Nine Myths of Translator Profession
1. Each person knowing foreign language can translate.
Yes, at the everyday level (to order dinner, to set up a meeting with a partner, etc.) many people can manage without a translator. However, the work with a lot of materials on engineering or marketing, which requires understanding not only the general meanings but all the details as well as a perfect knowledge of Russian language, is still a business of experienced specialists.
2. Demand for translator profession is decreasing.
On one hand, the number of persons who can manage foreign languages becomes great enough. However, the level of the international communications and the relevant documents needed to be translated increases at the higher rate. For last years the volume of translations and interpretations significantly rose. Certainly, the army of translators enhanced. The great number of persons who desire to get the linguistic education proves the high demand for this profession.
3. This profession does not change for centuries.
The workplace and applied techniques of translators have drastically changed for some last years. The electronic dictionaries have step-by-step replaced the shelves full of paper lexicons. The appearance of the special software, using the texts translated before, for translators enhances the labor productivity up to 40%.
4. To make the written translations it is needed to finish the linguistic university.
Yes, it is useful. However, most of the professional technical translators have the higher natural-science education, and only keenness on any language brings them to obtain the second linguistic education. Many talented translators have only “Institute” or “Special-School” knowledge of foreign language, and their success is mainly related to the practical experience.
5. Translator is not able properly to translate any difficult technical text, only specialist can do that.
Of course, a specialist working in any field would know its specificity and terminology. However, there is the technique formed for interaction with a customer in the written translation, which enables to make the great quality translation of the highly tailored texts! Such type of work requires the careful study of special literature, reference materials of a customer, and the many-hour search in the Internet, as well as the compilation of various glossaries and the adjustment of points at issue. However, certainly the high quality translation can be made when a translator has the specialized education, broad outlook, and great experience.
6. Translator gets easy money.
Translator job is a work for 8-10 hours each day, demanding the good organization and thoroughness. Add to the said the frequent "emergency rush", if a translation has to be made "by yesterday"... This kind of work demands the permanent self-education and professional development. The bread of translators is not the easiest one...
7. Translation is not a creative profession.
Though there are automated translation systems using the artificial intelligence methods, the translation is still remaining the creative profession. Translating even one phrase has several possible alternatives. Searching the adequate meaning for a term, which frequently is not in Russian, sometimes can take several hours; and to find the equivalent phrase for the foreign slogan or for literature text may be eternal.
8. Translator (interpreter) role in the present business environment is not important.
Let look at the work of an interpreter. In the course of negotiations the interpreter does not only interoperate from one language to another, but he/she creates the atmosphere of mutual understanding and partnership. The interpreter helps to achieve the understanding not only between common persons speaking different languages, but between the representatives of different cultures who may have different ideas on methods for conducting a business. The participation of a good linguist is able to increase the success conclusion of negotiations.
9. Translation is a small business.
The leading translation companies have to be extended in order to satisfy the versatile desires of customers, to implement the large-scale projects for very short time, to introduce the up-to-date methods and systems of control. The number of their staff members exceeds 50 persons, and the number of part-time translators may be hundreds. The volume of translations can be thousands pages per a year!