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  • Writer's pictureMaría Palomares Tarí


Updated: Aug 3, 2022

Once again, we are here to demonstrate how the translation field falls victim to dozens of myths and misconceptions. Let’s debunk three more!

MYTH #1: Translators don’t have to understand the material for translation.

FACT: No translator has specialized knowledge about everything. However, the better they understand the content and context, the better the translation will be. There’s good reason that some translations, like medical or legal ones, are best done by specialized translators. Good translators have also the potential to understand varied content well, and that requires good research skills. They must be also thoroughly familiar with the jargon of the specific field.

MYTH #2: Translators and interpreters work in all areas of expertise

FACT: there are dozens of translation fields and that each one requires specific skills and knowledge to succeed. No translator can be expected to have the knowledge required to translate all types of documents well and within a reasonable amount of time. Working with specialized translators is also advantageous for clients as these professionals know which projects to take and what price to quote to understanding the intricacies of a particular subject. Specialization ensures that translators know their stuff and provide quality work with little supervision required.

MYTH #3: Translation is just exchange of words

FACT: Generally, translation is a process of rendering meaning, ideas, or messages of a text from one language to other language. In fact, Newmark (one of the most well-known figures in the translation field) defines translation as “rendering the meaning of a text into another language in the way that the author intended the text”. That is, allows you to experience cultural phenomena that would otherwise be too foreign and remote to grasp through your own cultural lens, so it could never be defined as just an ‘exchange of words’.

Do you remember the last three we talked about? Click here to refresh your memory!


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