10 Types of Translation and How They Are Used

‍The world is filled with different cultures, ideas, and languages. If you want to do business, collaborate or just understand someone better, you need to bridge the gap between their words and yours. Professional translation services can help you do just that.

There are many different types of translation out there – from simultaneous to subtitling – and each one is used for a different purpose. The more you know about these translation types, the better prepared you’ll be when working with translators or hiring new team members.

General Translation

General translation is a broad category for the many types of translation that are used for non-specialist audiences. It’s used for documents like marketing materials, instructions, manuals, and websites. People often use the general translation for short documents that only need to be translated once. General translations are typically used in situations where many people will be reading the same document.

If you want to reach customers in multiple languages, it’s often more cost-effective to use translation software. You can also outsource or hire a freelancer to do a one-time translation.

Administrative Translation

Administrative translation is the type of translation that’s done to communicate within a company or organization. This can include translating manuals, legal documents, and other types of documents.

It can be tricky to find a translator who has experience with administrative translations because these types of translations are not as common as other types. It’s important to find a translator who has experience with this type of work because it can be difficult for someone without experience to understand the nuances and cultural differences that may exist between languages.

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Commercial Translation

This type of translation is done for business purposes. It includes translations for marketing and sales, as well as translations that are part of a contract.

It’s important to note that commercial translation does not include translations that are done for personal reasons, such as translating an email or social media post. To learn more about how we translate your content, contact us.

Communication Translation

Communication translation is when you want to communicate a message to a specific audience. It’s different than general translation because it’s used for short, one-time use. Communication translation is commonly used for marketing materials, advertising campaigns, product launches, and social media posts. Communication translation is usually done in-house or with a freelance translator.

If you work with a freelancer, you can provide the original document for them to translate. Then, you can review their work, make any edits and publish it. Communication translation is often used for marketing materials because you may only need to use the translated content once or for a short period of time.

Literary Translation

Literary translation is about more than just the words on the page. It’s about the author’s intention, the context of the work, and the culture in which it was produced. This is what makes literary translation so complex. For example, when translating a novel from one language to another, the translator needs to understand the social context of the piece so they can accurately convey the message. The same goes for poetry. A good literary translator knows how to read between the lines and can help you understand a poem or novel on a deeper level.

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Technical Translation

Technical translation is important for industries like engineering, science, or health care. These industries have their own language and documentation formats, and these documents need to be translated accurately and consistently.

This type of specialized translation is typically used for long documents that need to be translated only once. For example, if you’re developing a new product in multiple languages, it’s worth investing in a professional translation.

Technical translation has very specific requirements. You would want the document to be accurate, yet read like it was originally written in your language.

Medical Translation

Medical translation involves the translation of documents related to healthcare. It differs from general translation because it’s used in a professional setting and needs to be accurate. Professional medical translation is often used for documents such as clinical trials, medical research, reports, clinical studies, patient information, and healthcare marketing materials.

If you’re in the medical field and need to do business with people around the world, you may need to translate your documents into multiple languages. It’s important to work with a professional medical translation company to make sure the translations are accurate and compliant with the International Standards for Cytogenetic Laboratories (ISCCL).

Legal Translation

Legal translation is used in the legal and government sectors. There’re many legal documents that need to be translated into multiple languages. These may include, for example, criminal laws, court judgments, contracts, and laws enacted by different government agencies. Legal translation is a highly specialized type of translation that requires specific training.

There are several international organizations that certify legal translators, including the American Translators Association, the National Association of Judiciary Translators and Editors, and the Registry of Interpreters for the deaf.

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Financial Translation

Financial translation is used for documents related to the finance industry, such as stock and asset reports, financial statements, and industry reports. This type of translation is very specific, and you would want to work with a company that has a financial translator on staff. Financial translation is more than just translating a document from one language to another. It’s about understanding the document and being able to accurately convey the message in your language. For example, if you’re investing in a company, you’ll want to read the financial report. A good financial translator knows how to read between the lines. Working with a financial translation company can cut down on the time you need to spend researching a company’s financial report.

Certified Translation

Certified translation is used for documents that hold legal or administrative power, such as birth and marriage certificates, adoption papers, and divorce decrees. These documents need to be translated by a certified translator. Depending on your country, these documents may need to be translated into the national language and then into English.

Certified translators are highly trained professionals who specialize in translating legal documents. Working with a certified translation company can help you avoid translation fraud. You can also make sure that the translation is accurate.


As You can see, different translation types are used for different purposes. You may need to use more than one type of translation depending on your business requirements and the documents you need to be translated. You can use this guide to help you decide which type of translation works best for your business.

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