We started talking about myths that are being spread about the language service industry, especially translations and interpreting. Most of them include translators and interpreters, their styles and value of their work.
Interpreters and translators
Here are some of the most common myths regarding this subject:
Interpreters and translators do the same thing
In reality one works with the written word while the other with the spoken one. The set of skills required are very different, while translators have great writing skills and are adept of using dictionaries and various tools, interpreters rely on their memory much more for terminology and have to develop note-taking skills and short-term memory retention.
Any bilingual individual can be a translator or an interpreter
Translators are highly educated and highly trained individuals, they are reported to know at least 30% more words than a regular native speaker and twice as many words as a bilingual speaker. Not to mention that becoming a translator means learning CAT tools and specialized terminology such as medical and legal vocabulary.
All translators work with literature and all interpreters work for the United Nations
Only a small part of translators actually work with literary texts, the industry is divided mostly between medical, legal, technology, software and corporate translations. When it comes to the interpreting side, regular, on site interpreters are only part of the business, the internet has helped telephone and video interpreting grow.
Any qualified translator or interpreter manages any subject matter or area of expertise
To achieve a high-quality translation or interpretation, the professional needs the set of abilities in his or her language pairs, as well as an in-depth understanding of the profession or industry he or she is working in. The subject matter should be addressed with as much rigor as possible.
Technology is decreasing the need for translators and interpreters
It is universally believed that technological advancements help promote an industry. Though, in the translation and interpretation business, humans are essential to ensure the technology is correctly and appropriately used. Machine translation is getting great paces in becoming perfect, but still has a long distance to go before it can accurately translate meaning. Without human translators and interpreters, cultural terms, expressions, and systematic differences can easily get missed in machine translation.Due to high request, translators and interpreters are suffering increased stress. Shorter delivery terms, lower prices, and machine translation first and post editing afterward are some of the parts affecting their work.
Another part of the translators have specialized in providing certified translation for immigration. Professional translators are highly needed in business, more often than interpreters, as most businesses work in writing rather than speaking.
Interpreters have their part and it would be unfair to say that oral interpretation is dying; on the contrary, there seems to be a greater need of professional interpreters than before. At least due to immigration, fields like legal and medical are in a bad need of interpreters and there seems to be a shortage in this regard.
To end this debacle, interpreters and translators are very different and should be treated as such. Whenever you need a document translated you’ll need to find a translator, and when you need to speak to someone but don’t share a common language, you’ll need the services of an interpreter. It’s that easy.
We, as a professional translation agency understand this interpreters and translators debacle or myth and we are working very hard to hand pick the best translators.