Casual Wednesday night. You sit on the couch lazily pressing buttons that make TV programs change from a Spanish soap opera to a Danish cooking show, followed by a Chinese kung-fu movie interrupted by an Arab news reporter. Have you ever thought that without translation, you’d be staring cluelessly trying to make sense why that Danish chef just added a bunch of tomatoes in the melted dark chocolate?
We all come across translated products daily and since they are so skillfully transferred into our own language, we oftentimes forget to appreciate something that would have been totally incomprehensible before translation. So, even though International Translation Day is several months away, I believe there’s always time to show why so many people appreciate their job as translators and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Besides full-time travelers, the translators are the people that know so much of a culture that’s not their own. The more they learn and feel the language they work with, the better feeling they gain for that particular culture.
A Translator Discovers Stuff Almost No One Else Has Clue About
From pneumatic cylinders to cards for a Halloween-themed role-playing game, a frozen foods website, and the technical and tactical aspects of transatlantic sailing, translators have to read it all and on top of it translated it all. Very few people ever get the idea to read and learn these things, so this is why translators have a wide range of general knowledge up their sleeve at any time.
The Development of Exceptional Focus and Concentration
Going from the source language to the target language and back literally feels like transferring from one side of the brain to the other. It’s like getting paid to solve puzzles all day. You are always on the knife-edge of concentration, but once you start walking like a tightroper on it, it feels fantastic. Besides, the pleasure of the job done is phenomenal.
Remarkable Skills Gained
A translation is never an equation with a fixed formula. There are usually several routes that are waiting to be taken on and this makes it a real challenge. The translator needs to know the source language very well in order to recognize idioms, and master the spelling and grammar of the target language as well as possess creativity to pack all that into an appealing piece of work. These aren’t skills they are born with, they get these over time thanks to the work they do.
Another wonderful thing is the freedom they have to work remotely. Your translator can be across the pacific and you can still hire him/her to do the job. As long as they have a good connection and their laptop, the sky is the limit.
Your Own Mark on The Text
No matter how banal the text is, no two translators will ever translate it the same. Consequently, if a translator sees a text even after several years, they’ll always recognize their style of writing. This is because of the tiny personal touches on every piece of work which are impossible not to leave behind.
At the end of the day, most translators will agree that what they love the most about the work is the idea that they play a small but significant part in making global communication possible.