The history of translation has been a topic that has long been debated by academics and historians. It is widely accepted that the translation is prior to the Bible and today we will give you an idea of its real beginning.
The need for translation has been evident since the early days of human interaction, whether for emotional, commercial or survival purposes. The demand for translation services has continued to develop and is now more vital than ever. Companies recognize the inability to expand internationally or succeed in penetrating foreign markets without translating marketing material and business documents.
Now, what centuries ago was unthinkable, now is more than a reality. This is mainly due to the presence of famous online translation softwares and due to the ease of requesting a professional translator of any language in online platforms such as Protranslate. Who would have thought in those days, or even a few decades ago, that you could make use of Turkish translation services ?
When did the language translation start?
The early history of translation
To begin with, the word "translation" comes from a Latin term meaning "carry or transmit". This term has been present in the theories related to translation throughout history. Thanks to this, we can have an idea of how much and where there have been translations over the centuries.
It is known that the translation began to take place in the Mesopotamian era, when the Sumerian poem Gilgamesh was translated into Asian languages. This goes back to around the second millennium BC. Other ancient translated works include those made by Buddhist monks who translated Indian documents into Chinese.
However, the need for translation began with the development of religious texts and spiritual theories. As religion expanded, the desire to spread and encourage faith meant that religious texts should be available in several languages. Thus, one of the first translated religious texts was that of the Old Testament, which was translated from Hebrew into Greek in the third century BC.
In later periods, the texts of the ancient Greeks were also translated by Roman poets and adapted to create literary works developed for entertainment. It is known that translation services were used in Rome by Cicero and Horacio. In addition, it is known that these uses were continued until the seventeenth century, where new practices were developed.
The translation in Medieval times
Arriving at the Medieval History, this was the period in which the western world began to learn Latin. Since it was a new language for half of the population, there were some Latin translations so that people could understand the texts without problems.
It is said that the ninth century was the translation of two major works of English, such as The Consolation of Philosophy of Boethius and Ecclesiastical History of Bede. This helped people improve their immature English prose.
Later, in the 12th and 13th century, European scholars traveled from far away and settled in Toledo, Spain, to translate great religious, scientific, medical and philosophical works from Greek, Hebrew and Arabic into Castilian and Latin.
Famous translators through time
Believe it or not, in ancient times, working as a translator was incredibly dangerous and some even lost their lives due to their work. This statement can be confirmed with the death of famous translators such as William Tyndale, who was executed in Holland in 1536 because he worked on the translation of the Bible into English. However, we must highlight other famous translators that contributed to its popularity:
- The Chinese monk Xuanzang, who in 645 AD was credited for having translated 74 volumes of Indian Buddhist scripts into Chinese.
- Constance Garnett was a British translator who translated many Russian classics into English towards the end of the 19th century. Including Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev and Gogol.
- Gregory Rabassa was an American literary translator who translated numerous Latin documents into English throughout the 20th century.
Fortunately, these risks no longer exist. And you can work as a professional translator or get a specialized service on Protranslate.net. Every day someone needs some kind of translation, thanks to the internet the solution is in the palm of your hand.