The seven myths about translating and translators


AdriatIQa Translations has been a part of the Slovenian translation market for over eighteen years and the company’s team has met the needs of numerous clients. Over all these years it has been noticed that people hold different beliefs about the translating process. There seem to be certain myths about translating and translators, and it is high time such beliefs were refuted.

 

1. Anyone who speaks two or more languages can be a translator

Mere linguistic knowledge does not yet make one a translator. Translators possess knowledge about a wide range of subjects; they know the language in detail with all its particularities, and are familiar with different cultures and their characteristics. Moreover, translators undertake several years of practice to acquire all the necessary knowledge and skills, and also take additional courses; even after they have finished formal education.

2. Any translator can work on any document

Translators usually specialize in translating one or more subject areas. This enables them to become experts in the chosen field, and they are obliged to follow the changes and trends of their field of expertise.

Some texts are easier to translate and others are more complicated. Simple texts really don’t take much time to be translated. Certain texts, however, demand highly specialized knowledge, and certain texts, where mistakes simply can’t occur, require extra attention on the part of a translator. Translators take full responsibility for the work they produce; therefore, they should have enough time to work on a translation.

4. Only one translation is correct

Translating is not a process where the word from one language is substituted by its equivalent in another language. In the process of translation the structure of the sentences is changed, and it is quite possible that three different translators would produce three different translations, yet all three translations would be correct.

5. Translators like working for free

If you ask a friend, who happens to be a translator, to translate a short and simple text, they probably won’t mind doing it for free. However, professional translators don’t see their work simply as a hobby, because they make a living by translating. Therefore, it’s advisable to make sure that even your friend translator gets a minimum payment for a well-translated text.

6. Machine translations will soon make translators redundant

Machine supported translations are of great help in forming a basic message in a selected language. However, human translators can never be replaced, since machine supported translators don’t have the ability of logical reasoning, and read the texts differently than real, human translators.

7. Translators are also interpreters

Translating and interpreting are two different processes; therefore, translators are not necessarily interpreters. In the process of translation a translator conveys the message in a written form, whereas in the process of interpreting the interpreter conveys the meaning orally. For this reason different skills are required of translators and interpreters.

 

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