Not everyone is a translator

Many people seem to believe that if a person’s mother tongue is Spanish, then therefore they can translate. This believe it is not accurate at all. The person in question it is not taking into account that not all Spanish speaking people are trained to be a translator. Because, yes folks…. it requires training.

Translator need to have a great domain of their mother tongue, which it does not only mean to be able to speak the language in fluent fashion. But to have an educated vocabulary thus this would be mean that the person in question is in fact a person who is a book worm ( if it want to describe it in a funny way).

For instance, I have met doctors who have had their staff translate simple documents, while his staff may be medically  qualified to do their job ( nurses for instance) that does not mean that they have the training to be able to translate a document from English to Spanish because they may not have the vocabulary necessary to do so.

For example I have read simple translations ( Please do not park here ) translated to ( Por favor de no parkear aki). Firstly the translation has grave grammar mistakes because the right translation would be ( Favor de no estacionarse en este espacio or Favor de no estacionarse ). The word parkear does not exist in the Spanish dictionary. It is a made up word and secondly the word aki, how this person wrote, it is not correct, when it is spelled aquí. This is a very simple example, but there are many.

I also think that a translator needs to be either a writer at heart, love literature,have a passion for learning new things and be a little bit of a perfectionist to be able to achieve the right translation of a document and capture what the author is trying to say in a correct fashion. A translator never stops learning, which is one of the things that makes me passionate about what I do.

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7 thoughts on “Not everyone is a translator

      1. My pleasure, and thank you for following me first.

        I try my level best to read my new followers. Since once I post, the number of likes and comments are so much that it’s difficult to look into everyone. Specially if it’s goes in 100’s

        So I will try my level to be in contact as much as I see your presence.

        I wish that your blog will blossom too, and you be more creative in your area. So that people follow and be interactive rather than just following you and disappear.

        Like

  1. I absolutely agree. I am bilingual- i speak my mother in addition to English. And although i have a pretty great oral grip of it, i most definitely would not do justice when it comes to translation.

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    1. Hi Ameena! I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my piece on translation. And yes knowing how to speak or write a language does not mean you can translate. But I also think that since Spanish is a language that a lot of people speak in the US. Most people seemed to think that anyone can translate just because they are Hispanic. And I strongly believe that it is not the case.

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