Myths and facts in the translation industry

The world of translation is sometimes blanketed in myths and misconceptions that do not always reflect the reality of this complex and fascinating field. In this article, we will debunk some of these myths and provide a clear insight into what translation work really involves.

  • Myth 1: Machine translation is just as good as human translation. Fact: Although machine translation technology has advanced significantly in recent years, there are still obvious limitations in terms of translation quality and accuracy. Machine translation can be useful for general comprehension of a text, but it can never match the sensitivity and adaptability of a human translator to linguistic and cultural subtleties. Hint: try translating a long sentence with many enumerations and you will see what happens.
  • Myth 2: Any native speaker of a language can be a translator. Fact: Translation is much more than just knowing two languages. A professional translator must have a deep understanding of the structure and cultural sensitivities of the languages they work with, as well as expertise in the subject matter of the translation. The ability to faithfully render the original message into another language requires years of study and practical experience. Furhermore, becoming a certified translator implies passing specific exams.
  • Myth 3: Translating is quick and easy. Fact: The translation process comes across as laborious and time-intensive, especially for complex or specialised texts. Translators engaged in this process need to pay close attention to detail, conduct thorough research and go through several revision stages to ensure the quality and accuracy of the translation.
  • Myth 4: All translations have the same level of difficulty.
    Contrary to the myth that all translations are the same, the reality is that the quality of translations can fluctuate considerably depending on several factors. The skill and experience of the translator, together with the characteristics of the text, play a crucial role in determining the level of accuracy and effectiveness of the translation. For example, translating a literary work requires different skills and sensitivities than translating a technical manual or a legal contract. Choosing a translator with expertise in the specific field of the text is essential to ensure a high quality translation that accurately conveys the original message and intent.

In the translation business, recognising the value of certified translators and native speakers is crucial. Undoubtedly, the choice of a certified translator with native competence in the target language is a pillar of quality in this field. The expertise of a certified translator in the source language, coupled with the cultural sensitivity and linguistic skills of native speakers, ensures not only accuracy and fidelity of translation, but also a deep understanding of linguistic and cultural subtleties. We appreciate the importance of this collaboration between certified translators and native speakers, which represents a firm commitment to providing the best possible translation services.

Scroll to Top