Myth 5: Anyone can be a translator or an interpreter. FALSE! Being bilingual does not automatically make you a professional translator or interpreter. Having the ability to cook does not imply that you are a chef! While it is not a requirement, it is widely encouraged to pass an exam to become a professional translator or an interpreter, and not every bilingual person can pass.
Becoming a translator or an interpreter requires a certain level of education.
Many translators have college-level degrees, if not in translation or linguistics, then in a specialty field. As previously mentioned in this series, knowledge of a specialty field in this industry greatly increases the value of a linguist in this industry. When a translation service company is looking for a Korean-to-English translator to translate medical records, they would most likely need someone who has extensive knowledge of the medical field.
Speaking two languages fluently does not ensure that you can create a translation that sounds natural. Translating is not about replacing words; it is about maintaining the meaning of the original text.
Also, to debunk a mini-myth that certainly pertains to this one. Numerous people believe that translators are on a salary; therefore, they believe that those who know languages that are in high demand for translation are swamped with work, while those who translate less common languages get paid for doing barely anything. It does not matter if you are translating from Spanish to English or Swahili to English because there is merely no truth to this! Most translators work as freelancers, meaning they are not committed to any employer and are primarily hired for short-term projects.
Well, these 5 myths about the translation service industry have officially been debunked! We hope you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully, you have learned something new that you can take away with you!
Translators: Vital but Unappreciated (Brimmings.com)
The rest of the “Debunking 5 Myths of the Transltion Service Industry” Series
Debunking 5 Myths about the Translation Service Industry (part 1)
Debunking 5 Myths about the Translation Service Industry (part 2)
Debunking 5 Myths about the Translation Service Industry (part 3)
Debunking 5 Myths about the Translation Service Industry (part 4)
Debunking 5 Myths about the Translation Service Industry (part 5)