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It is believed that the profession of a translator does not require any special knowledge - it is an easy and low-paid job, which can be done by anyone who has learned a foreign language in the slightest degree.
However, it should be borne in mind that the translation of a text is a rather laborious process, assuming that a person who is going to engage in this type of activity has certain skills and abilities. Misconceptions about the profession of a translator have generated a considerable number of myths that we will try to debunk.
In order to work as a translator, you just need to know a foreign language. In fact, it should be taken into account that, in addition to the ability to read, speak and write in a foreign language, a professional translator must be a literate native speaker of the native language, while having the skills of a writer (i.e., the ability to take into account all the nuances of the language).
The translator does not need to know about the peculiarities of the culture of a foreign state - it is enough just to be able to translate words, sentences, etc. This is not true. After all, language is part of culture, and, therefore, is largely influenced by it. If cultural differences are not taken into account in the translation process, high translation accuracy is usually not achieved.
The job of a translator is extremely simple. It may seem so only at first glance. It should be remembered that in the process of translating a text, the translator must concentrate for a long time simultaneously on two different texts, switching between two languages, which sometimes leads to mental fatigue. Only a person with a rich vocabulary, who is able to correctly understand and interpret this or that expression, will be able to correctly perceive the information of a text in a foreign language, and then express it in the target language, accurately conveying the meaning.
The translation of texts can be trusted to the automatic translation program. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Such programs are quite suitable for translating monosyllabic sentences or individual words, but the machine is not able to translate a technical or literary text correctly. Moreover, if the language from which the translation is made belongs to one language group, and the target language belongs to another, then absolutely insurmountable difficulties arise in the process of translating sentences with the help of a translator program. Most often this is due to the difference in the structure of sentences in languages belonging to different language groups, the need to switch the character set for the correct display of information, etc.
The level of professional skills of the translator does not really matter. This is a misconception. After all, the translation must be done competently and professionally and presented to the customer in the required form, and an experienced professional will cope with this work faster and better. In addition, a translator who does not have certain skills may misinterpret the meaning of the information being translated, which, in turn, will become a source of considerable trouble for the customer.
There can be only one ideally correct version of the translation of the text, all other options are fraught with errors and inaccuracies. This is not the case if we are not talking about "interlinear" literal translation of the text. When conveying the meaning (and with perfect accuracy), each professional translator chooses his own style, therefore there can be several correct translations of the text, and none of them will be inferior to the other.
The translation speed of a translator corresponds to the speed of typing by a professional typist, so the refusal to translate 20 pages by tomorrow morning testifies to the lack of professionalism of the translator. After all, written translation is a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced translator in an 8-hour working day can qualitatively translate a volume of information that fits into 3 - 6 pages of a new text (and this is without proofreading by another colleague). It should be remembered that the translator does not just mechanically translate each word, but actually recreates the text in another language (preserving the information, style and purpose of the original), sometimes correcting errors and logical inconsistencies in the original text. If a client requires translation of large volumes in a short time, he will most likely receive a low-quality translation, even if an experienced professional is working.
A professional translator can translate text of absolutely any subject. This is not the case, especially when it comes to the translation of highly specialized texts (technical, legal, medical, etc.), which presupposes that the translator has extensive experience in this field.
A quality translation can be inexpensive. Like the work of any other highly qualified specialist, the work of a professional translator should be adequately paid. If you were offered a translation at low prices, most likely, you are simply misled about the quality of the services offered.
The best translator is a native speaker of the language from which the translation is made. A person who lived in an English-speaking country is not necessarily a sufficiently literate native speaker of English, in addition, he may not even have a clue about the style and technique of writing articles, misinterpret the subject of the letter or a specific situation, which will put the customer in a rather unpleasant position. In addition, an expert in English does not always know the target language perfectly, which can also cause a number of problems.
The translation agency can provide high-quality translation of texts from any language into any language existing in the world. Unfortunately, this is not the case, especially when it comes to rare languages. Indeed, in addition to translators, the text must be reviewed by a qualified editor. If the bureau were really able to do the translations promised in the advertisement into all the languages existing in the world, it would have to maintain a huge staff (albeit remote), and this is hardly possible. Therefore, most often, in the case of receiving an order for translation from rare languages, a translation agency turns to freelancers, whose reliability and correctness of translation can hardly be controlled.