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See below, what kind of changes to the text might be expected for translations from English to Urdu or vice versa.
Translation from English to Urdu or vice versa entails certain changes in the resulting text. These changes are caused by the inherent differences between the languages. The following things in your order might be affected:
- The layout of the resulting text
- Time it takes to translate
- Translation complexity
Among other factors, these parameters can influence the final price as well. The layout factor is especially important to those, who are interested in our DTP (Desktop Publishing) services.
|Parameter||To English||To Urdu||Difference|
|Writing system||Latin (English alphabet)||Arabic (Urdu abjad)||Different writing systems: drastic difference|
|Characters per word (average)||6||5||Minimal|
|Text length (characters)||19% longer||16% shorter||Minimal|
Text length and document layout
The main factors influencing the length and layout of the translated document are:
- Writing system of the target language
- Writing direction
- Word length
- Relative lengths of the texts
English uses Latin alphabet, whereas Urdu employs Arabic abjad. It may make the translated text shorter or longer than the original, and makes selecting the correct font for the target language essential. Given the same font size, Latin symbols are generally 35% larger than the Arabic ones.
English is read left-to-right, but Urdu — right-to-left. It means that, in the translated document, the order of the text and visual elements should be reversed. This is crucial for technical documents and visual instructions, and demands additional work from the DTP specialists.
Both languages have a similar average word length — 6 for English, and 5 for Urdu. Thus, the word length should not affect the layout.
On average, documents translated to English are 19% longer than source texts in Urdu. On the other hand, Urdu texts are 16% shorter than their English counterparts. It means that some formatting differences are to be expected in the translated texts, although they should not present a serious formatting issue. Please note, that the actual visual length is also influenced by the font used.
Depending on your needs, the word order might be rather important for the translation. Things like slogans and brand names may convey an entirely different meaning, if their word order is changed.
The standard word orders of the languages are different. Various sentence structures may still be possible, but they might have a different meaning or change their style.
Dialects and varieties
English has 3 major varieties: US, UK, and Australian. It is essential for you to choose, which form or dialect to translate to. This is because each variety, from the point of view of the other types, can feel unnatural, misleading, or plainly inappropriate for the text.
If you are not sure, which form to choose for your document, the safe choice is the more widespread one, or the one understood by most speakers. For English, it is the US variety.
Translation complexity is partially dependent on how closely the languages are related. The further apart the languages are, the more time and effort it takes to express an idea from one language in another one. As a consequence, it affects the price and time it takes to translate a document between English and Urdu.
Both English and Urdu belong to the Indo-European language family. The English language, however, represents the Germanic branch of the family, while Urdu is a member of the Indo-Aryan branch. It is not as drastic of a difference as between members of distinct families, but the discrepancy still provides some challenge to the translator.