Have you ever heard something about translation that made you wonder if it was true? As with any profession, the translation industry is no stranger to popular myths and misconceptions. To help clear up confusion and dispel some of these myths, we’ve compiled a list of the top four translation myths and debunked them. Keep reading to learn more about the truth behind these common beliefs.
Myth 01: Translation is easy and can be done by anyone
In many cases even if the linguist is skillful it’s been proven that two linguists working in tandem will always produce a better result than a single translator.
This is the reason why professional translation agencies follow the so called “TEP workflow”.
TEP stands for Translation, Editing, Proofreading and it’s the process where the Translation is first carried out in a main round to produce the first draft. Thereafter a second round follows which entails Editing by a translator who is a separate professional from the first linguist. The final step is proofreading. Therefore,the myth is debunked that translation can be done by just about anyone since the quality simply won’t be the same following a professional workflow.
Reference courtesy of: VEQTA Translations. Translation, Editing, Proofreading TEP Workflow
Myth 02: Machine translation could replace human translators
The advent of machine translation has led to the belief that it could replace human translators. While machines may be great at translating individual words, they lack the ability to understand cultural context and nuances. Human translation is still vastly superior to machine translation as it takes into account the cultural context, meaning, and intent behind the words. Moreover, any good translation must also be proofread and edited by a human for accuracy.
Myth 03: Interpretation and translation are the same
Another common myth is that interpretation and translation are one and the same. While both involve converting language from one form to another, they are two distinct services. Translation involves converting written text from one language to another, while interpretation involves translating spoken words in real time. Interpreting requires the interpreter to have excellent listening, comprehension, and verbal skills. Lastly, interpreters need to be able to think on their feet and respond quickly.
Myth 04: Any native speaker can be a translator
Just because someone is a native speaker of both languages, it doesn’t automatically make them a great translator. A professional translator needs to have a solid understanding of the source and target languages, as well as an in-depth knowledge of the cultural context. Translation is a complex process that requires knowledge and experience. It takes years of practice to become a proficient translator and even longer to reach a professional level.
The Bottom Line
We hope this list helps to shed some light on common translation myths and misconceptions. If you ever have any questions about translation, get in touch with an expert for reliable advice. Don’t be fooled by the myths – when it comes to translation, the truth is out there!