Contextualization in Interpretation and Translation
As people continue interacting all over the world, interpretation and translation of languages is paramount. It ensures that information is passed across in the most seamless way possible. However, it is important not to lose the meaning of words and phrases during the process. This is where contextualization comes in and it plays a major role in interpretation and translation.

What is Contextualization in Interpretation in a Nutshell

Simply said, contextualization is using items of a given language in a way that makes sense and is relevant to the context at hand. It is clearly shown through real-life experiences to be better understood. This is because the recipient of the given message can relate the translated words or text to their personal experiences. According to IPL, some of the best tools used to show context during interpretation of a language are realia and visual aids.

Effects of Culture In Translation and Interpretation

The customs, ideas, and general social behavior of a given group of people is passed through their language. Scientific Research states that translation and interpretation for that matter is a cultural exchange. In order to accurately translate and interpret one language to another, the interpreter must be properly oriented with the culture of the target language. Doing so ensures that the real meaning intended by the original language is eventually conveyed.

How is Contextualization Used in Interpretation and Translation?

Since contextualization is using items of a given language in a way that makes sense, it highly depends on environmental interaction. Where and when an occurrence takes place directly determines the meaning of words and phrases. For instance, some words bear different meanings depending on where and when they are used. In a nutshell, contextualization is the process of interpreting or translating the meaning of a source text to another language without changing its meaning.   The question is, what is a good contextualized translation? According to Harry Clark Translation, it is when the original text is first de-contextualized and then re-contextualized for the target text or language.

The Importance of Contextualization in Interpretation and Translation

Contextualization in Interpretation and Translation Contextualization helps the target audience to receive the intended message as it is in the initial language. It enables the recipients of the information to acquire new knowledge and skills. With a new view of the environment around them, the targeted audience also acquires improved attitudes and abilities. It also helps them to communicate the same message to others from a point of understanding. Additionally, professional and business needs are successfully met by proper contextualization in interpretation and translation of world languages. This has brought about ease in human interactions at all levels globally.


Since information is universal, translating and interpreting it from one language to another is important so as to avail it to all. Nonetheless, contextualization ensures that the context of the other culture, social-economic structures, their worldview and other important factors are also captured during the process. It guarantees that the recipient culture receives the intended message without unnecessary influence or bias from other cultures. READ ALSO: Most Spoken Language in Africa

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