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lost in translation

Of a word or words, having lost or lacking the full subtlety of meaning or significance when translated from the original language to another, especially when done literally. (Usually formulated as "be/get lost in translation.") My friend tried explaining a few French idioms to me, but I'm afraid they were lost in translation. Online translation tools are pretty amazing, but a lot gets lost in translation this way.
See also: lost, translation

be lost in translation

Of a word or words, to lose the full subtlety of meaning or significance when translated from one language to another, especially when done literally. My friend tried explaining a few French idioms to me, but I'm afraid they were lost in translation. It's amazing how much is lost in translation in the subtitles of foreign films.
See also: lost, translation

get lost in translation

Of a word or words, to lose the full subtlety of meaning or significance when translated from one language to another, especially when done literally. My friend tried explaining a few French idioms to me, but I'm afraid they got lost in translation. It's amazing how much gets lost in translation in the subtitles of foreign films.
See also: get, lost, translation

free translation

 and loose translation
a translation or restatement that is not completely accurate and not well thought out; a translation or restatement done casually. John gave a free translation of what our Japanese client asked for, and we missed the main issue. Anne gave a very free translation of the ancient Chinese poem.
See also: free, translation
References in periodicals archive ?
One Hour Translation is able to produce certified legal translations with the help of its community of over 15,000 professional native-speaking translators around the world.
The group of cardinals and bishops from the English-speaking world met at the Vatican's congregation to discuss how the translation of the Roman Missal into English is proceeding and to give their advice to the translation group, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).
But also, there would be higher risks of potentially wrong translations from anonymous partners: sharper criticism on received equivalences will be needed, making thus the revision process even more demanding.
Through various database translation support toots that can make effective use of past translations, and in the near future a document creation tool that can cope with each character code without being dependent on the computer's OS, Creer is investing in maximizing the latest translation technology," says Luu.
The two are brought together by a New Jersey-based company with an expertise in project management, product localization and translation software, and a long list of worldwide offices.
O'Brien analyzes both translations in detail, indicating that in some cases the translations are as much imitations as translations.
In 1408 the Roman Catholic Church condemned this English version and any future translations.
A 25% growth in translations of tourism related projects into Russian indicates a similar trend towards Russian tourists.
It aids students in constructing their translations in much the same way as described above for the films of the other stories.
The Holy See also made it the duty and task of the bishops' conferences to prepare vernacular translations.
Having learned their lessons about language regulations and seeing translations as a marketing tool to increase business abroad, companies such as Microsoft have expanded into the burgeoning markets in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Far East and South America.
Two new translations of Boccaccio's Elegia have come out in recent years.
Language Weaver's translation systems produce fluent, natural sounding translations and save customers money and time through automation of the translation process.
One Hour Translation will put the best translators with the most relevant experience on the job and get the translations done in parallel, quickly and efficiently.