Language translation is an important part of the modern workforce. Because of the globalization of trade, communities in many parts of the world are doing business for the first time with Europe, Canada, Australia, and the United States - often despite major language barriers.
Even when people from two different cultures understand one another well enough to handle basic trade talks, working closely with a client, undergoing medical treatment in a foreign place, and studying abroad all raise challenges for people who are not deeply familiar with the languages they are using. This is when it’s important to work with translators, interpreters, and other language professionals to help you better understand the people and ideas you’re interacting with.
Myth Busting in Every Language
Unfortunately, there are some very common and deeply-rooted misconceptions when it comes to translation. In few areas, these misconceptions are more prevalent than in languages like Spanish, Italian, and French. Europeans and Americans who take these language courses in high school or who know someone who speaks the language may feel that they can fumble their way through dealing with romance language speakers, but they are often mistaken. This can have a serious and negative impact in many scenarios, especially when important information is on the line.
Here are just five of the most common myths regarding Italian translators, in particular - and the truth of each scenario. Keeping these in mind will help you make better decisions about working with your Italian-speaking clients or consumers, as well as anyone you need to do business or communicate with.
Misconception #1 - Machine Translation is Good Enough
Most of us have used a simple machine translation service before. Whether you’re plugging terms into a search engine and hoping for the best or using a dedicated translation website, the results are almost always the same - unreliable at best and hilariously wrong or even dangerous at worst.
The fact is, if you want a dependable, accurate translation of a text, you need to work with a human translator. Only human minds can truly understand the nuance of language and deliver accurate, reliable results in translation.
Misconception #2 - Any People Who Are Bilingual Can Be English to Italian Translators
Just because a person speaks two or more languages does not mean they can be a professional translator. Most Italians learn English growing up, and millions of English speakers also know Italian. That doesn’t mean they possess the extensive understanding of both languages and their nuances and colloquial terms to correctly translate text between them. Translators spend a lot of time developing this understanding and putting it to work.
Misconception #3 - Translation and Interpretation Are the Same Things
Translation is the conversion of text from one language to another. Interpretation is the conversion of audio from one language to another, whether it is recorded audio or live, in-person speech. While these two language-based skills do often overlap, they are different specialties. Just as you wouldn’t want a chiropractor performing heart surgery on you or a loved one, you shouldn’t ask a language professional of one specialty to perform another and expect perfect results.
Misconception #4 - Italian Translators Can Translate Any Text on Any Topic
Speaking of specialty, there are some texts that require additional understanding beyond that of the languages a person is working with. Medical and legal texts are a prime example. You need a translator who understands both the languages they are working with and the industry-specific terminology relevant to the text. After all, legal and medical terms aren’t something you want to get lost in translation!
Misconception #5 - Proofreaders Aren’t Needed When You Work with a Translator
While many people who work as professional translators offer proofreading or editing services in addition to translation, not all do. In fact, if you want to ensure that both the source and translated text are accurate, you may want to invest in these additional services. Every facet of the translation process is important, but not everyone is offered by every translator, so be sure to check with yours before committing to their services.
Whatever text you have to work with, partnering with freelance English to Italian translators will get you the kind of professional results you need. Remember, these myths don’t just apply to Italian - they are true of translation between many languages. Don’t let them keep you from doing better business and serving more people - even if the people you are looking to serve are your own family and friends. Make this the year you broaden your own horizons and invest in professional translation!