It’s a common misconception that a person with speaking, reading or writing knowledge of two languages can translate them as well. However, the process of translation is not as simple as it might appear to an unacquainted person. It’s far more complicated than just finding an equivalent word in another language.
Machine translation tools such as Google Translate can’t comprehend the peculiarities of languages that are neither closely related nor similarly inscribed. More frequently, the machine tools and software provide word-for-word translation, breaking the sentences into clusters, jumbling up the word order and disregarding the context. Hence, such tools might be handy for translating words or elemental phrases, but they’re certainly not reliable for a cohesive finished product.
1. Punjabi and English belong to different language families.
The fact that Indo-European Punjabi and Germanic-Romance hybrid English are poles apart renders the translation of English into Punjabi precarious. In addition, Punjabi has several dialects. A professional Punjabi translator masters command of at least the four central dialects of Punjabi spoken in India and Pakistan.
2. Punjabi has an enormous variety of gender variations.
In Punjabi, every noun, animate or inanimate, has a gender, whereas pronouns do not. Unlike English, in most Punjabi sentences, the verb conjugation determines the gender of the grammatical subjects. A small slip might produce a ridiculous and fuzzy meaning in the target language. A professional Punjabi translation service annihilates such mix-ups, ensuring premium quality in the final output.
3. Punjabi uses the oblique case, whereas English employs the direct case.
Another challenge in translating English into Punjabi is the conversion of the direct case into the oblique case. Most Punjabi sentences are written in the oblique case, wherein a postposition follows the grammatical subject and creates yet another pyramid of variations in number, gender and word order. For example, the English sentence “I don’t know” translates to Punjabi as “Me to not know.” Perplexing! Of course, that is, to a machine tool, but not to a professional Punjabi translation service.
4. Punjabi attaches cultural respect to people and their pronouns.
In South Asian cultures, persons are assigned respect depending on kinship, social status or age difference. The Punjabi language preserves cultural respect in nouns and pronouns by pluralizing auxiliary and/or verb conjugations. For example, the English sentence “My mother is standing at the door” translates as “My mother are standing at the door” in Punjabi. A machine might not decipher that accurately, but a meticulous Punjabi translator will detect this trait.
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