5 Myths About Translators
After 10 years in this business, I have come to the realization that there are many myths about translators which, for the most part, are the creation of clients.
Well, I guess it’s time to bust those myths and enlighten our dear clients!
Below are the 5 most widespread myths about translators in the world – yes, in the world; I’m pretty sure this is an international phenomenon.
1- Translators are walking dictionaries.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we do not know every single technical term out there. We therefore most certainly do not know how to translate it on the spot. Some research (a whole lot of research for that matter) needs to be done, and that takes a lot of time. This is why there is a difference in the rates of general Vs technical translation.
2- All translators speak more than 2 languages.
In fact, a good translator can simply speak 2 languages fluently and hold a degree in Translation. So no, we do not speak 5, 6, 7, 10 languages. We’re not supposed to.
3- What translators do is easy.
Whoever thinks that being bilingual is enough to translate must be from out of this planet.
4- Google Translate can replace human translation
Seriously though, if you need a document translated PROFESSIONALLY, Google can never help you with that. Remember, we do study hard for 3, 4, or even 6 years to become translators. We cannot be replaced by a machine translator that spits words out in a flash. It just doesn’t make sense.
5- Translators are not from this Earth. Mistakes do not exist on their planet.
They could be the harshest grammar police out there, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes themselves, especially in a simultaneous translation setting where the interpreter (simultaneous translator) cannot find the exact equivalent of a word/term/expression.
Fellow translators, any myths you feel need to be debunked? Simply share them in the comments section below!
6- Being a translator does not mean that you are an interpreter
Although I have a degree in Translation and Interpreting, with a major in Advanced Translation, I work as a translator, which does not mean that I am an interpreter. Many people believe that both professions are the same, but they are quite different (method, tools, learning, training, rates, etc.)
You are absolutely right, Marta 🙂
Here is another one: translator and interpreter are not one and the same. If both have to do with language, it’s two différents jobs, involving two different sets of skills.