Sometimes we are so used to something because it has been around for so long that we do not even realize how lucky we are to have access to it. This description might seem a little vague, but what we are talking about here are the texts and historical moments that we all have access to, no matter the language we speak. Foreign language translation services have done so much over the years and brought so much awareness to the world. In fact, some fundamental texts like the Bible are today available to all of us thanks to good academic translation and some of the most decisive moments of history had a international translator in the equation. Without foreign language translation or interpreting services, the world could have a taken a way different path and the consequences could have been chaotic.
Given these considerations, let’s talk about five times where foreign language translation completely changed history:
1. The Bible And Foreign Language Translation
Regardless of our background, everyone has heard of the Bible. Given the fact it is one of the oldest and most popular texts in the world, its spread across the globe is the result of foreign language translation, particularly document translation services. Even if at the beginning there was no professional translator to translate it, it has been translated into at least 700 languages from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Nowadays, the New Testament is still being translated into more languages, which gives work to a lot of language companies.
2. What Foreign Language Translation Did For The Qur’an
The Qur’an is another good example of a religious text that has been vulgarised through foreign language translation. The word “vulgarised” here is really important given the fact that Muslim people do not really acknowledge translations of the Qur’an, and even call them “interpretations”. In their mindset, only the original Arabic version conveys the whole message. However, internationals translators are still essential in order for all Muslims to have access to the Qu’ran, no matter the language they speak.
3. The Treaty of Kadesh And Foreign Language Translation
The Treaty of Kadesh constitutes one of the first steps towards legal contract translation. This treaty was signed by the Egyptians and the Hitties back in the 13th century BCE as a peace agreement. Therefore, the treaty was recorded in both languages even if there are differences between the two versions due to foreign language translation.
4. The “No Comment” Misunderstanding
This misunderstanding goes back to the World War II when the US gave the ultimatum to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, When the Japanese Prime Minister responded, “No comment”, to this threat according to his translators, it generated a big misunderstanding because what Japan really meant to say was that they were not making any comments because they needed time to consider it. Unfortunately this mistake in foreign language translation resulted in the atomic bomb being dropped 10 days later, changing history forever. In these cases, we see how important it is to consider a good-quality language service company today, especially a professional government interpreter.
5. The Vietnam War
This mistranslation happened during the Vietnam War. In 1964, after a naval attack conducted by the Vietnamese forced an American warship to retreat, the translation company in charge at the time mistranslated the Vietnamese version of events to “we sacrificed two ships”, causing the US to declare war to Vietnam on the basis of a mistake made because of foreign language translation.
Considering all these historical works and moments that were changed forever because of foreign language translation, the importance of having a competent international translator is clear.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
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