INTERNSHIP UK

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THE CHALLENGE OF TRANSLATION AND SEO

summer internship

My blog post will deal with a new perspective on translation, one which is thriving over the last few years: translation combined to SEO.

Perhaps you have already come across the term SEO before – or if you have not so far, here follows its quick explanation.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a technique that allows you to move your site above others across the search engines. The success of SEO is determined by two keywords: content and links. With content we generally refer to the “substance” of a texts and, more precisely, its keywords. For instance, if you are dealing with “tourist attractions”, you may find it useful to use some domain-related words (e.g. museum; exhibition/exhibit; tower; church; park; etc.), tag your document with such words and/or use them in the title. The implementation of links is fundamental to SEO: the more inbound links you have, the more chances you will have for your website to rank first or higher than the others.

However, this is not exactly what I would like to draw your attention to. During my internship in New Romney I have experienced the extent to which the translation process may be challenging. Translation is not just about rendering a text from one language into another by giving your own sweat to keep its content unaltered – as most scholars have suggested in their case studies. It is more than meets the eye. SEO goes even further by casting doubt on such a widely-accepted rule of thumb. With SEO it sometimes becomes impossible to be faithful to the original text, as you are expected to think about the right words which might come to the mind of the target audience when they refer to a specific item and search for it on the internet. Here follows a practical example of the above-said:TRANLATIONNNN

TRANSLATION2The examples above are taken from an EN>IT translation of a section of our Internship-UK blog. As you can see, the title itself displays some differences, which might be spotted even if you are not a mothertongue of either languages. The translation of the title into Italian required the addition of a “qualifying” expression to designate the uniqueness of the experience – because whereas for an English reader “cultural experience” would probably be enough to get interested in the internship, to an Italian reader the addition of “senza precedenti” will make the whole thing sound much more interesting and thus intriguing – the result is that s/he will be more likely to explore the whole website to find out further information and our website will thus rank higher in the search engines.

I might have dwelt too much on that, but this has been one of the aspects I have learnt from my working experience at Internship-UK. Furthermore, I have also learnt to meet deadlines and to quickly produce something that is not only a translation, but my translation – and I was really happy with that, especially because I was allowed to provide my contribution to the company – as well as to brush up on my English. Internship-UK is definitely the one I would recommend to all translators like me wanting to aim high and gain some qualifying experience abroad! =)

[Laura Centonze, Translation Department]

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