Translate: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
September 28, 2023

1. Translate (verb): The act of converting words or text from one language to another, ensuring the original message’s intent, tone, and meaning are retained.
2. Translate (verb): To express in more comprehensible terms.
3. Translate (verb): To move from one place or condition to another.
4. Translate (verb): To transfer or turn from one set of symbols into another.
5. Translate (verb): To cause to move so that all its parts travel in the same direction, without rotation or change of shape.
6. Translate (verb): To subject genetic information to translation in protein synthesis.

The term "translate" primarily refers to rendering words or text from one language to another. However, in broader contexts, it also means transforming or converting something from one form or state to another. Understanding these meanings is crucial for linguists, educators, artists, and many other professionals.

"Translate" Definition: What Does "Translate" Mean?

The word "translate" primarily implies the conversion of language. Yet, it has broader interpretations, including the transformation of ideas or concepts across mediums.

  • Language Translation: Converting text or speech from one language to another, maintaining original meaning.
  • Metaphorical Translation: Transforming ideas or concepts from one medium or form to another.
  • Spatial Translation: Shifting or moving something from one location to another.
  • Geometric Translation: Moving a figure in geometry without rotating or reflecting it.
  • Biological Translation: The synthesis of a protein in cells using a messenger RNA template.

Parts of Speech

The word "translate" is a verb suggesting the action of conversion or transformation.

How to Pronounce "Translate"?

The term "translate" is straightforward in pronunciation across most English dialects.

Phonetic Pronunciation: trænsˈleɪt (Stress on 'trans')

Synonyms of "Translate": Other Ways to Say "Translate"

The term "translate" has several synonyms, each bearing subtle differences in meaning and usage.

  • Convert
  • Render
  • Interpret
  • Transcribe
  • Adapt

Antonyms of "Translate": Other Ways to Say "Translate"

Antonyms for "translate" revolve around maintaining originality without transformation.

  • Preserve
  • Maintain

Examples of "Translate" in a Sentence

Using "translate" in a sentence often revolves around its linguistic and transformative meanings.

Here are ten sentences that demonstrate its diverse contexts:

1. She can translate Spanish novels into English with impressive accuracy.
2. We need to translate these technical documents for our international clients.
3. To translate a concept for the good of the community requires thorough understanding and sensitivity.
4. The movie failed to translate the essence of the original book.
5. Poetry can often lose its beauty when you try to translate it.
6. Some jokes don't translate well across different cultures.
7. Their deep love inspired them to translate their feelings into beautiful, harmonious songs.
8. The software can translate over fifty languages instantly.
9. She aims to translate her emotions into writing, hoping her words resonate with readers.
10. Some idioms are hard to translate literally because they lose their meaning.

Frequency of Use

"Translate" is frequently used, especially in today's globalized world. It's common in educational settings, international businesses, and various artistic mediums.

Variants of "Translate"

The term "translate" stems from the verb form but also has related nouns and adjectives.

1. Translation: The noun form implying the product or result of translating.
2. Translative: The adjective form describing something related to translating or the nature of translation.

Related Terms to "Translate"

Several terms are related to "translate," each with its distinct connotation and application, ranging from linguistic activities to transformations in various contexts.

1. Interpret
2. Convert
3. Transcribe
4. Transpose
5. Render
6. Adapt
7. Transmute
8. Localize

Etymology: History and Origins of "Translate"

The word "translate" originates from Latin. It's derived from the word translat-, the past participle stem of transferre, which means "to transfer." This directly alludes to its primary meaning of carrying the sense of a word from one language to another, but it also conveys the notion of transformation or movement from one state or place to another.

Derivatives and Compounds of "Translate"

"Translate" has birthed a variety of derivatives and compounds, signifying activities or entities related to the act of translating or transformations.

1. Translation: The noun form representing the outcome of translating, be it in language, geometry, or any other context.
2. Translator: Denotes a person or a tool that facilitates the process of translation.
3. Translatable: An adjective suggesting that something can be translated.
4. Translatory: Pertaining to or involving translation or movement from one place to another.

Common Misspellings of "Translate"

Accuracy in spelling "translate" is vital for effective communication. Yet, certain misspellings frequently surface, leading to possible misunderstandings.

Here are some recurrent misspellings and incorrect forms of "translate":

1. Translatte
2. Translayt
3. Translete

10 Idioms Similar to "Translate"

Though "translate" itself isn't common in idioms, numerous phrases connote transformation, conversion, or interpretation, mirroring the essence of translation.

1. Lost in translation
2. Read between the lines
3. Turn over a new leaf
4. Change of heart
5. The tables have turned
6. Wear a different hat
7. A whole new ball game
8. Break the mold
9. Crossing over to the other side
10. Turn the tide

10 Common Questions About "Translate"

The term "translate" provokes a myriad of questions due to its diverse applications. Delving into these queries unravels its depth and breadth.

1. What does "translate" mean in a linguistic context?

"Translate" in linguistics refers to expressing the meaning of a word or text from one language into another.

2. How does machine translation differ from human translation?

Machine translation utilizes algorithms and vast databases, while human translation involves personal judgment, context understanding, and cultural nuances.

3. What does "translate" mean in geometry?

In geometry, "translate" means to move a shape or figure without rotating or reflecting it.

4. How is "translate" used in biology?

In biology, "translate" refers to the synthesis of proteins in cells using a messenger RNA template.

5. Why is translation important in today's globalized world?

Translation bridges cultural and linguistic divides, enabling global communication, business, and collaboration.

6. Can emotions and nuances always be accurately translated?

Emotions and nuances may sometimes get "lost in translation" due to cultural differences or language limitations.

7. What's the difference between "translate" and "interpret"?

"Translate" usually pertains to written text, while "interpret" often refers to spoken language conversion in real-time.

8. How has technology impacted the field of translation?

Technology has revolutionized translation with tools like machine translators, but it also underscores the irreplaceable value of the human touch for nuance and context.

9. Why do translations sometimes vary among translators?

Translations can differ due to individual interpretation, choice of diction, cultural understanding, and context consideration.

10. Are there untranslatable words or concepts?

Some words or cultural concepts may not have direct counterparts in other languages, making them challenging, but not impossible, to convey accurately.


The word "translate" is fascinating because it encapsulates the bridge between different languages and cultures. Studying translation sheds light on the complexities involved when ideas travel across linguistic borders. To grasp more about words and their definitions, explore our dedicated segment designed to enhance your lexical knowledge.

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