Myths about Translation Debunked



Myths About Translation Debunked 1

Today’s world is going towards specialization even in the simplest tasks, which is great! For what else could ensure that your projects are going well other than knowing that a professional is handling them? This applies equally to translation.

Translation as a field is very rich with specializations. Each translation project requires that a translator has specific expertise and experience.

Unfortunately, a fair share of people thinks it’s enough to be bilingual to be a translator. Well, translation goes way beyond words to convey texts.

As a translator myself, let me debunk some myths about translation.

Google Translate Can Do the Job

Many people assume that if you copy a text and paste it to Google Translate app, then voilà, you get a valid translation. Well, I’m sorry to break this to you but up till this moment, Google Translate is incapable of translating more than fixed phrases.

Some might think, I could still translate it on Google and then add my touch to polish it and give it coherence and structure. Again, this isn’t an option. It’s a well –known fact to professional translators that most of the time Google Translate is unable to tackle the intended meaning in a text which results in an alienated translation that wouldn’t make sense or even be out-of-context. In fact, using a tool like Google Translate for full-document translation deprives your translation from originality, fluency, and linguistic accuracy.

A Bilingual or a Native Speaker is a Translator by Default

You can’t be a psychiatrist just by being very good at listening to people and solving problems. Similarly, assuming that someone who speaks two or more languages can be a translator is an unfair assumption.

Like any other specialty, translation demands years of studying and many others of experience along with skills to be able to deliver a professional translation.

Also, being a native speaker of a language doesn’t give you an advantage over translators when it comes to getting to actual translation.  Comprehensive knowledge of sentence structure, vocabulary, and expressions, is what grants translators their high level of professionalism.

A Translator Can Translate any Subject Matter

The fact that translators are bilingual or multilingual doesn’t necessarily as well mean that they are fully familiar with every single term in the language they speak. Each field has its own jargons, which requires a specialized subject matter expert with the comprehensive knowledge that grants the translation a professional hue.

Fields like legal, financial, and medical for instance, call for a specific knowledge of the subject matter. Knowing the tips and tricks of the field can be more essential for a translator to know more than just the language. Assigning a translation project just to ANY translator won’t be a wise thing to do. As in fields like legal translation, which deals with international laws, using the help of experts would save your business from facing lawsuits or even money loss.

Proofreading Is not Necessary; Translation only Will Do

Unlike what many might believe, translation is not the sole work of a translator. Translation is a whole process that entails co-operation between a translator, an editor, and a proofreader.

A common misconception suggests that skipping proofreading will cause no harm. But as a matter of fact, ignoring this step could affect the quality of work and distort your professional image, as accuracy is the key for successful translation. As simple as it may seem, yet proofreading is absolutely necessary to ensure that a translation comes out in the best way.

Translation and Interpretation are the Same Thing

This is as wrong as saying that apples and bananas taste the same. Mixing two different professions as synonyms is something you hear a lot especially translators and interpreters themselves.

While a translator tackles converting meanings in written texts, an interpreter works as an intermediary between two parties involved in verbal communication. Each profession requires a different set of skills. A good interpreter is not necessarily a good translator and vice versa.


Translation isn’t merely conveying words. It’s beyond that. It requires years of experience and practice to know all the tricks of translation and absorb all possible skills. Confidentiality, accuracy, and punctuality are important traits that only a professional translator understands how important they can be while translating a document.

Using the help of someone who can speak the language isn’t enough. If you are seeking a professional translation in any domain, bayantech- a leading service provider- grants you world-class quality translations using the help of an experienced pool of subject-matter experts.

For more information, contact us!

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