I’ve just found this great little piece on the website of NOTIS, a chapter of the American Translators Association (ATA). I don’t normally reproduce clips this long in full, but this one is worth it 🙂
Top Ten Misconceptions about Translation and Translators:
by Caitilin Walsh. Reprinted from the August 1994 ATA Chronicle.
10. Anybody with two years of high school language (or a foreign-tongued grandmother) can translate.
9. A good translator doesn’t need a dictionary.
8. There’s no difference between translation and interpretation.
7. Translators don’t mind working nights and weekends at no extra charge.
6. Translators don’t need to understand what they’re translating.
5. A good translator doesn’t need proofing or editing.
4. Becoming a translator is an easy way to get rich quick.
3. Translation is just typing in a foreign language.
2. A translator costs $49.95 at Radio Shack and runs on two ‘C’ batteries.
And the #1 misconception about translation and translators:
1. That marketing copy that took a team of 20 people two months to put together can be translated overnight by one person and still retain the same impact as the original.
Seems to me the image of translators hasn’t changed much since 1994… but I’d love to be contradicted. Does anyone disagree?
Incidentally, NOTIS has a page full of interesting articles and resources on client education – definitely worth a look.