11 Common Misconceptions About Language Translation

Common Misconceptions About Language Translation


More companies are seeing the value in language translation and how it can help them scale their business quickly. Unfortunately, there are still several misconceptions surrounding translation. Here are the 11 most common misconceptions.

Misconception 1: All Language Translations Are Equal

Misconception 1 All Language Translations are Equal

One of the misconceptions is that all language translations are of the same quality. It is not correct.

Machine translation is a tool to speed up the translation process or something you can use to get an understanding of a text. But you cannot compare a free machine translation with a seasoned translator who is an industry expert.

You can also get a basic translation of a text or opt for a translation with revision or translation with revision and proofreading.

The more experts that work on your translation, the better the quality. Thus, not all translations are of equal quality.

Misconception 2: Language Translation And Interpretation Are The Same Things

Some people use the terms language “translation” and “interpretation” interchangeably, but they are not the same.

Language translation works with the written word. Language interpretation works with oral communications. It is usually a person who acts as a communicator between two or more parties and often happens in real-time.

Translation and interpretation are, therefore, different professions and require different skill sets. 

Misconception 2 Language Translation and Interpretation are the Same Thing

Misconception 3: Any Bilingual Speaker Can Translate

Misconception 3 Any Bilingual Speaker Can Translate

Another misconception is that a person who speaks more than one language can translate.

A bilingual speaker may be able to give a basic explanation of texts. But should not be translating any client or public-facing documents without a trained translator and proofreader reviewing the materials.

There are many translation language traps that certified translators know to avoid. Not every bilingual speaker has formal training, the tools, or the experience to ensure the translation is done perfectly for your business.

It may be tempting to save on translation costs by using a bilingual speaker to do translations, but it usually costs more in the end.

Misconception 4: Translators Can Translate On Any Subject Matter

Some people may not know that translators are not only language experts but also specialize in specific industries. Translators are no different than surgeons or engineers – they specialize. 

Thus, a common misconception is that translators will translate texts on any topic.

Translators may specialize in healthcare, engineering, marketing, eCommerce, or fintech, etc. 

This is why the Taia platform allows you to select the language pairs and the industry you operate in when ordering a translation. 

Misconception 4 Translators Can Translate On Any Subject Matter

Misconception 5: A Good Language Translation Does Not Need Proofreading

Misconception 5 A Good Language Translation Does Not Need Proofreading

A fifth misconception is that a good language translation does not need proofreading. Although qualified translators have impeccable skills, they may still make minor mistakes during the translation process. Therefore a misconception is that proofreading is a waste of time and money. 

The Taia platform gives businesses the option to have translation reviewed and proofread.

It is important if you want to ensure your translation is perfect.

Misconception 6: All Translators Can Speak Multiple Languages

Although many language translation experts may be polyglots (able to speak more than four languages), most only focus on two to three languages when translating.

Professional translators do not have to speak multiple languages or translate into many languages.

Misconception 6 All Translators Can Speak Multiple Languages

Misconception 7: Language Translation Is Easy And Should Be Cheaper

Misconception 7 Language Translation Is Easy And Should Be Cheaper

Another misconception is that language translation is easy, therefore, should cost less (after all, there are free translator tools out there).

Certified translators are skilled language professionals and industry experts. Translators spend years building their skills and efficiency and keeping up with the latest industry developments.

The expertise means that translations may not be cheap like machine translation, but they are accurate and will have a maximum positive impact on your business.

Misconception 8: Language Translation Is Straightforward

A common misconception is that translation is simply taking a text in one language and adapting it verbatim to another language. Language translation is more complicated than that.

Language systems, cultures, idioms, and structures differ from one language to another. A word may exist in one language, but it does not in another language.

The complexities and intricacies are endless, each translation is unique, and there is more to consider than a word-for-word translation.

Misconception 8 Language Translation Is Straightforward

Misconception 9: The Business World Is English, So Translation Is Unnecessary

Misconception 9 The Business World Is English, So Translation Is Unnecessary

More people can speak English, and it is often the norm in the business world to revert to communicating in English.

It does not, however, mean translation is obsolete. Data shows that 80% of non-English speaking people prefer content in their native language rather than English and say they are more likely to trust a brand if they receive communication in their language.

Misconception 10: Translators Do Not Need To Be Familiar With Culture

Language and culture are closely linked.

A translator needs to be familiar with the target language and the culture.

It ensures that the translated materials are accurate, relevant, and resonate with the target audience.

Misconception 10 Translators Do Not Need To Be Familiar With Culture

Misconception 11: Machine Translation Is Replacing Human Translators

Misconception 11 Machine Translation Is Replacing Human Translators

A final misconception is that machine translation is replacing human translators.

Machine translation is a handy tool for translators to speed up the translation process, but it does not replace human experts.

About The Taia Platform

Taia is based in Europe but has native specialists based across the world. We specialize in translation and localization across all industries, continents, and in over 97 language pairs.

Sign up to our platform for free and start translating immediately, or book a demo with our team in your time zone.

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