this is actually defining, and not translating, but even that is good enough, as long as the original meaning and purpose are conveyed, and they are used in the right context.

English Word Creation

In the end, language is not afraid of simple borrowing, and I have intentionally saved this method of translation for the end. It consists of actually taking words from another language, as is, maybe changing its spelling so that it corresponds more the way it is pronounced, adjusting to the rules and grammar of the target language.

English has borrowed many of its words from Latin, French and other languages, simply because it had no equivalent. So, many years from now, you can even see an American in New York saying that he misses waldeinsamkeit. Of course, a word is truly borrowed fully as long as it retains the original meaning.

So, while the popular media are fascinated by seemingly untranslatable words, the truth is that, as long as humans are inventing words, humans of all nations and all language users will be able to understand the meaning of it, and the proper description and equivalents will be found, as long as the original aspects are preserved.

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