Translation Service


Translation is the process of transferring information content of the text from one language into another language.

  • Literal translation : Material in science and technology and social sciences is translated adhering to the content s of the original.    This is known as ‘ Literal translation’. Literal translation  is utilized for factual  type of material,  such  as  commercial  correspondence,  legal  material,  technical  material  as  well  as scholarly material in pure and applied sciences and social sciences.  
  • Literary  translation : translation of material in humanities, such as novels, plays, poetry, films, television, radio,  motion  picture  scripts  and  vocal  music  text,  etc.  is  ‘Literary  translation’. In  literary  translation, the style and techniques of expressing feelings are more important.

Difference Between Literal translation and Literary  translation

  1. The major difference between  literal and literary translation is the delivery of   material in  target language. Translation of literary material is generally for mass consumption, whereas translation of scientific, technical, legal and commercial material is for the specialists in the given field. 
  2. The other  difference  is  that  science  and  technology  translations  are  done  once,  while  literary classics  (such  as  novels,  religious  books  like  Bible,  Bhagwat  Gita,  etc.)  are  repeatedly translated.

Translations Agencies

International Translation Centre (1975-1997)

  • Formerly Known as European Translation Centre
  • International  Translation  Center  (ITC)  started  in  1975.
  • ITC  did  not translate  but  registered  and  in dexed  translations  performed  by  cooperating  institutions, firms, and individuals who voluntarily deposited copies of the translations with the centre.
  • Publishes World Translation Index  (WTI)  (10 issues Per Year)
  • INSDOC  (now  NISCAIR)  published  National  Index  of Translations,  a  quarterly  publication  covering  citations  to  translations  done  by  INSDOC  and other agencies in India.
  • National Index of Translations was also sent to ITC for coverage in WTI.
  • International Translation Centre stopped working in December 1997.   

Index Translationum (1932+)

  • Index Translationum is an international  bibliography of translations.
  • Published by UNESCO
  • It provides details of books translated in the world into English covering all fields of knowledge.
  • From 1979 onwards, UNESCO is maintaining the machine readable database of this Index. 

Translation Services in India

NISCAIR Foreign Language Translation Service

  • NISCAIR (Formerly INSDOC) has been providing translation services to S&T community since its inception in 1952.
  • It caters to the translation requirements of National Laboratories, S&T Institutes, R&D Organisations, Corporate and Public Sector Undertakings, Universities, Research scholars, etc.
  • NISCAIR provides translation of S&T documents from 20 foreign languages into English. Languages that include Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Swedish, etc.
  • NISCAIR provides reverse translation (English into foreign language) also.
  • Translation of English text of maximum of one page into French, German, Russian and Spanish is undertaken. Translation of full English document into Japanese is undertaken.
  • NISCAIR also provides interpretation services in Japanese language.

Translation Activities in Humanities and Social Sciences

  1. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and National Book Trust (NBT) are both engaged in translation of textbooks in various Indian languages.
  2. The State Council of Educational Research and Training carries out translation  work from English into state languages or vice versa.
  3. The Central Hindi Directorate, Hindi Academy and Sahitya Academy carry out translation work. The Sahitya Akedemy has also instituted a prize for the Best Translator.
  4. The School of Foreign Languages (SFL), Delhi, conducts courses in Chinese,French, German, Japanese and Russian languages for defence personnel and sponsored candidates. The School also undertakes translation work.
  5. The Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, and The Institute of Asian Studies, Madras conduct language courses and perform translation activities.
  6. The Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Delhi carries out literary translations of books and other documents to project Indian cultural heritage to the world.

Following publications provide list of cover-to-cover translated journals:

  • Ulrich’s Periodical Directory
  • Journals in Translation (1950+)
  • World Translation Index (WTI)(1987 to Dec. 1997)
  • Dialog (
  • Index Translationum

Indian Scientific Translators Association (ISTA)

Indian Scientific Translators Association (ISTA) was established in 1962. Dedicated to the cause of promotion of scientific translation in India, the association has been making persistent efforts to bring S&T translation to the focus of public and government attention through talks, discussions, seminars, surveys, workshops, publications, etc.

The main objectives of ISTA

  • promote facilities for scientific translation in India;
  • endeavour to improve the status and service conditions of scientific translators;
  • promote training facilities for scientific translation and take such measures as would lead to the maintenance of a high standard of scientific translation;
  • convene conferences or conduct seminar on scientific translation;
  • cooperate with national and international organisations with similar objectives;
  • bring out publications which will tend to the realisation of the objectives of ISTA; and
  • do all such activities as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the objectives of ISTA.

Journal of Indian Scientific Translators Association :  Since 1972, the association has been publishing JISTA, Journal of Indian Scientific Translators Association. Published annually, JISTA covers articles and news items on theoretical and practical aspects of translation, training of translators, linguistic issues, scientific terminology problems, machine translation, updates on science and technology, etc.

  • The association celebrates ‘International Translation Day’ on 30 September every year (since 1992).
  • The association has been publishing JISTA, Journal of Indian Scientific Translators Association; published annually
  • The association has brought out ‘Directory of S&T Translators in India’ and maintains it on its website (http://

Machine Translation

Machine translation (MT) is the application of computers to the task of translating texts from one natural language to another.

Machine Translation Research in India

  • Department  of  Official  Languages,  Government  of  India  is  actively  funding  projects  in  MT research.
  • Currently three institutions in the country namely C-DAC, NCST, Bombay and IITs have taken the lead in developing MT Systems. Ministry of Information Technology has  identified following areas for development of domain specific translation systems:

i)  Govt. administrative procedures and formats;

ii)  Parliamentary questions and answers;

iii) Pharmaceutical information; and

iv)  Legal terminology and judgments.

  • NCST,  Mumbai  has  developed  ‘MANTRA’,  a  machine assisted translation  tool for  translating official language sentences from English to Hindi.
  • C-DAC has developed ‘VYKARTA”, which can parse English, Hindi, Gujarati and Sanskrit. The System is able to translate letters and circulars from English to Hindi. 
  • IIT, Kanpur has developed  ‘ANGLABHARTI’, a machine aided translation system for translation from English to Indian languages, primarily Hindi, for the specific domain of Public Health.
  • Two  translation  machine  systems  from  English  to  Hindi,  ‘SHIVA’  and  ‘SHAKTI’,  are  being developed by Carnegie Mellon University, USA and Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore.

Source: Epgpathshala,IGNOU Study Material

Obj Q.1.  Match the following :

List – I 


b. C-DAC

c. IIT, Kanpur

d. Indian Institute of Sciences

List – II


Codes :

         a  b  c  d

 (A)  i  iii  iv  ii

 (B)  ii  iv  i  iii

 (C)  i ii  iii  iv

 (D)  iv  i  iii  ii

Q. 2 ‘International Translation Day’ was celebrated on ………………

 (A)  8 March

 (B)  13 December

 (C)  30 September

 (D)  5 January  

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