Brand Ambassador, Content Editor, Social Media, Translation

To Specialize or Not to Specialize?

Hello everyone!

To specialize or not to specialize? That is the question!

Seriously, I think that is the question that we more often ask ourselves as translators. I’ve heard from both sides: you should specialize because that will help you to narrow down your niche. You shouldn’t specialize because a translator can translate anything from any field.

Does it happen to you that when you are filling out information for an online profile or for applying to a project with a new client, you are always asked to include your specializations? It happens to me all the time!

Usually, I write down as specializations the types of translations I get to work on more often: legal, medical, business, and technical, which by the way, are the top 5 specializations among translators. But I don’t translate just for those fields. I also translate for the IT and gaming ones, I subtitle, I do MTPE, etc.

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So, does it really help to be specialized or not? It definitely can help to narrow down your niche and find clients more easily. Also, if you only translate in certain fields of specialization, you’ll become an expert on them; which will also help you get more clients in those fields.

But does that mean that should only accept projects that meet your specializations? Good question, right? It really depends on you. If you’d like to venture into unknown waters, then, by all means, work on projects that don’t fit your specializations. But if you feel more comfortable translating only within your specializations, it is ok too.

I think specializations are more the fields in which you have more experience because most of the projects you work on fall into those categories. Here in Guatemala, you can’t specialize in something as a translator. You graduate as a Legal Sworn Translator, so “legal” is your first specialization. The rest, you learn by experience. Probably, this is different in other countries, where the career of translation has more options.

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I mentioned my “specializations” but honestly, I translate almost anything that comes my way and I feel confident I can do it. If it is a document that is too technical or requires a highly specialized vocabulary, I definitely pass. Accepting different projects is what landed me a Content Editor job, when I didn’t even know I could be one. I was trained, and that training taught me so many things… it would have been a great loss to let it pass because it didn’t fall under what I thought my specializations were.

Anyway, when it comes to specializations, it is up to you. There are numerous ways to study a specialization through webinars, online courses, and others. Do what makes you feel more comfortable as a translator. Do what makes you happy!

Thank you again to Day Translations for sponsoring this blog post. Check out more about them and their services here: https://daytranslations.com/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Brand Ambassador, Content Editor, Social Media, Translation

Translators’ Associations

Hi everyone!

Today I want to talk about translators’ associations. Is it a good idea to join them? If so, which ones should we join? Let’s explore this topic further.

Joining a professional association is always beneficial for a translator. Most associations are already well-known. Membership makes a translator’s profile more attractive to recruiters and clients. It is important to continue to expand your knowledge and training throughout your career.

Many associations offer training courses at a reduced rate or even free of charge for their members.

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You can belong to several associations at the same time, for example, a national association and a regional association within the same country, or according to specific fields such as legal or audiovisual.

Now, what are the advantages of belonging to an association? There can be many, like more renown, which can lead to landing more clients. Also, you can advertise on your website and social/professional profiles that you belong to a certain association.

Of course, more clients is always a good thing. But what kind of clients do you want? If you want to gain more local clients, definitely you should join a national or regional association. But if you prefer international clients, you should consider joining an international association, like the ATA from the US.

It isn’t easy to join an international or foreign association. Most likely, you will have to prove that you already are a part of your local association, and you might have to take a test to get certified since your local certification is most likely not valid outside of your country.

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So, to join or not to join? It really depends on what you want. If you want to belong to an association where you can meet and share experiences with colleagues, get learning tools for free, and get extra recognition for your knowledge and experience; you should definitely join one.

But if you are looking for foreign clients because local clients are not what you expected, then belonging to a local association might not be a good idea. You should look into international associations and see if you can find a better fit there.

So, do you belong to a translators’ association or not? If so, to which one or ones? I’d love to read more about it in the comments.

Thank you again to Day Translations for sponsoring this blog post. Check out more about them and their services here: https://daytranslations.com/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Brand Ambassador, Content Editor, Social Media, Translation

Machine Translation

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about Machine Translation. This can be a controversial topic for translators and I hadn’t addressed it so far.

But before talking about what it means for translators, we should talk about what exactly is Machine Translation.

Machine Translation or MT has made appearances in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) world with apps like Google Translate. In a larger format, the MT industry is more complex. It involves translating text and content from one native language to another.

It is a sub-category of computational linguistics that borrow from computer science, AI, information theory, and statistics. In the past few decades, there has been incredible progress in MT quality, and its evolution has created a huge industry.

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While MT alone is not perfect, the use of human translators along with machine learning has many practical applications. Today, the MT market is thriving with the combination of human and machines translations, offering faster service and lower costs.

Of course, MT has many flaws and remains inferior to human translators. Gender bias, distorted and mistranslated words and phrases, and bizarre word phrasing, are among some of the biggest flaws.

But perhaps the worst flaw is a machine’s inability to process human thoughts and emotions. Using translators as post-editors rectifies this as they can find errors that the machine missed.

Have you ever post-edited a machine-translated document? You definitely see these flaws right away. With just one word or very short phrases, it might be okay, but with longer sentences and paragraphs, you can see right away that they don’t make sense.

Of course, the problem is that MT translates literally. A machine cannot notice the context of the original document. It will translate word per word, but without sense. Here is where human translators come in. They post-edit the translation of the MT to correct all the errors.

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I’ve done a few Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE) projects. It is interesting to correct the errors made by the machine. This also means that the rates for MTPE are lower than for translating since the translation is already done and all you need to do is review the document and make any necessary corrections. Almost like a proofreading project.

But I know that many translators reject these kinds of projects because they don’t support MT. I understand that but MT is not going anywhere, on the contrary, it is growing and getting more sophisticated.

I don’t think machines will ever take over human translators. No matter how sophisticated they get to be, they will never have thoughts, understatement, feelings like humans do.

Where do you stand? Do you take on MTPE projects or do you reject them, and why? Let me know in the comments, I’d really like to know 🙂

Thank you again to Day Translations for sponsoring this blog post. Check out more about them and their services here: https://daytranslations.com/

Don’t forget to thank the women in your life for their support!

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Brand Ambassador, Content Editor, Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

PC vs. MAC

Hi everyone!

Today I want to talk more in-depth about PC vs. MAC for translators.

If you follow me on social media, you know that this year I decided to switch from PC to MAC, after years of only using PC.

I decided it was time to upgrade my working tool, and that I needed something that came with a big screen that can be split into two and more, that was faster than anything I ever had, and that could support all or most of the apps, websites, etc., that I use for work, especially my CAT Tool.

My iMac comes with a 24″ screen, which can perfectly be divided into two. I can see things I was never able to see on my laptop without having to move around on the page! It also has the M1 chip, which is the first generation of chips manufactured by Apple. They are no longer using Intel chips.

But I think the best way to figure out which device is better for you, is to take a look at the pros and cons of each one:

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PCs

Pros:

  1. Easy to set up from your Windows account.
  2. Compatible with pretty much all software and applications in the market.
  3. If you have other Windows and Android devices and products, they will all work better together (same ecosystem.)
  4. Cost: this is probably the biggest advantage of PCs. They are definitely more affordable than MACs.
  5. They are more easily upgraded ad have more options for different components.
  6. Offer more connection ports and types of ports.
  7. They have better backwards compatibility, that is, you can run older versions of software or operating systems on new hardware.

Cons:

  1. The software updates! They take forever and you can’t really avoid them!
  2. PCs are more vulnerable to viruses, so you definitely need to invest in a good antivirus program.
  3. Windows as a program, hasn’t had any major upgrades or changes in the latest years. Maybe that will change with Windows 11, but don’t expect too many nice surprises.
  4. They usually work with Intel or other chips, they don’t manufacture their own.
  5. Customer service tends to be bad because there are so many manufacturers out there, it gets difficult to get them to actually pay attention to your needs.
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MACs

Pros:

  1. If you already have other iOS devices, it will be very easy to set up and use.
  2. You can migrate easily from Windows to iOS.
  3. If you have other iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) they will all work better together (same ecosystem.)
  4. You can use OneDrive to work on MSOffice documents across devices, whether they are iOS or Windows.
  5. They are associated with high-powered graphic design.
  6. Because there are fewer Apple products compared to PCs, there are fewer viruses creasted for iOS.
  7. Apple tightly controls the software on its devices, there is much less bloatware installed on new systems.
  8. Apple’s customer service is well known for being better, and they do a great job of backing up their products.
  9. MACs tend to have new innovations incorporated into their design that make them faster than PCs (like the new M1 chip.)
  10. Their software updates are a walk in the park compared to Windows! And you can choose if you want to update manually or automatically, giving you full control.

Cons:

  1. Cost: this is probably the biggest disadvantage for MACs. But they are worth your money.
  2. Many programs are not compatible with MAC, including: AutoHotkey and SDL Trados Studio. For AutoHotkey there are some free options that give the same results. Trados… well it is incredible to think that in this time and age they still don’t have an iOS version.
  3. Less connection ports, and now they have fully moved on to USB-C, and most devices are not compatible. Of course, you can buy and adaptor plug.
  4. If they re upgradeable, you can only upgrade the memory and the storage drive.
  5. You’ll probably need to invest on a new one sooner than with a PC.

The PC vs. MAC debate will continue as long as they are the two major choices for hardware and operating systems. Each system does some things better; it’s really a matter of what features are important to you and what you’re going to use the computer for. Whatever you choose, enjoy it!

Thank you again to Day Translations for sponsoring this blog post. Check out more about them and their services here: https://daytranslations.com/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Brand Ambassador, Content Editor, Social Media, Translation

“False Friends” Words

Hello everyone!

Recently, I gathered with some great colleagues for a Zoom “coffee”, and the topic was the infamous “false friends” words in Spanish and English.

Because Spanish and English share a lot of words with Latin roots, it’s easy to understand each language. But sometimes words with the same origin take a separate path in each language, or words with different origins resemble each other by coincidence. That can mean trouble!

So, here are some of the most common “false friends” and their meanings:

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ASISTIR (Spanish) – ASSIST (English):

Although they look quite similar, they don’t mean the same. “Asistir” in Spanish means to attend, to be present at (a place). “Assist” in English means to help.

CARPETA (Spanish) – CARPET (English):

Another similar one! “Carpeta” in Spanish means folder (and in some countries the word “fólder” is used instead). “Carpet” in English means carpet.

CASUALIDAD (Spanish) – CASUALTY (English):

This is one that I’ve found a few times. “Casualidad” in Spanish means coincidence; chance. “Casualty” in English means victim.

COLEGIO (Spanish) – COLLEGE (English):

Although both refer to places where people study, they don’t refer to the same place. “Colegio” in Spanish means school. “College” in English means university.

EMBARAZADA (Spanish) – EMBARRASSED (English):

This is a very common one! “Embarazada” in Spanish means pregnant. “Embarrassed” in English means ashamed.

ÉXITO (Spanish) – EXIT (English):

This one became very famous because of a very popular ad for an online English learning platform. “Éxito” in Spanish means success; hit. “Exit” in English means a way out (of somewhere).

INTRODUCIR (Spanish) – INTRODUCE (English):

This one really confuses people sometimes. “Introducir” in Spanish means to insert. “Introduce” in English means to present someone.

LARGO (Spanish) – LARGE (English):

One of the most common and difficult to make people understand the difference. “Largo” in Spanish means long. “Large” in English means big.

LIBRERÍA (Spanish) – LIBRARY (English):

This one is one of the most infamous ones! “Librería” in Spanish means bookstore. “Library” in English means a public book-lending place (“biblioteca” in Spanish).

PRETENDER (Spanish) – PRETEND (English):

They do look very similar! “Pretender” in Spanish means to attempt; to woo. “Pretend” in English means to fake; to act as if.

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There are many more “false friends”, but I decided to start with some of the most common ones, or at least the ones I’ve seen more often.

Can you think of any others? If so, make sure to share them in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

I’d like to thank “Day Translations” for sponsoring this post. You can check out their website here: https://www.daytranslations.com/

This is my last blog post of the year! I wish you the most wonderful holidays and see you in 2022!

XX

Social Media, Translation

Qualities of a Good Translation

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about what makes a good translation. Each translator has his or her own style, so you’ll never find two matching translations.

But are there any secrets to a good translation? Maybe not secrets but key elements that can help us make sure that we are creating a quality translation.

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The Translator

A huge part of making a good translation depends on the skills and the experience of the translator. So, what makes a good translator? The required skills can fall into two categories: translation and writing. A translator does more than just translate, they convey the source material in an understandable way into the target language.

Understanding the Audience

The translator needs to understand the audience and their needs. Translating a novel differs from translating a medical survey. The translator’s approach will be different for each case.

The Translation Must be As Good As the Source Document

A good translation reads as though it was originally written for the target audience. The fact that the source document was translated should not be visible.

The Human Touch

While CAT Tools have come a long way, the human touch is still essential when making translations shine. The translation tools can help us to translate faster and accurately, however, they can’t yet compete with the skill and nuance that human translators bring to the table.

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Here are some other tips:

  1. Read the text in its entirety, multiple times if necessary. Make sure you understand what the text conveys, what its core meaning is.
  2. Do some extra research. This never hurts! On the contrary, it can help you understand the document or the target audience better.
  3. Asses your first draft: does it stand alone? This is an important step, we have to make sure that the translation is understandable on its own, without the source document.
  4. Have someone review the finished product. This is a crucial step, someone else can catch mistakes you didn’t. And if you can’t find a colleague to review your document for you, I’d suggest reviewing it at least one day after you finished it, to let your brain rest and review it with fresh eyes.

Can you think of any other tips? Please share them in the comments.

I’d like to thank “Day Translations” for sponsoring this post. You can check out their website here: https://www.daytranslations.com/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Content Editor, Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Content Editor

Hi everyone!

Today I want to talk about what it means to be a Content Editor for a language-learning platform.

Officially, as of September, I became the Spanish Content Editor for FluentU, a language-learning platform that has been in the business since around 2010. They started with Asian languages (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese) and then moved to English, French, Spanish, Russian, German, Italian, and Portuguese.

The previous Editor left some months ago, so I was offered the position. It meant more work and responsibility, but also more money. I accepted the challenge! After a very arduous and long training period, I finally became their Spanish Content Editor or CE, as we call it internally.

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Being a Content Editor entails many tasks, mainly:

Searching for new videos on YouTube: FluentU works with YouTube videos, so I have to look for new videos to upload to their platform. The idea is that users can learn Spanish from everyday conversations and songs, trailers, and other formats.

Uploading new videos to their platform: Once I find videos that are not yet on their platform and that are helpful to learn Spanish (they have to be school-friendly because several teachers use the videos to teach their students), the Head of Content has to check them and give you their authorization.

Transcribe and translate the videos (captions): When the videos are already uploaded to the platform, you have to transcribe them (create the captions) and translate those captions into English. The right timing of each caption is very important.

Editing: This is the most important task for an Editor. Once the captions are ready, you need to check that all the words (annotations) are properly mapped. Mapped? Yes, FluentU’s captions are interactive, which means that each word of a caption (called an annotation) has a definition and two to three examples of how the word is used. And each word can have several annotations depending on the meaning or usage of the word for each specific caption. I know, it is tricky! Prepositions are the words with the most annotations!

Text to Sound (TTS): After all the editing is finished for a video, you need to convert the text of the captions into sound, for the sound feature of the platform.

Publish: Finally, you get to publish your video on the platform! This means that the video becomes available for all the users who are learning Spanish.

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Even though it takes a lot of work, it is very satisfying to be able to add new videos to the platform for the users to learn Spanish. Of course, I also deal with the users’ feedback which, most of the time, is very helpful!

So, this is, in a nutshell, what my Content Editor job entails. Have you ever worked as an editor, if so in which area or field? How was your experience? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments. And don’t forget to hit the subscribe button!

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Website Translation

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about “Website Translation”. Do you translate websites often? I have translated a few, and I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learned so far about it.

E-commerce platforms, company websites, landing pages, apps, and other similar platforms have a common denominator – communication.

All these platforms are created to communicate a message to as many people as possible. In fact, the online environment can be the one-way ticket to success for any brand regardless of size and product or service. The trick is to know how to grab and retain people’s attention enough to make them want to know more.

For this, you must find creative ways to deliver attention-grabbing and concise content, in a format and shape that’s easily shared and understood.

However, the situation is more complex and nuanced than this. While it’s true that your audience is online, so is your competition, various sources of entertainment, news & media outlets, lots of education platforms, and social media. This means you have to fight hard for people’s attention, and the only way to do so is by creating relevant and engaging content.

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The importance of translating your website:

The success of a global brand is defined by the way marketers understand how to approach the local culture and population. This is a process called localization and starts with the translation of the website into the local language.

Big and small e-commerce companies will have to consider translating products and services if they want to be successful. This is one of the reasons why Amazon has such great success overseas. They established several hubs in the most populated areas of the globe and the site is available in the most popular language of the area.

While it may be more difficult to follow in their footsteps in the current economic environment, it doesn’t mean you can’t use the power of language to grow your audience.

Culture and Language:

A successful website translation is not just about language; it’s also about integrating local culture and habits. Linguists call this localization.

Unlike regular translation, localization also addresses non-textual and cultural components to create an accurate depiction of a product or service for a specific group of people. It’s about adapting the message so locals can grasp all its nuances.

All successful global websites, apps, video games, or any other type of content is the result of both translation and localization.

Furthermore, localization is not just for foreign countries who speak a different language. A website with content in English will still have to use localization techniques in order to become appealing to audiences in Australia or the UK.

The best way to see how localization works is by taking a look at the case of sportive footwear. What Americans consider sneakers are called trainers in the UK and runners in Ireland. Now, all these words define one type of product, but if you try to sell sneakers in the UK, you won’t be successful because people don’t understand what you’re offering.

In summary, it’s not a case of culture vs. language but rather a case of using language and culture to promote your brand.

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How to translate it?

The DIY Approach
If you have the necessary knowledge to produce reliable and high-quality translations, then it is possible to do it yourself. However, it is not an approach we would recommend since it requires a great deal of knowledge from two opposing fields: language and web technology.

The DIY approach only works when you’re running a small website or creating stand-alone landing pages for a language you know very well. Otherwise, if the website is larger (like an e-commerce platform) you should hire a translator.

Professional Collaboration Approach
You are willing to invest in a strong marketing department, right? You are also ready to send people and investigate the market you want to enter. So, it would be unwise to not consider a collaboration with an experienced translator and localizer!

It’s also important to keep in mind that you will need translations of the website content, products, marketing materials, and legal documents (for contracts, agreements, labor laws, and more). As such, you will need assistance from linguists with varied expertise.

Website Translation vs. Content Translation
We’re currently living in a content economy. This means that brands must keep creating engaging content to grab people’s attention and lead them to their landing pages. Once there, viewers must be welcomed by a different type of content that will convince them to become customers.

As such, there is a clear distinction between website and content translation. If you only need to translate your website once, content is something that must be produced at a constant rate. Content must also be relevant and topical in order to stand out in the ocean of new content created every day.

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Furthermore, different audiences require content in different formats. And, depending on the geographic location of your audience, you may have to use different channels. This implies knowing which social media platform works in a specific region, whether blogging is well-received or not, and more.

Lastly, successful brands will also keep track of content produced by their users such as reviews, comments, or blog articles. This type of content has a sense of urgency to it, as you can lose momentum if the reply comes too late. As a result, collaboration with a translator or a translation agency that can provide input in local culture and habits is more than necessary to keep track of various campaigns.

Let me know what you think about this subject in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe.

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

Women’s History Month 2021

Hello everyone!

March isn’t over yet, and that means that we are still celebrating Women’s History Month. On March 8, we celebrated this year’s International Women’s Day.

Today I wanted to share with you a bit about how Women’s History Month got started. Thanks to the Women’s History Organization for the information.

Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread across the US as other communities initiated their own Women’s History Week celebrations the following year.

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In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women’s History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.

Subsequent Presidents continued to proclaim a National Women’s History Week in March until 1987 when Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, each president has issued an annual proclamation designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

The National Women’s History Alliance selects and publishes the yearly theme. The theme for Women’s History Month in 2021 captures the spirit of these challenging times. Since many of the women’s suffrage centennial celebrations originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed, the National Women’s History Alliance is extending the annual theme for 2021 to “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.

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Of course, this celebration has transcended borders and it is no longer just celebrated in the US. Many countries around the world celebrate Women’s History Month in March, whether it is official or not.

But we shouldn’t celebrate women just one month of the year; women should always be celebrated. The mothers, the daughters, the sisters, the friends, the colleagues, the neighbors…all the women in our lives should be celebrated every single day.

During this celebration, we often talk about the women we admire. The woman I admire the most is my mom. She’s the strongest, most wonderful woman I know. She’s a great example and inspiration to follow not just for me, but also for my nieces.

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Thank you to all the strong and amazing women reading this, and also to the incredible men who always support and stand by us!

I’d love to know how you are celebrating Women’s History Month! Make sure to leave me your comments about it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

As a reminder, you can get a 15% discount on a beautiful swimsuit from Bright Swimwear by using my code: ILDU15. If you want to know more about my collaboration with them, don’t miss this blog post Brand Ambassador!

By the way, if you don’t yet have a website and have been thinking about starting one, or if you’d like to create a new one, here is a gift if you do so with WordPress. If you use this link to start your website, you’ll receive a USD 25.00 credit towards the plan you choose: https://wordpress.com/refer-a-friend/9YVyPkAtvbLBWjAwkPxx/

Until the next time, take care and stay safe!

XX

Designs.ai Affiliate Logomaker (Digital Presence) 728x90 Banner
Content Localizer, Social Media, Translation

10 Myths About Translators

Hi everyone!

This is my second blog post of the year and the 60th overall!

Today I want to talk about some myths related to translators. If you are a translator, you probably already heard all of them 😉

Translators like working for free

Unless it is a volunteer translation or if translation is not your main source of income, no translators don’t like working for free. Translating is like any other job and we like to get compensated for the work we do. Just because we work from home, doesn’t mean that we don’t like to receive the same perks as if we worked in a regular office.

Translators must be available 24/7

Unless you don’t want to have any sleep or eat or have any life at all, no translators are not available 24/7. Like any other job, we have business hours and most of us don’t work on weekends and take holidays. Again, just because we are freelancers doesn’t mean that we have to be “connected” all the time. And we have to make sure that our clients understand that. So, please don’t advertise yourself as being available 24/7 if you want to have a healthy balance between work and your personal life.

Anyone who speaks two languages can be a translator

This one I hear all the team. You can speak, two, three, five, eight languages, but that doesn’t make you a translator in any of them. To become a translator, you have to prepare yourself, you have to study for a university career. You may have a native inclination for languages and translation but to become a fully accomplished translator, you need to obtain certain skills that you can only learn or improve by studying them.

Translators and Interpreters are the same thing

Another one that is used all the time. Ok, let’s make this one easy: translators convey their work in writing, while interpreters convey their work orally. And no, not all translators are interpreters and vice versa. Although some people study to become both, most people become just one. Becoming an interpreter is a whole other ball game.

Machine translation will take over translators’ work

Even with machine translation, you’ll always need a translator to review the work made by the machine. MT can be helpful for large projects but the translations themselves will always need human eyes to make sure that all the translations are properly done. Usually, a machine won’t recognize among genders, singular or plurals, proper names, and so forth. MTPE or Machine Translation Post-Editing is a job that will always need a human translator.

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Translators can translate any subject matter as long as the material is in a language they know

As translators, we can translate almost anything, but we also tend to specialize in certain areas that we are more familiar with. For instance, I am a Legal Sworn Translator so I have no problems translating legal documents, but I don’t have a lot of experience with Forex and cryptocurrency, so I know that I would not accept translations from those fields. I could probably do the translations using specialized glossaries and dictionaries, but it will never be as good as when done by a translator who has experience in that field.

Translators can deliver any translation with little or no turn-around time

No, we can’t. Clients want high-quality work, but that kind of work cannot be delivered with little or almost no turn-around time. Remember that besides translating, we also proofread our translations. We need a reasonable amount of time to make sure we deliver our best work.

Translators shouldn’t negotiate or increase their fees

Not an easy thing to do or understand. When you start working as a freelance translator your fees won’t be very high, but as you become a more experienced translator, you can and should negotiate, renegotiate and increase your fees. Your clients can’t expect you to use the same fees that you started with forever.

All translators will deliver the same translation

The process of translations is quite complex, and each translator has her or his approach to the language being used. Let’s say that three translators take on the same source document, you will end up with three different translations. The variations probably won’t be too many or too different, but you have to consider where each translator is from, what their background is, if they are speakers of different forms of the language (for example, if they translate into Spanish from Spain or from Latin America).

Translators don’t mind doing unpaid tests

This is a huge myth and misconception. We are not against taking tests for clients before they grant us a project, but those tests should be paid. We are dedicating time and effort to it, so we should be compensated for that.

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Can you think of more myths about translators? Please share them in the comments and I’ll make sure to share them in a follow-up post 🙂 And don’t forget to subscribe!

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