Definition of translation in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /transˈlāSH(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /tranzˈlāSH(ə)n/


1The process of translating words or text from one language into another: Constantine’s translation of Arabic texts into Latin
More example sentences
  • The English text - in translation from the Japanese - was carefully edited by Victor Hauge, a staff member of the United States Embassy in Tokyo.
  • Three Arabic texts are presented in translation.
  • But experts reading those words, whether in translation or in the original Arabic, describe the language as divisive and militant.
1.1A written or spoken rendering of the meaning of a word, speech, book, or other text, in another language: a German translation of Oscar Wilde’s play a term for which there is no adequate English translation
More example sentences
  • As translations of literary texts into other languages go, it is not unexpected that poetry prevails.
  • He also revived or bought several publishers for different editions and translations of the book.
  • It has been translated into 15 different languages, with further translations planned.
1.2The conversion of something from one form or medium into another: the translation of research findings into clinical practice
More example sentences
  • This kind of thinking also brings out the way in which the balance of a novel can be shifted by the very nature of translation between mediums governed by differing generic conventions.
  • We need to promote our accomplishments, identify gaps in our translation of research to educational practice and develop strategies for change where necessary.
  • Some differences between the paintings and the sculptures are necessary consequences of the translation from one medium to another.
1.3 Biology The process by which a sequence of nucleotide triplets in a messenger RNA molecule gives rise to a specific sequence of amino acids during synthesis of a polypeptide or protein.
Example sentences
  • A gene, by the way, is a portion of DNA responsible for encoding messenger RNA for translation into protein.
  • The mRNA containing the amber codon then leaves the nucleus and travels to the ribosome where it serves as a template for translation of a specific protein.
  • The nucleotide sequence and the polypeptide translation of the insert is shown in Fig.1.
2 formal or technical The process of moving something from one place to another: the translation of the relics of St. Thomas of Canterbury
More example sentences
  • Bishops might preach at church consecrations or at the translation of relics, or go on occasional preaching tours, particularly to promote crusading fervour.
2.1 Mathematics Movement of a body from one point of space to another such that every point of the body moves in the same direction and over the same distance, without any rotation, reflection, or change in size.
Example sentences
  • These alternative S4 movements, translation and rotation, are not mutually exclusive.
  • The common motions are rotation and translation across the discontinuities.
  • There seems to be a movement to direct translation.



Pronunciation: /-SHənl/
Example sentences
  • A translational investigator must be highly skilled in both fields, an increasingly difficult task.
  • Microwave heating of a polar molecule does not directly produce translational molecular motion.
  • These findings suggest that the specificity of translational activation plays an important role in fungal mitochondrial biogenesis.


Pronunciation: /-SHənl-ē/
Example sentences
  • Detergent-solubilized mitochondrial extracts from strains expressing two of the translationally competent polypeptides were fractionated by sedimentation and analyzed by Western blot.
  • Each flagellum rotates clockwise in the tumble mode, and the cell cannot move translationally but can randomly change its direction.
  • During the ribbon simulations, the ribbon can and does drift translationally in x and y and rotate in the x-y plane.


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin translatio(n-), from translat- 'carried across' (see translate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trans·la·tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.