Translation Types - All Kinds of Translation

There are over a thousand languages in the world, and due to the lack of a global official language, it is very difficult for content to be understood in every country. This necessitates the need for translation. One might simply argue that translation can be performed by anyone who understands the respective languages. However, it is much more complex than that. A legal document cannot be translated in the same way as a literary document due to the existence of humor, emotions, etc in a literal content. So, along with the linguistic skills, a translator needs to have expert knowledge of that particular domain they are specializing in. Accurate translations of documents are performed by agencies providing professional translation services. Based on the domains, translations can be divided into various types. But according to us, the translation types can be majorly classified into the following categories -

Business translation

Effective communication is the key to any successful business. Business documents are required to communicate clearly between organizations, and when multiple languages come into play, it calls for translation. Business translation or sometimes known as Commercial translation is the process used to translate commercial documents. Some of the documents that require business translation are -

  • Invoices
  • Business reports
  • Contracts
  • Company accounts
  • Tender documents etc
Business translation

Since these documents use business jargon and terminology, it is extremely important to maintain accuracy and contextual correctness while translating. Business translation of documents is key in improving international trade relations and global marketing. Business documents can make or break a company. So it is very crucial to ensure that they contain the information precisely.


It is difficult to perform a commercial translation as it requires that the client accurately receives and interprets the conveyed content such as the proper data analysis, profit-loss statements and so on, in order to convince and also gain the trust of the relevant party. Due to the fact that most commercial documents involve legal paperwork, a professional business translator requires legal knowledge as well. Certified business translation services ensure that this conversion is done in the best possible way.

Administrative translation

A good administration requires transparency and clarity. It is important to convey information within an organization without any confusion. Administrative translation involves the conversion of managerial or administrative texts and documents used in daily operations when an MNC has multilingual employees. Administrative translation includes -

  • Employee contracts
  • Sales pitch
  • Presentations
  • Annual reports
  • General briefs, etc

Being a subset of business or commercial translation, administrative translation is mostly commercial. However, the vice versa is not true i.e, not all commercial translations are administrative

Technical translation

Technology is an essential factor in today’s world. And it is necessary to make sure it is not limited to a certain region but is spread to every little part of the world. To assure that this happens, technical documents need to be translated into different languages without losing their significance and content. Documents that require technical translation include -

  • User guides
  • Manuals
  • Instruction leaflets
  • Training material
  • Minutes of meetings etc

It also includes the translation of industry-specific documents in sectors such as IT, science, engineering, manufacturing, etc. Apart from the textual content, even visual contents such as screenshots, graphics, CAD drawings, and videos also need to be technically translated.

Technical translation

This is important because a technically translated document makes sure that even a person proficient in only one language has the opportunity to understand the information and knowledge required. If misinterpretations occur, it could lead to the target receiving the wrong information and thereby following the wrong instruction or coming to the wrong conclusion, etc.


Translating technical documents can be difficult as they contain words and terms that cannot be put into context by general translators. Professional technical translation services do this job with the highest accuracy, making sure there is no room for misinterpretation. A professional technical translator is not only good at translating, but also is well trained and adept with the technology and industry they are dealing with. Due to the high margin of error in technical translation, it is crucial to approach the best technical translation services.

Legal translation

Law is a very delicate aspect of the world. One wrong move and it could cause destruction, and one right move can lead to happiness. And legal documents are used to incorporate the law. The term legal translation refers to the conversion of legal documents and it is one of the most complex types of translation which requires high skill. Legal documents that undergo translation include-

  • Statutes
  • Legal contracts
  • Treaties and Deals
  • Court summons
  • Warrants etc
Legal translation

A proper translation of legal documents is a necessity as it ensures that there are no errors or loopholes in them. Legal documents on its own are very difficult to comprehend without knowledge of the legal terminology and an understanding of the law. Even a highly skilled translator with proper knowledge of the languages might need the help of a legal professional.


It is very challenging to be legal translators, as they have to fully understand the socio-cultural and politico-legal aspects of the different countries since each and every country has its own set of laws and regulations. This is because even a small slip up or error in translation can have dire consequences. This is clearly proven from the fact that some countries mandate a specific degree in legal translation to perform this, and even require them to swear legal oaths. It is therefore vital to approach certified legal translation services to assure that you get the most efficient translation service.

Medical translation

Health and well being is necessary for the survival of a human being irrespective of the country, culture or language. In order to maintain this, it is essential to expand medical knowledge to every corner of the world. Medical translation is the process in which medical documents are converted from a source language to the target language without changing its intended purpose and meaning. The documents that undergo medical translation include -

  • Medical research papers and thesis
  • Patient reports
  • Information posters
  • Medical equipment manuals
  • Drug labeling
  • Clinical trial reports etc
Medical translation

Medical translations are crucial as they can cause a life and death situation. When a patient is transferred to a foreign country for better treatment, an incorrect translation of his patient report can cause in the wrong treatment and procedure in the new hospital, thereby possibly affecting his life. Apart from this, it is vital to propagate any advancements in the medical industry to all parts of the world.


A rule of thumb is, “if you cannot understand it, you simply cannot translate it”. This makes it a demanding task to translate medical papers. As a result, a medical translator has to have a thorough knowledge of the medical terminology, along with good linguistic skills. To obtain the most accurate medical translations, it is mandatory to consult a good medical translation agency.

Financial translation

Money makes the world go around. A simple, yet powerful statement which conveys the importance of money in life. Financial documents are used to transmit monetary information, and therefore need to be translated in order to be accepted and understood across the world. Financial translation involves the conversion of documents of financial nature related to stocks, commodities, investment funds, banking, etc. Some of the documents include -

  • Financial contracts, packages
  • Bank records and statements
  • Balance sheets
  • Equity and bond research notes
  • Cryptocurrency etc
Financial translation

Financial translation is an important aspect as it removes the barrier between parties thereby promoting the growth of business between them. Banking translations also helps in reaching out to people to attract customers. The translated documents are sometimes easier for the target audience to comprehend.


Financial topics are normally interconnecting, and therefore requires high accuracy while conversion. This makes it a difficult task. Financial translation requires the translator to be well educated with financial laws as well as the market language and terminology. Sometimes, when different currencies are involved, the target content will also need to have converted figures and values. Certified professional translators help in doing this as they possess excellent knowledge of the financial world and the high market risks.

Literary translation

Literature is a comprehensive essence of the intellectual life of a nation. This shows the importance of spreading the beauty of literature to all around the world. Literary translations are nothing but the conversion of literary works from one language to the other. They are done on -

  • Novels
  • Poems
  • Plays
  • Essays
  • Comics etc
Literary translation

Literary translations are done as the scope of literary pieces are not limited to a particular target audience, but are to reach a large crowd across the globe with the right intention. It is important to do this as literature helps us to see life through the perspective of another person, as well as to enlighten the minds of the people.


It is the most difficult type as it not only involves conveying the context but also various other factors such as feelings, emotions, puns, humor, cultural nuances, alliterations, and several other sly wordplays. The famous phrase “lost in translation” is a satirical comment on literary translation as in this, the translator needs to grasp the author’s own literary style and then has to render this without it losing the intended purpose as well as any subtle connotations. Being one of the highest forms of translation, literary translations have to be performed by professional literary translators in order to obtain the best rendition of the work.

Script translation

Ever tried watching an Oscar movie, only to realize that it is in a foreign language? Well, script translation makes sure this does not happen, and that everyone gets to enjoy the gift of films. It is a subset of the literary translation. This is not limited to just films. Scripts can be translated on -

  • Movie scripts
  • TV series scripts
  • Interview scripts
  • Cartoon/Animated series scripts

This is an important type as this form of entertainment is appreciated worldwide and therefore has a larger audience. As a result, there is a potential to increase sales. A lot of brilliant movies in less spoken languages are limited due to the language barrier. However, script translation helps in breaking this and multiplying the reach.


Though it sounds easy, the script translation is quite the opposite. Apart from the literal change in language, the scripts also need to convey the right message and transmit the content with the same intensity as the original one. It is also necessary to translate the style of dialogue as well as the punchlines, jokes as well as the passion between the characters. The scripts also should also be able to tell the storyline in the exact intended way of the scriptwriters. Along with knowing the two languages, script translators need to be creative linguists.

Academic translation

There are 22 scheduled languages in India. Each state in India has educational organizations that use any of these languages apart from English, as a medium. Now imagine the number of languages used in academic organizations across the world. To make sure academic documents can be used in different languages, they need to be translated by certified academic translation services. They have a broad range including theoretical to technical, arts and business, to hard sciences, etc. Some of the documents that are translated include -

  • Academic transcripts
  • Results and certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Resumes and CVs
  • Academic books
  • Thesis and research papers
  • Presentations
  • Recommendation letters etc
Academic translation

Education is extremely vital in the development of people in a country. And academic documents help in fulfilling this. A well-translated content makes sure that people get to read and grasp it without restrictions to language. This makes it all the more important to convert them to the target language with the highest accuracy.


Academic translations are complex to perform as it requires a high level of understanding, along with diligence. These texts can be demanding as it involves precise grammar skills, content, and good technical knowledge. So a professional translator has to be well proficient in the field they are translating for. General science like physics, chemistry, and biology are based on facts and explanations and therefore require a straightforward translation. However, liberal arts like social sciences and literature demands a much more complex method due to the presence of figurative languages, ideologies, and other factors that can vary with respect to location, time and situation.

Website translation

More than a quarter of internet users around the world do not have English as a native language. As a company, it is necessary to translate the websites to all these languages to expand the clientele, and this process is known as website translation. Usually, website translations are done on -

  • Website textual content
  • Symbols and logos
  • Quote and slogans
  • Pictures
  • Address formats, currency, and other page content
  • Subtitles for videos
  • Page layouts

The main objective of this is to make the content accessible and user-friendly to the potential audience. People are more comfortable in using a website if it speaks their tongue. A global audience can thereby substantially increase revenue and sales. Even for an information website, if it is well translated, it helps in getting a much larger and wider audience.


What makes a website translation difficult is the fact that it requires a meticulous effort as there is a large possibility for mistranslations. Symbols and pictures have to be translated by keeping in mind the culture and ideology of the target audience. A slightly erroneous translation could cause several problems. Sometimes messages are contained in pictures, and these need to be deciphered while translation. A highly qualified professional website translator has a keen eye for detail and ensures that the conversion is done to the best degree.


Language and culture are intertwined. Every country and region has different culture and linguistic differences. In these scenarios, a simple translation alone is not sufficient when converting content. This is where localization comes into play. Localization is simply put, a comprehensive process of conversion of text and other content into a different language by giving a major emphasis on the culture, location as well as tiny linguistic differences.


Localization involves taking into consideration currency changes, the text length, local idioms, slangs, measurement units, date formats, page sizes, fonts, political situations and so on. It focuses on adapting the product or content to fit in a specific locale or market. A simple example would be a website content that is simply just translated into English cannot be used in both the USA and the UK as these countries have different spellings, cultures, currency, metric system and so on, even though they are both English speaking countries. Instead, they have to be localized with the above factors in mind.


A localized product or content has the appearance of original content rather than a plainly translated product. As a result, a lot of thinking goes into it along with technical and linguistic skills. Professional localization services are hired as it is cheaper and easier for a company than setting up a dedicated team for localization. Localizations can majorly be divided into 2 types -

App and Software localization

Softwares are just like living things. They adapt and grow depending on the environment. Software and app localization is nothing but adapting the software or application to various linguistic, cultural and ergonomic requirements. It involves changing the program to be locale-specific to negate the cultural barriers that exist. The components that are usually changed include -

  • User interface
  • Error messages, system messages
  • Resizing of dialogue boxes, forms
  • Color themes
  • Payment methods

Localization services perform this task so that the user feels that the software is specifically designed and written for that particular locale. They can even input the dates, time, addresses and other values in the same way they use it on paper as to be able to use it freely and input using their standard keyboard.


Software or app localization is a very time consuming and labor intensive task and therefore requires the help of professional services. They also require a very high technical and coding knowledge.

Multimedia localization

Multimedia is a powerful and influential medium of marketing. Multimedia localization focuses on making audio, video, animation and graphics contents accessible to the target locale by considering cultural, political and linguistic factors. The major areas of this are -

  • Corporate videos
  • eLearning videos
  • Video games
  • Color themes
  • Flash-based demos etc

This helps ensure that the spread of information is not limited by locale. By performing localization, the content can be made suitable for whatever region or culture as required. It also helps in marketing as now, a wider region can be covered by removing the language barrier.


Multimedia localization is a difficult task to perform. This requires a larger array of professionals. Along with linguists, it needs experts in audio and video text adaptations, as well as recording artists. These professional localization service providers combine translational skills with technical skills in performing voice-overs, changing the on-screen texts, subtitles, and so on. It is extremely important to be wary of the cultural, and political situations at the target locale, as an error can end up in offending the audience and might cause unnecessary legal issues.

Game localization

Video games are the largest entertainment industry in the world. It is therefore important to make sure everyone around the world gets to enjoy the games irrespective of their locale. Game localization is a major type of multimedia localization that involves modifying them to meet the cultural, and linguistic status of every target location.


Currently shooting or sports-related games have a wider following as compared to strategy and role-playing games. This is due to the fact that the latter kind requires good game localization to understand the instructions, audio, video in order to enjoy it. Whereas shooting and sports-related games are fairly straightforward. Game localization, therefore, helps in promoting the game and increase sales thereby, also helping people around the world to enjoy and relax by playing their favorite games.


Game localization is more complex than other multimedia as it needs to guarantee that the game is experienced without any conflictions, and has to take into consideration, the cultural sensitivities of the content, and provide with different packages, manuals, etc.


There are multiple types of translations such as legal, literary, finance, business, etc. The individual domains of translation require professional translators who are specialized in them. Each type has its own set of importance and difficulties and a certified translation agency acknowledges these and helps in performing the task to ensure the most precise and accurate translations.

PEC is India’s leading translational services and has an array of skilled and certified translators to cater to your specific requirements. We provide a high quality professional and confidential service.

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