Lost in Translation: 5 Translation misconceptions explained

Posted on 11/09/11 in DCU LS NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LANGUAGE, TRANSLATION, No Comments

POINT 1. Anyone who speaks a second language can translate 

Lost in Translation

It is often thought that anyone who speaks a language fluently will be naturally able to translate into that language. While this can be true for simple and informal documents, translation is a profession and there are required skills to the job just like any other.

Professional translators are trained and highly qualified, and often to Masters level.  Translation is not just about word for word, it’s the translation of style, cultural insights, adapting texts for certain users. 

POINT 2. Translators can also interpret

Interpreting and translation are different jobs with very different skill sets involved. Interpreting involves being very quick on your feet to be able to render messages from one language into another momentarily; Translation on the other hand is written, and translators have many resources at their fingertips. Interpreters need to have all their research done before hand, be quick, alert, and have a great memory.

POINT 3. Translators can translate any subject matter

While some translators can be very versatile and have experience translating across subject matters, most professional translators will be specialised in one or more subject matter and only translate documents in those areas.

It is very important that when translating technical, legal or other subject matters with technically-specific terms, specialised translators are used. 

POINT 4. The Highest Quality at the Lowest Cost

We all want to find the service that offers the cheapest prices, and at DCU Language Services we always aim to meet the budgets of our customers and provide competitive quotations to ensure customer satisfaction at the lowest possible price.

However, like everything, sometimes the cheapest prices don’t always mean the highest quality. Customers should ensure that when getting a translation, the price being quoted is at a level that include and guarantees that your translation is in the hands of a highly qualified professional. If it’s the cheapest price on the block, it’s likely that this isn’t the case – a cheap translation done badly could cost a lot more for your Company in the long term.

POINT 5. A machine translation can do the job once I have a translation in one language

In this era of advanced technology, we are advocates of machine translation and enabling technology to aide with translation quality and speeding up the process, but in saying this there is also no replacement for a human eye and mind working on a translation.

There are so many factors to take into consideration in a translation that a free translation tool can miss such as grammar, punctuation, style, consistency, cultural variances. 

 

language.services@dcu.ie

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