Literal translation, direct translation or word-for-word translation, is a translation of a text done by translating each word separately, without looking at how the words are used together in a phrase or sentence.[1]

In translation theory, another term for "literal translation" is metaphrase (as opposed to paraphrase for an analogous translation).

Literal translation leads to mistranslating of idioms, which is a serious problem for machine translation.[2]

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