Definition of translate in English:


Syllabification: trans·late
Pronunciation: /transˈlāt, tranz-


[with object]
  • 1Express the sense of (words or text) in another language: the German original has been translated into English
    More example sentences
    • The best thing about that text is that it translates the word ‘pop’ as ‘explosion sound.’
    • Sign language is visual, and isn't always translated word for word into English.
    • Its big guffaw moments include an old lady macing a couple of cops and a sign language interpreter translating four-letter words.
    render, put, express, convert, change; transcribe, transliterate
  • 1.1 [no object] Be expressed or be capable of being expressed in another language: shiatsu literally translates as “finger pressure.”
    More example sentences
    • In addition, many idioms and expressions mean something very different when translated literally into another language.
    • William wrote, in Latin, Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which translates literally into English as ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity’.
    • A classic example of a thirst-quenching summer beer is the German beer known as hefeweizen, which literally translates to ‘yeast wheat beer.’
  • 1.2 (translate something into/translate into) Convert or be converted into (another form or medium): [with object]: few of Shakespeare’s other works have been translated into ballets
    More example sentences
    • Not only is he one of the best preachers in the world, he has the ability to translate his message into other mediums, including books, music, and drama.
    • I wondered if it would be possible to translate those elements into a time-based medium such as video.
    • The second part happens in the artist's hands, as the idea is translated into a specific medium that other people can appreciate.
    render, paraphrase, reword, rephrase, convert, decipher, decode, gloss, explainadapt, change, convert, transform, alter, turn, transmute
    informal transmogrify, morph
  • 2Move from one place or condition to another: she had been translated from familiar surroundings to a foreign court
  • 2.1 formal Move (a bishop) to another see or pastoral charge.
    More example sentences
    • He was made bishop of Dunkeld in 1544 and three years later, after the murder of Cardinal Beaton, was translated to the archbishopric of St Andrews and primacy.
  • 2.2 formal Remove (a saint’s relics) to another place.
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    • Relics were increasingly translated, or transported into, churches from sites of martyrdom, and as the basis for Christian burial ad sanctos.
    • The relics and ex voto gifts accumulated since the ninth century when the relics were translated from the administrative town of Agen are now stored in a nearby building.
    • His relics were translated c. 849, to Dunkeld in Pictland, and to Kells.
  • 2.3 literary Convey (someone, typically still alive) to heaven.
    More example sentences
    • If the Form Critics are right, the disciples must have been translated to heaven immediately after the Resurrection.
    • Elijah was said to have been translated to Heaven on a fiery chariot, a scene often depicted on Early Christian sarcophagi, whereas the Bible says simply that Enoch was taken by God.
  • 2.4 Biology Convert (a sequence of nucleotides in messenger RNA) to an amino-acid sequence in a protein or polypeptide during synthesis.
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    • First the DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA by the enzyme RNA polymerase; then the messenger RNA is translated into protein by ribosomes.
    • The genetic code is the mapping by which nucleotide sequences are translated into amino acid sequences.
    • DNA sequences were translated into amino acid sequences (the Drosophila code was used for Gammarus, and the mammalian code was used for Rana and Apodemus).
  • 3 Physics Cause (a body) to move so that all its parts travel in the same direction, without rotation or change of shape.
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    • As a result, both angular and vertical accelerations experienced by the body were translated directly to the head.
    • Rotation of the lever in a second direction translates rotational movement into sliding motion of the upper disk in a second direction to control the water flow rate.
    • Everything from the motion of the planets to visual perception was described in terms of particles bouncing off of one another, translating their kinetic motion from one body to another.
  • 3.1 Mathematics Transform (a geometric figure) in an analogous way.
    More example sentences
    • The line may be also translated by dragging it anywhere away from the points.
    • To calculate shape coordinates, the 23 triangles were translated, rotated, and rescaled relative to the baseline.



Pronunciation: /ˌtransˌlātəˈbilətē, ˌtranz-/
More example sentences
  • The need for translatability is foregrounded because video games are sold across the world, with most games developed in either Japan or the United States.
  • Drawing on the Renjaminian notion of translatability outlined above, I will now explore the difficulties inherent in translating Manzoni's I promessi sposi.
  • Tyndale's English Bible was first and foremost an exercise in the translatability of the universal truths of the Gospel into the vernacular and idiom of English culture.


More example sentences
  • Sexual orientation is not translatable into the Inuktitut language.
  • An evening spot on Chinese Radio talking about our campaign, and attempting to explain in easily translatable form, what ‘social democratic values’ are.
  • There is an unmistakable beauty, a spectacular charge to found footage that is translatable for a wide range of viewers.


Middle English: from Latin translatus 'carried across', past participle of transferre (see transfer).

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