The prevailing opinion on translation, as well as on any other profession with which many people do not come into regular contatct, is usually based on a lack of information and on personal views. In most cases it turns out that this opinion is wrong, which leads to misunderstandings and disagreements when the need arises for using the services of this profession.
These misunderstandings can eventually cause the termination of cooperation leading to mutual loss: a translator or a translation agency loses a business opportunity, and the clients will often turn to an individual or company who will meet their requirements in accordance with their own beliefs, which often leads to poorer translation quality and continuation of erroneous opinions about translation. The objective of this text is to present some of the most common inaccurate perceptions about translation in order to explain its true nature.
Knowing two or more languages automatically implies translation skills
This is probably the most common myth about translation resulting from insufficient knowledge of the translation profession and all the activities it covers. Translation is not just switching words from one language into another, and knowing more than one language does not guarantee that a person will be able to clearly convey the intended message and all its nuances. Most translators and interpreters are professionals with professional training and years of experience.
There is no difference between translation and interpreting
The term translator generally includes both translators and interpreters, so very few people know how different these two types of translation actually are. Translators and interpreters must master different sets of skills: translation requires extensive knowledge of the rules of language and translation tools, whereas interpreters must develop the ability to quickly understand and convey the speaker’s message relying on their own memory, resourcefulness, and the ability to take notes.