We tend to have stereotypical ideas about the people who work in industries we have no first-hand knowledge of, and nowhere is this truer than in the field of translation. Here at Linguistica Translation and Recruitment, we have more than 20 years of experience in the field of professional translation, so we’ve certainly heard some rubbish, but some misconceptions rear their amusing heads time and time again.
In this edition of the Linguistica blog, we’re going to take an admittedly flippant look at some of the misconceptions that pervade our industry.
1. Translators don’t talk much
Translators spend so much time reading and writing that they don’t have time to talk, apparently. What tosh! Yes, being bookish is a trait of some translators and it’s an admirable quality in any profession, but translators love to talk just as much as anyone else. In fact, their ability to use more than one language means they have twice as many people to talk to.
2. All translators are female
The reason given for this one is that women are naturally better language learners than men. The truth is that there are more women in occupations across the linguistic fields. Studies have been conducted to try and prove whether women are naturally better at learning languages than men, with none proving conclusive. So, what is the reason for the disproportionately large female presence? We have to put it down to tradition, with young bourgeois women encouraged to learn two languages to ‘develop their reasoning’ as far back as the 18th century, and personal preference.
3. Translators are over 40
Supposedly it takes such a long time to learn a language fluently enough to work as a professional translator that you have to be over 40. Most translators do have an extensive linguistic education, but you can still gain the necessary qualifications and experience you need to be a fully qualified translator by your mid-twenties. What young translators may lack in experience, they more than make up for with their knowledge of the colloquialisms and linguistic nuances present in the language used by the highly prized younger consumers that businesses are so desperate to attract.
4. Translators wear moth-eaten clothes
This one is true. At Linguistica HQ, you’re only allowed into the building if you have a hole in your obligatory cardigan that’s at least thumb-sized. Clothes that have any shape are immediately taken to our on-site incinerator and translators are given a suitably drab replacement outfit from our lost property bin. We find it’s the only way to maintain any order.
5. You have to speak four or five languages to be a translator
While some translators do know more than two languages, the vast majority of translators only translate into and out of the same two languages professionally. Only by specialising in those languages they keep up with the evolution of the language and be familiar with all the relevant industry terms. Just as a doctor has to specialise in one area to have the necessary expertise, so does a translator.
Let us debunk your translation misconceptions
Get in touch with the fashionable, young (reasonably) and happening team of professional translators here at Linguistica Translation and Recruitment. We’ll happily discuss your project with you and explain what our work is really all about. Call 02392 987 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.