Translation Techniques: Loan Words, Verbalization, Nominalization

By Chiara Grassilli
In Translation Techniques
Feb 11th, 2013

Translation Techniques: Why They Help You And Make A Good Translation


Professionals who base their work on communication usually prefer to use their intuition and don’t rely too much on techniques. That’s why translators are not obsessed with translation techniques or, at least, they don’t define their job as the ‘application of techniques’.

As translators, we have to use our intuition instead of just following a set of rules, as there are instances when no rule can give you the right answer. That’s why we are more familiar with concepts like sensitivity, creativity, receptiveness.

Techniques however, are fundamental to any translator; especially at the beginning of a career. A refined piece of work results from the proper application of a learned technique. The more strategies you know, the more options you have to choose from to solve a problem.


Benefits of Translating your blog

Three important translation techniques are as follows:

  • – Loan words
  • – Verbalization
  • – Nominalization

> Loan word: is a word which is not translated. In languages, you can find many instances of them which derive mainly from English. For example, It’s preferable not to translate a word like computer as it is a widely socially accepted word which the vast majority of individuals understand. Every language accepts loan words more or less enthusiastically: in Italian, for instance, it would be quite rare for someone to use the ‘computer’ translation calcolatore, whilst the Spanish ordenador and the French ordinateur are generally accepted.
> Verbalization: this consists in transforming a noun into a verb. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep the same phrase structure from one language to another, and changing a noun into a verb could help to make the text more fluent.
> Nominalization: consists in transforming a verb or an adjective into a noun. For example:

She started (verb) the project with enthusiasm > She was enthusiastic for the start (noun) of the project.


She was enthusiastic (adj) to start > She started with enthusiasm (noun) 

In my next post I will analyse the chunking method, a way to deal with non-equivalences.

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About "" Has 117 Posts

Since an early age I have been passionate about languages. I hold a Master's degree in Translation and Interpreting, and I have worked as a freelance translator for several years. I specialize in Marketing, Digital Marketing, Web and Social Media. I love blogging and I also run the blog

4 Responses to “Translation Techniques: Loan Words, Verbalization, Nominalization”

  1. […] when I have to find the translation of a word that doesn’t exist in the target language […]

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  3. […] word, but I also know that this word means really nothing to non-English speakers. It’s a loan word, and as such we’ve learn to put up with it, but it doesn’t recall something familiar to […]

  4. […] word class, maintaining the same meaning. Under this category we can find techniques such as nominalization and verbalization that I described in my previous […]