What Is a Translation?

What Is a Translation

A translation moves a shape.

A translation is a slide of a shape: without rotating, reflecting or resizing it.

A translation is a type of transformation.

A Real Example of a Translation

It is easier to understand translation with an example.

The diagram below shows a translation of a shape. The shape before the translation (called the object) is in light blue. The shape after the translation (called the image) is in dark blue:

In a translation,

  • a shape can move up

  • a shape can move down

  • a shape can move left

  • a shape can move right

In our example, the shape has moved 2 squares down and 2 squares right

Each point on the shape moves the same direction and the same distance.

Choose any point on the object. It has been moved 2 squares down and 2 squares right in the image.

See Also

What is geometry? What are transformations?