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What Do You Understand by Free Translation?

Ever heard of "free translation" and wondered what it means?

First of all, a necessary disclaimer: we are not referring to “free translation” as a free-of-charge process. In prior articles, we have stated how one can get zero-cost translation from Google Translate and other machine translation tools, at their own discretion.

The term “free translation” is generally referred to as a type of translation that deviates from the original source, while maintaining its essence nonetheless. Some of the terms that you might have heard of include transcreation or creative translation. Despite its growing popularity, there is still some confusion around this method, particularly in terms of how it differs from literal translation. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what free translation means, when it is appropriate to use it and what it involves.

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Find the Best Approach with This Literal vs. Free Translation Comparison


Translating from one language to another is often a complex process that involves both objective and subjective considerations. There’s always debate around the best approach for translation. Should it be literal and word-for-word or free and creative? What differences can we find between these two approaches? Each has particular elements that come into play when translating.

Let’s explore their unique characteristics to get a better understanding and make an informed decision about which method works best in certain situations.

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