The translation process is an activity during which a person (the translator) establishes equivalences between a text, or segments of a text, and another language.
The translation process can be described simply as:
Decoding the meaning of the source text, and
Re-encoding this meaning in the target language.
Behind this simple procedure there lies a complex cognitive operation. For example, to decode the meaning of the source text in its entirety, the translator, more or less consciously and methodically, interprets and analyses all the features of the text, a process which requires in-depth knowledge of the grammar, semantics, syntax, idioms and the like of the source language, as well as the culture of its speakers. The translator needs the same in-depth knowledge to re-encode the meaning in the target language. In fact, many sources maintain that the translator's knowledge of the target language is more important, and needs to be deeper, than his knowledge of the source language. For this reason, most translators translate into a language of which they are > native speakers.
In recent years studies in cognitive linguistics have been able to provide valuable insights into the cognitive process of translation.
Note that in the case of machine translation (MT), a computer or computer program takes the place of the person as translator in this process.
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