Found in Translation
The act of translating often describes moving between languages (translate this passage into English) or mediums (the story translated well from the page to film).
Translation is the art of presenting an idea in a new way to communicate it to a different audience. An art because it often involves a nuanced approach in order to preserve the intention of the idea as it moves from point A to point B. Without the nuance, the best intentioned message can get ‘lost in translation.’
Translation allows you to take your idea to the audience rather than waiting for them to come to you:
Rather than expecting your Chinese audience to learn English, you translate your book to Mandarin.
Adapting a book to film provides the opportunity to share your story with a wide audience that prefers to receive their stories visually.
The bridge across two ideas.
You don’t need to be bridging languages or medium to benefit from translation. Sometimes you can use the concept when you’re selling an idea.
Imagine you’re presenting plans for something new like a product or process. You describe your vision and what it means for the future – and they don’t buy it. Not necessarily because they don’t like the idea, but because they don’t yet see the world in the way you do. Your worldview might be as foreign to their way of thinking as if you were speaking another language.
How can you act as a translator in this scenario?
- By framing your idea in words, concepts and experiences that they already know and use
- Talk about the journey to the new point B by starting at their point A, rather than your own
- Pave the path their thinking needs to take in order to be ready to share your new vision
Where can you find an opportunity to meet someone where they are in order to move forward together rather than wait at the destination impatiently waiting for them to catch up?