Top 7 Misconceptions About Translators & Interpreters You Need To Quash Right Now

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Author: Swati Deshmukh
Category: Interpretation Blog   Translation Blog   

Being a translator or even an interpreter is not an easy job, especially when the market houses so many Misconceptions about Translators and Interpreters. They have to prove these notions wrong just to hold their platforms in this market. It is really sad to see that most of these misconceptions related to these personalities are inaccurate and even unrealistic to a great extent. It is really important for the work linguists to help create that environment of trust and understanding between translators or interpreters and clients.

Misconceptions About Translators And Interpreters

Before heading towards language services, it is better to get rid of the misconceptions once and for all. It might prove to be a bit difficult to correct preconceived ideas of some people but it is mandatory to do that when the clients require linguistic services. The clients have to realize that interpreters and translators are skilled experts. They are thoroughly trained to work on interpreting or translating jobs for facilitating communication and further understanding between people speaking various languages. Without their help, it will be difficult for a speaker to convey information to another person speaking a completely different language. Moreover, translators and interpreters are different and people should know that as well.

1). Bilingual People Can Easily Become A Translator Or Interpreter

If this statement was even a per cent true, then this world will never have shortage of translators and interpreters, but that is not the case. It is really true that interpreters and translators needs to be fluent in around two languages as they need to work with language pairs like Spanish and Italian, Afrikaans and Dutch and even with English and Japanese. They need to have strong held on these languages as that what makes difference in machine translation vs human translation. They have to be native speaker of any language to pair with. A qualified pro must live in that country which will impact nuances and characteristics of native language. They must also have degree or bachelor certificate in translation with acquitted knowledge in second language. In some cases, they might have specialization or certificate in some subjects like legal, finance, arts or even life science to understand some jargons well.

2). Translation Is A Mere Exchange Of Words

Some of the people actually believe that translation is way too easy for a job and it is only about exchanging works from one language to the second one. It is one of the biggest misconceptions to have ever been created in this planet Earth. Translation is not that literal word to word change but has more to it. Clients will have to understand source text to determine if that translation is going with the project, to make it easy and simple. The source materials might also have some jargons, which they have to know along with terminologies.

You have each translation job with own requirements, which will demand accuracy and precision whether in small or large project. For example, the way a PR is written is different from text associated with finance or healthcare. Even terms will differ when working with creative line, legal, research, business, medical, education or manufacturing. You have to work hard to Become A Translator for this world. On the other hand, the internal processes of source file and then turning it to final work will ask for collaborative work among project manager, translator, proof reader and editor with use of references, dictionaries, and database, terminology and computer aid tools.

3). Language Experts Earn A Lot Of Money

What people don’t know is that translation is mostly paid per word. An example might help. In case, the translator charges 15 cents for each word then he or she might get $300 for translating a 2000 words document. Then the results are mapped in hours. So, for any translator, 8 hours of work will not equate to one day. Moreover, translation needs attention to detail and procession and it is not that easy. Even a small project might take around 2 days to complete as each output needs to be accurate. So, for computation, the earning might be around $150 a day.

According to the national average salary annually for a translator and even for an interpreter in the USA is somewhat around $56K. As most of them are freelancers, the average salary is always low hen compared to other jobs in media and creative categories. They will invest in software and hardware for and need to pay for internet connection.

4). Everyone Speaks English. So Why Translate?

Some clients believe that they don’t need help of a translator or interpreter as most people speak and even understand English. Yes, English is the language of business but only for the top executives who are English-speaker. While exploring some new markets and reaching out to the unknown customer base, web content and other company based information needs to be localized. It is a form of special translation. Businesses always have to speak languages of the intended customers, where translation comes into action and will work to success in international based business area. Whenever people from foreign markets cannot understand your business, they won’t go for it.

5). An Interpreter Can Be A Translator And Vice Versa

People don’t understand Language Experts that well. Even though these pros offer linguistic services, their functions and roles will be different. Translators will deal with written text which they might translate into desired language. They should have proper writing skills and must interpret intended meaning of sourced document into target one. They will have tools and time for finish this work.

On the other hand, interpreters have to handle spoken words. They will translate what speakers says and almost immediately. They should have amazing memory with great fluency in the target and source language and must be promising speakers too. They will rely on skills and not on any linguistic tool. Moreover they won’t take extra time for that. They will translate word consecutively or simultaneously. For the former one, the speaker pauses to give time for interpreter to render exact meaning. In case of simultaneous interpreter, the pro will be given few seconds to render what is said in target language. The person has to understand and then interpret in real time almost.

6). Free Translation Is Easily Accessible Through Online Tools

People have another big misconception when it comes to translation job over here. There are some online tools available for translation and people love to bag on that. These tools from Microsoft or Google are touted to offer free translations. They are only good for short phrases and words as available already in database. They will just offer you with general summary of content in some major languages. They can be used while chatting with new friends speaking different language.

But the professional translators have to work on more than that. These technologies are online and not quite advanced to handle some accurate and full translation without help of human translators. These online transaction sites are not that capable of infusing nuances of language or just understand the context materials and specified terms used in documents. Algorithms are the ones powering them and so they can translate literal words. Even though these tools can serve you with immediate results for short phrases and words, they cannot be used for official documents in need of linguistic expertise.

7). Translators Need Not To Understand The Culture Or Material For The Job

Always remember that culture and language will work side by side. If interpreters or the translators fail to understand culture behind their spoken language, they will not be able to deliver sensitive translation or interpretation based on culture. Learning culture first will provide them with the ability to just proper idioms and cultural nuances for conveying messages in a proper manner. So you need of localization from the pros only.

Quash These Misconceptions About Language Experts

There are so many misconceptions related to simultaneous interpreting and even translation, but the clever thing to do over here is not pay any heed to that. You have to understand the exact work and value of such pro and then head to the results accordingly. It can work out pretty well for you in every possible manner, especially with TridIndia by your side.

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I am big foodie and my love for different cuisines is the actual reason why I am a language blogger. To try out those cuisines, I had to travel to variety of places, where language used to be a big barrier. Therefore, I started learning languages, found new interest in them and transformed into a full time blogger, who keeps eating and writing funny, inspiring, detailed and educational blogs on languages, native people and the countries.

image 1 credit to Venveo

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