Top 6 Myths About Translation

Top 6 Myths About Translation

People from different parts of the world communicate. As such, translators are in high demand. The world is now a much smaller place. Just as globalisation has brought people much closer together, the need for professional translators has increased. Translators need to know more than just the vocabulary and grammar of a language. It’s not as simple as sitting with a dictionary and translating content word by word.

The following is a list of some of the most common myths about translation.

Bilingual People Can Translate

Being bilingual is not something that makes someone a translator by nature.

You cannot wake up one day and decide to do a quality Spanish/English translation simply because you understand the languages, speak them fluently, or speak native languages.

The spoken language is different from the written form, and those who speak fluently are not necessarily good writers.

However, translation is much more than writing, and an understanding of the theory of translation is needed. You must understand the issues and problems inherent in translation.

A translator needs to know, for example, when it is important for the cultural elements of the original text tone translated into the translated version and when they should not.

Different approaches have to be adopted for the translation of technical texts, legal documents, philosophical writings and fiction.

Translation Can Be Done Quickly

The translation is a time-consuming process. It is unreasonable to assume that translators can easily translate the document. Many people think that translation is a simple task that can be done quickly as if someone were replacing words in Spanish with words in English.

A competent typist can finish copying a 3,000-word document in less than an hour. However, it would be difficult to find a person who can translate thousands of words in less than an hour.

The actual number of words a translator can produce in an hour may vary depending on the type of text and it’s complexity. However, a good rule of thumb is about 3,000 words a day. Translators need to spend a lot of time to make sure the final product looks like an original job.

They spend time:

* Searching definitions, synonyms, word usage, etc.
* Considering context, concepts, semantics, ambiguity, cultural influences, verbiage, etc.
* Modification and correction of grammar and mechanics, such as punctuation and capitalization

A Translator Can Translate Both Directions Equally

Translating from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English is something that a translator usually should not do. Although there are talented translators in the world who can handle both directions, most translators are limited to one direction for a good reason.

Regardless of the quality with which a translator has learnt other languages, one language will be dominant. In general, it is preferable for a translator to translate into his or her main language.

If A Translator Knows The Language, They Can Translate Anything

People specialise for a reason. Nobody can be an expert in everything. Of course, knowledge of a language is necessary for translation, but the comprehension of a language does not make the translator an expert in all things.

To translate in a specific field, a translator must have an intimate knowledge of that field. Medical translators ,for example, develop a broad vocabulary of medical and biological terms that includes human anatomy and medical procedures.

A translator who does not understand what he is required to translate will inevitably produce a bad translation.

Computer Translation Is Very Reliable

Translation software may be useful for some basic tasks. It can also help the reader understand the general content of a text.

However, this is far from a reliable source of translation. The problem of computer translation is that the software does not have a thorough knowledge of the language. One of the well know computer translation program is CAT. For more details, please see here.

It does not understand ambiguities, can’t handle irregularities of language and is subject to inaccuracies due to several meanings for a single word.

A human translator can understand the context and culture that helped shape the language. Can Google translation be as good as Human translation?

Translators Can Interpret And Interpreters Can Translate

Although it seems that both are interchangeable, there is a clear difference between translating and interpreting. Writing and speaking are two very different things, and one skill set is very different from the other.

The fact that someone is qualified in one does not mean that he is qualified in the other.

The translation deals specifically with the translation into a text format if the source material is another document or speech (audio translation).

Translators must be good writers and, depending on the field of specialisation of the individual, training in technical, creative, theoretical or other writing is required.

A translator must also have reading and comprehension skills, as well as linguistic knowledge and proficiency inwriting and grammar. For those involved in audio translation, listening skills are also important.

Interpretation focuses specifically on the oral production of the final product. An interpreter listens to a Spanish speaker for example and then expresses what he hears in English.

To find successful professional translators go to

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