Clearing up the top 10 myths about translation

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Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:10
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Thanfully, the myths are only myths, not facts Jun 13, 2012

I've read or heard most of the myths. The myths indeed discourage me one way or another. Now knowing that the myths are only myths, not facts, give me a new hope. What do you think about these myths, fellow translators?


Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
Italian to English
All true Jun 13, 2012

1. Translation is a small, niche market.
My translation market is a small, niche one. That's why it's profitable.

2. The need for translation is fading away.
Along with the businesses that tried to cheesepare their translation budgets.

3. Most translators translate books; most interpreters work at the United Nations.
And most deadlines are eminently doable.

4. Any bilingual can be a translator or an interpreter.
But a bilingual isn't always available so you might have to hire a professional.

5. Interpreters and translators do the same thing.
Of course they wash their hands afterwards icon_wink.gif

6. Translators and interpreters work in more than two languages.
And can't say no to a PM in any of them.

7. Translation only matters to “language people.”
Have you ever met any "non-language people"?

8. Crowdsourcing puts professional translators out of work.
There's a word missing before "work" - "unpaid".

9. Machine translation is crushing the demand for human translation...
... into a well-defined market space by providing a zero-cost baseline.

10. All translation will someday be free.
But they'll still tax it icon_frown.gif

Always end on a positive note!


Mailand  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
Italian to German
+ ...
So far I heard of only one of these Jun 14, 2012

So far I heard of / read about only one of these myths: no. 4 - and my remark to this is: Yes, and anyone who knows one language could be a writer (speaker, actor whatever ....).


Marie-Paule Cadi  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
English to French
+ ...
Myths!! Jun 14, 2012

I've even heard some of them from professional translators... a few days ago, I was told new translators "like me" and the hundreds of others were going to destroy the market (for older ones) and lower all prices. I started working as a freelance a year ago, and wouldn't have tried if I had listened to everything I heard. I now have to turn down offers, make a rather good living (better than as an employee anyway), and have a great quality of life.

However, one thing is true (or I believe so): as long as just anyone able to jabber a few words in English will think they are translators, the myths will remain popular.


Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:10
Italian to Russian
+ ...
I would add the 11th myth - Translations come from a secret kingdom Jun 15, 2012

the translated material (news, books, movies, labels, kitchenware and IT instructions) come from an invisible and powerful underground kingdom, not from the people next door. Only a properly initiated person can approach and touch foreign thing!!! I hardly could imagine a typical housewife surfing through net to find an advice or an information in foreign language.


Safiye TINGIR  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:10
English to Turkish
+ ...
10. All translation will someday be free. Jun 15, 2012

If the artificial intelligence is the same as human brain then all translation will be free.


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:10
Chinese to English
I hear Skynet rumbling... Jun 16, 2012

Safiye TINGIR wrote:

If the artificial intelligence is the same as human brain then all translation will be free.

Uh, bad idea. You want to build robots who are smarter than us, made of metal, hooked into all the world's computer systems via the internet and then... force them to work for free? Way to bring on the revolution.


Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:10
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Skynet rumbling... :) Jun 16, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:
Uh, bad idea.

For robots they will be free, for despicable fleshy users no. Catch

Edited because there is no translation without editing

[Edited at 2012-06-16 11:19 GMT]


Vikki Pendleton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:10
German to English
+ ...
and another one Jun 16, 2012

On learning I was translating more certificates for a particular client, my mum said "Don't you think she should be able to work it out herself by now?"


Darya Kozak
Local time: 19:10
English to Russian
+ ...
sure and all the other jobs will disappear too ;-) Jan 30, 2013

doctors, teachers, drivers, why only translators? And everything will be free. How I'm looking for that moment.


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Clearing up the top 10 myths about translation

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