A letter is a written message from one person to another. As technology advances in time, personal letters can appear as telegraphs, faxes, handwritten pages, email messages, Internet postings or other types of scribbled correspondence. Yet, however it is written, sent, received and read, a personal letter conveys one’s private thoughts and feelings that he or she desires to express and be appreciated.
Reading a person’s private letters is one of the best ways to understand his or her inner world. Indeed, archives of personal correspondence, such as those composed by famous writers, artists, politicians and other distinguished figures, often serve as primary sources for historians to study the nature and significance of the lives and times of these individuals.
Personal letters do not need to be translated by certified translators. However, because of the highly private nature of these letters, the translator should try to “capture” the style and tone of the writing in source language and “convey” them in the writing in target language. Not only should the translation be clearly, precisely and free of error, but the words and phrases in the translated text also need to be as reflective as those in the original.