Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Transcription and Translation

translation_bookTranscription vs Translation

Transcription and translation have similar roots, and they both describe something that you can do to

The two words share a common root: the prefix trans-. That comes from the Latin word trans, which was a preposition meaning ‘across’, ‘through’, ‘on the far side of’, or ‘beyond’. In English, the general use is when something is perceived to travel through or across a dividing line. ‘Transport’ – from trans- and the Latin ‘porto’, or ‘to carry’ – means to carry something across or to another place.

Most of the words that use trans-, as well as their other components, are from Latin descent, though a few of them travelled through French first.

‘Transcription’ comes from the Latin word ‘transcribo’, which means to write something again in another place. That in turn comes from trans- and ‘scribo’, or ‘to write’.
In English, it means to write down a representation of language. This usually refers to writing down what people say, whether it is something that is spoken, sung, or signed in sign language. It can also mean the end product: a transcription is a written account of something spoken, for example.

‘Translation’ comes from ‘translatio’, which was a very broad word that meant to carry one thing across to another. This came from trans- and the word ‘latio’. That word comes from ‘latus’, which was a form (present passive participle) of the word ‘fero’, which meant to carry something across. Incidentally, ‘fero’ is one of the components of the word ‘transfer’, which also means to move something from one person, place, or thing to another. However, ‘transfero’ was a verb that described the action of moving it while ‘translatio’ was a noun that described the process of moving it.
Like its roots, ‘translation’ generally means to copy one thing onto another. The most common use is in the language sense. To translate something, whether it be spoken, written, signed, sung, etc. is to carry the meaning of it over to another language. This can serve as a coverall term for a few different types of translation. Formally, translating speech is known as interpretation. There is also literal, verbatim, or word for word translation, which is supposed to capture as much of the phrasing as possible. Loose or free translation focuses more on the meaning behind the words, especially in poetry or metaphorical works, in order to capture the art of the phrase.

The word ‘translation’ can also mean the end product of a translation.

The two words have a different meaning in biology. Translation and transcription are both things that involve DNA and how it functions in the body. Their uses there reflect their meanings in general speech.

Transcription is when DNA guides the creation of mRNA, or messenger RNA. Essentially, it unzips and small portions of RNA line up and stick together to form a long strand. The DNA takes its information and copies it down in another medium.

The mRNA then travels to another part of the cell: the ribosome, which is responsible for creating proteins within the cell. After that, the mRNA binds to the ribosome, which uses the information to direct the creation of proteins by matching the different components of proteins with the mRNA strand. That is what translation is in the genetics sense: the mRNA changes its information into another format.

To summarize, when talking about words, a transcription is changing the medium of the words, such as from spoken to written. Translation is changing the language of the words. In biology, a transcription is changing the medium of the information contained in the DNA, while translation is turning the meaning into a different type of chemical.


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