Misconceptions on Translation

People have different opinions about what translating is and how it works as a career, that’s why we decided to put together some of the most common misconceptions a layman has regarding the translation business.

 misconceptions on translation

1. Translation is Just Exchange of Words

Many are of the opinion that translating is only an exchange of words among different languages. In fact, the translation profession is much larger than that. The translation process also includes word processing, control, transmission of meaning, formatting, and the like.

2. Translators are Language Nerds

That’s not true. We translators love the language, but that does not mean that we put our heads in the sand. We accompany the world around us and draw on information that we can use later on in our work. We observe the development of language and the appearance of new terms. Today, translating is closely linked to technology, which means that the novelties from this area are not alien to us. The dictionaries on the web, translation tools and formatting tools, text editors, cloud solutions and terminology databases have become an important element in the everyday life of a translator.

3. Everything Can Be Translated

Mastering a foreign language does not make people translators. Although this helps in the translator’s career, the translator must also live with the language, he must pass appropriate examinations and obtain necessary certificates. That is why generally a translator specializes in specific areas of translation that are closest to his knowledge and interests. This ensures that he does his job well. Various areas of the translations, such as finance, economics, law, mechanical engineering, marketing, medicine, etc. are associated with a varied terminology, which the translator must translate very precisely.

4. A Dialect is Good Enough

Did you know that there are dozens of variants of the Chinese language in the world? Are you still of the opinion that language is not changing from country to country, or even from province to province? Even though you translate into one of these variants of the language, which means that your information is understood by a very different audience, you will be able to use a specific translation to incorporate the different cultural references and local features in order to create a good connection with the audience.

5. Internet Provides a Free Passable Translation

Microsoft and Google have definitely very strong and usable translators, but we often praise the abilities of the two. It is true that they are helpful in revealing meanings and the approximate understanding of unknown languages and in the translation of simple sentences. But these two translators are not yet advanced enough to translate complex content without human intervention. As we have already noted, translation does not change the words from the language A to the language B, but also brings about a cultural context which the two Internet translators can not recognize.

6. Don’t We All Speak English Today?

The false feeling that has been settled in us by the Internet with a great use of the English language often leads us to the conviction that English is already spoken everywhere in the world, so the profession of a  translator is unnecessary and obsolete anyway. Is it really like that?