A few clichés about translation

A bilingual person or one fluent in a foreign language is necessarily a good translator: WRONG


> It is not enough to be bilingual or master a foreign language to be able to translate. Of course it is necessary for a translator to master the different languages he works in, but even more important is his ability to depart from the source language and accurately render documents into the target language. Neither the style nor the quality of the text must reveal the fact that it is a translation. This not an easy task and requires training, a great interest in terminology, a talent for researching information and also the ability to understand the underlying meaning and aim of the text.

A literature major is necessarily a good translator: WRONG


> It is not enough to have a taste for literature to be able to translate. Of course a translator’s spelling, grammar, and syntax need to be perfect. But translation is a technical craft, and this is the reason so many translators have multiple qualifications. Their expertise in one or several areas can play a key role in the accuracy of their work.

Interpreting and translating is the same thing: WRONG

> A translator’s job starts after the fact while interpreters work live. These two activities are commonly confused. Although interpretation requires a lot of preparation, interpreters work on the spot with no safety net. Translators are always seeking the best possible translation and therefore need time to consult different sources of information. Written words, unlike spoken ones, are set in stone. Their impact is enduring and the effect they have on the recipient is long lasting.

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