myths about translation

Top 7 Translation Myths you Should Know About

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2019)

There are apparently a lot of translation myths floating around and in this article we will discuss 7 of these magical myths and do our best to debunk them.

Translation Myths

Myth 1: Translators and interpreters do the same thing. Some people still believe this to be true. Translators convert text from one language to another in writing while interpreters have to speak it. The two jobs require different kind of skill sets.

Myth 2: Translation is a very small niche. This is untrue, it is huge, translators are in demand all over the world and in addition to those who create language acquisition materials and provide the software basics and materials that others use to teach yet another group of language learners, the market is huge, and its global.

Myth 3: The need for translation is fading away due to machine translation. This is simply not true. The translation market in the Unites States alone is projected to grow 20 percent every year until 2020. And it is expected to continue to grow beyond that. Translators and interpreters are needed worldwide, especially as the Internet is starting to connect us all and make the world smaller and smaller.

Myth 4: Any bilingual can be a translator. This is one of the most known translation myths that is flying around. And no, this is simply not true. To work for a translation agency, you have to be highly educated and have certain certification to prove you know what you are doing and can work in the industry; as well as the fact that there is much to be said for knowing the lingo in a specialized niche. The average speaker only uses a certain number of words, but a person who needs to translate medical or legal documents will have a much larger, specialized vocabulary. The average bilingual doesn’t generally have this type of vocabulary and sometimes even if they do, they don’t know how to use it in content.

Myth 5: A professional translator can handle any topic. No, a translator can only work with documents within his area of expertize. A translator that does literature translation can not translate medical documents.

Myth 6: Translation can be done in a few hours. Some might think that large documents can be translated in an instant. This is not true. A translator can only work for about 6 to 8 hours a day. A translator is just another human that has a family and a personal life.

Myth 7: Machine translation does the same job for free. Sorry, wrong again, this is far from the truth. While computers and technology have evolved tremendously in the last years, they have yet to provide quality translations.

Translation Myths abound, these are just a few that popped up. There are lots of myths but these seemed to come up the most often so here they are for your perusal. It is always a good idea to know what the consensus is from others when you work in a specific industry.

Do you think that any bilingual person can be a translator? Is a word-for-word translation your way? Maximum people agree that the quality of translation is required in professional legal and medical texts, business agreements, and international arrangements. It is not as simple as in manufacturing, for instance. That is why there are several myths in this field, and clients often have no thought how to verify the translation services they are spending for.

In today’s world, it is essential to recognize that we depend on experienced translators and interpreters to keep the wheels turning. The fields of politics, legal, commerce, and education all depend on language experts to make the global society a fact.

Sadly, numerous myths and delusions still surround the actions of translation and interpreting. Some are petty and even funny, but others can have a catastrophic impact on an organization’s endeavors to build connections with other cultures.

Translation Myths

Translators usually have to deal with several misunderstandings regarding their profession. Non-translators who have limited or no connection with the translation industry often believe things about translation that are not true. What values is not what other people think but how comfortable you are with your job. Our intention is to identify and scatter some of the translation myths about translation.

Most people agree that the quality of translation is required in professional legal and medical documents, business agreements, and international records. But how to estimate quality in translation? It is not as candid as in manufacturing, for example. That is why there are so many translation myths in this field, and clients often have no idea how to check the translation services they are paying for.

The takeaway is to recognize that all translators are met with these sorts of ill-perceived questions from people who don’t understand the profession.

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