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Four Top Myths about Translating Busted

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If you’re wondering what translators really do, you wouldn’t be alone. Translation is an easily misunderstood field. People tend to underestimate the skills that you need to become a great translator. The craft is not as simple as some people think.

So here are some of the top myths that people believe about translating busted.

Anyone who is bilingual can be a translator

While this is certainly the first step, you need a lot more than knowledge of another language to be able to translate accurately and effectively.

For translation to be accurate you can’t just translate every word or sentence individually. You have to understand the original text and the best way to convey the same message or purpose in a different language. So using your bilingual employee to translate business documents might not be enough to ensure you’re getting everything right.

You also have to be able to translate the kind of words that you don’t say in everyday talking. Specialised words from specific industries might be unknown to even the most competent linguists. Having a background in that particular in industry is very important.

You can just use online translations

Why bother paying for translations when you can just use Google? Because you’re not getting an accurate translation. You can’t rely on translators like this to get 100% accuracy. This is particularly true if you’re translating specialised language or slang. Online translators also don’t always get the intention behind phrases so a lot can get lost in the process.

Nothing can replace the human touch when it comes to translation services. While these translation tools are great for looking up the occasional word, you can’t trust them as the basis of a business proposal or a marketing campaign in a different language. You can’t afford to go wrong with things like that.

You just need an interpreter (or translator)

These are not the same thing. Interpreters specialise in the spoken word and will be better for business meetings or consultations. Translators deal with the written word and will be able to translate important documents. Getting the two confused or just picking one to do both can lead to errors or less effective translations. Pick someone who specialises in exactly the type of thing you’re after and you’ll be one step closer to getting what you need.

Translating only requires one skill

Translating isn’t just about writing out a passage of text in a different language. You need skills that enable you to write it out well. This means that you need good writing skills in two languages. If you’re translating something creative or persuasive like advertising materials, you need to be able to use the best words to persuade and to convey messages in between the lines.

For information on our own translation services, you can take a look at our services page above.

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