A translator is someone who conveys material communicated in one language such as English into another language — like French, Chinese, or Spanish — without losing the literal meaning or nuances of the original work.

Ideally, a translator is fluent in at least two languages, so they can translate what is being said in one language into another language without changing its original meaning. The Latin root of translator is translatus, which means "carried over," and a translator who's good at her job carries the meaning over into a completely different language.

Definitions of translator

n a person who translates written messages from one language to another

Type of:
linguist, polyglot
a person who speaks more than one language

n someone who mediates between speakers of different languages

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Edward Fitzgerald
English poet remembered primarily for his free translation of the poetry of Omar Khayyam (1809-1883)
Benjamin Jowett
English classical scholar noted for his translations of Plato and Aristotle (1817-1893)
William Tindale
English translator and Protestant martyr; his translation of the Bible into English (which later formed the basis for the King James Version) aroused ecclesiastical opposition; he left England in 1524 and was burned at the stake in Antwerp as a heretic (1494-1536)
Bishop Ulfilas
a Christian believed to be of Cappadocian descent who became bishop of the Visigoths in 341 and translated the Bible from Greek into Gothic; traditionally held to have invented the Gothic alphabet (311-382)
an interpreter and guide in the Near East; in the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries a translator of European languages for the Turkish and Arab authorities and most dragomans were Greek (many reached high positions in the government)
symboliser, symbolist, symbolizer
someone skilled in the interpretation or representation of symbols
Type of:
go-between, intercessor, intermediary, intermediator, mediator
a negotiator who acts as a link between parties

n a program that translates one programming language into another

translating program
Type of:
computer program, computer programme, program, programme
(computer science) a sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute

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