Most Common Myths about Translation Ready to Break?

Have you ever wondered what myth about a translator is true and which one is false? An article from a professional myth breaker provides the answer.

“A foreign speaker can be a translator.” “Translators should not necessarily be great writers.” It is important to understand that every profession requires a certain background and skills.

Being a translator seems to be one of the most misunderstood and underrated occupations. However, qualified representatives of this field are rewarded and respected. It’s time to break some common myths to see the importance of this job.

Translation and interpretation are the same

Many people assume that these two are synonymous. But the interpretation is to explain things, making it clear, knowing what the translation is. Translators work in writing. You can interpret things in writing, but oral explanations are the more popular way. Unlike interpretation, translation does not necessarily have to be done in real time.

You might say that interpreting content means converting the content. Aside from serving the main message, you need to deliver the message in a way that sounds familiar to other cultures. At the same time, a good interpreter should not be a good translator. The knowledge and skills required for these two jobs are different.

Native speaker is the best translator

False, false, false! Can you imagine how many people speak English? This myth is ridiculous in words that sound like the way everyone can be a singer, athlete, nurse, computer genius, etc. Like doing other things

Translation is more complicated than communicating with everyday people. Many terms, idioms, specific humor, etc. are required. Only after passing the course and earning a degree can a native speaker become a professional translator. Perfect comparison grammar and extended vocabulary are important for this job. In addition, such education will provide consistent writing and expression.

Those who want to work as a professional translator must attend various computer courses. You should know how to use various tools such as CAT, QA or translation management apps. A variety of grammar and plagiarism detection software is also a major addition to basic tools and techniques.

Translators can work with content on any topic

Since you can’t be the jack of all trades, it’s impossible to turn to any subject. Each of us has a passion and talent for certain things. No one can master all existing subjects with the same aptitude. Professional translation services can be a great solution, but if you don’t understand the general situation, it doesn’t always work.

Each topic has its own terminology, so even a professional translator with years of experience can be difficult to understand which language is inferred in another language or what the same spelling is everywhere. It is especially important to recognize this myth when working with legal, technical, medical or business documents, even the smallest mistakes or confusing words can have negative consequences.

Some content requires a rather strict approach. Sometimes it is better to hire an expert on the subject who knows the target language pair better than the best translators on the market who know little or no about the subject. It is important to understand all the information from the source, including every single term, and the key questions of the scrutiny. The price of a mistake is an eroded message that can lead to unexpected results.

The best way to translate is word

Well, it’s not a myth in every possible way. In some cases it works (e.g. content related to technology, law and health care). At the same time, precision takes precedence. Those who want to translate literary works word-by-word usually fail their efforts to make it readable.

Perhaps you’ve tried watching movies translated word by word many times. Most people use such film versions to laugh and realize the differences between language and culture. It’s not serious. We often have to keep in mind various idioms, jargon, and slang that are not understood in other languages ​​and therefore cannot be translated directly.

Perhaps trying to translate phrases such as “get out of language” or “slow off steam” from word to word in other languages ​​will probably give you something interesting, strange, and meaningless.

Excellent translator can replace proofreaders and editors

If the subject content is translated into a foreign language, do not hurry to submit it to the audience. Translators can not work independently and should not work. It’s not creative like a copywriter or designer. Must pass the so-called quality assurance inspection. If your company does not have a QAD, you will need to correct the text so that native speakers understand the text and there are no mistakes and typos.

No matter how skillful and proficient a translator is working for you, it’s a bad idea to post information and data that faces customers without an editor’s opinion. What you place on your official website can tell a lot about the company and its attitude. The face of business. Therefore, if you do not calibrate carefully, you run the risk of scaring your prospects instead of attracting them.

It is usually a disaster to depend completely on a person who is an interpreter. It is better to invest slightly more money and get a corrector than the reputation of a risk company. Any mistake can slip through the cracks. It is especially important to first check and correct the work of outsourced translators. In total, it is better to have at least one proofreader and editor on one side to work directly with all translators.


As you can see, becoming a qualified translator is not easy. If not, why do the representatives of this profession require high demands and remuneration? If you want to work alone, the interpreter must have a lot of skills and in-depth knowledge of many topics. It may take years to study about this position, but once you do that, you will regret the choice.


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