January 3, 2019 |
There are many things to thank professional translators and interpreters for. As digitization has reduced the importance of physical borders, language specialists make communication possible between people from different countries and cultures. Translators deserve recognition because they make this happen despite language and cultural barriers.
However, most of the time, translators remain backstage, especially when they’re engaged in commercial and technical translation projects. Despite their essential role in overcoming communication barriers, they still don’t get the recognition they deserve.
When you read a user manual or the information on a medicine box, you never think about the person who spent long hours looking for the right combination of words, so that you get all the information you need. But without their accuracy and attention to detail, everyday activities would be much harder for us.
Check out our top seven reasons why translators deserve recognition and feel free to add to this list!
In 2018, the global language services industry reported revenues of $46.52 billion. Every day, hundreds of thousands of linguists and language experts deliver translation, interpreting, and localization services to companies and individuals.
It’s one of the fastest growing industries at the moment, thanks to an increased demand for language services across the globe. Companies looking to expand outside national borders, NGOs aiming for a global presence, Governments, and individuals traveling from one country to another.
They all need translators and interpreters to overcome language barriers, develop and thrive in a world in which effective communication has become fundamental to success.
Translators help organizations of all types to communicate with their local audiences in native languages. Companies and NGOs can connect with their public and consolidate their positions in every local market they approach.
Besides their fundamental role in the growth of the international economy, professional translators contribute to improving the world in many ways. In May 2017, for example, The United Nations acknowledged that language service providers bring nations together, facilitate dialogue between countries, and contribute to world peace.
In the UN resolution that sets the International Translation Day on September 30, the organization invites state members to raise awareness about the importance of the professional translators and interpreters to the modern world.
In the resolution, the UN also recognizes “the practical contribution of language professionals, both in conference servicing and in the field… including in the maintenance of peace and security, peacekeeping, the promotion of human rights and operational activities for sustainable development.”
Some technical translators work in industries that demand 100 percent accuracy, such as high-tech, science, or medicine. They translate technical research, medical notes, studies, and journals, allowing specialists who speak different languages to collaborate, despite the communication difficulties.
For centuries, scientists have been able to transfer knowledge through translation in all fields, from mathematics to chemistry, and medicine. Even today, when most scientists speak English, working with professional translators can increase the quality of the research in international teams.
Translators shorten the distances between people, by gathering them around common interests. Think about all the content that you wouldn’t have access to without translation services.
Literature offers thousands of examples. Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Dumas, or Stieg Larsson are just some examples of authors that would have remained hidden from English-speaking readers without the work of translators.
Outside literature, the amount of translated content is even more substantial. International news, movies, apps, software, video games, social media platforms, and e-commerce websites–many of your favorite apps would go unnoticed if they hadn’t been translated.
On the other hand, the non-English speaking world can thank translators for Shakespeare, The Game of Thrones, Fortnite, Minecraft, and online shopping on Amazon, to mention a minuscule part of the amount of translators’ work.
Thousands of translators, interpreters, and linguists reduce distances between people and nations by giving local populations access to content from and into hundreds of different languages.
Translators are artists that rewrite content into a different language, to make it accessible to more people. Google Translate alone performs a billion translations each day for around 200 million users. But the number of people who use translated content is a lot higher.
Think of articles and blogs, instructions of use, medicine labels, recipes, and other technical information that creators and manufacturers translate for their customers. Then consider news, movies, video games, and other types of content that get translated for large audiences.
Much of the content people read every day is translated from another language by professional translators. Most of the time, no one thinks about the effort behind the subtitles at the bottom of the screen when watching a movie, for example.
However, the translator’s work is an essential part in making that movie an international success, and that’s why translators deserve recognition for it.
As more companies build a global presence, the need for translation and localization services has grown significantly. Companies now have to localize their products and make them appropriate for local markets to sell. They need to go beyond plain translation and re-invent their marketing strategy to connect to potential foreign buyers.
Language specialists have a decisive role in this process. Translators and localization experts add value by re-creating the context and rewriting the content using a “local” touch. When a brand launches in South America, for example, translating content into Spanish may not be enough to gain popularity among locals.
People in Mexico speak differently from people in Argentina. Professional translators know how to use local slang and cultural stereotypes in a way that adds value to both the local audience and the brand.
The international human rights field wouldn’t exist without translators and interpreters. Language service providers work thousands of hours translating reports, testimonies, news, and other texts that end up in courtrooms and help the legal system carry out justice.
Furthermore, translators and interpreters make sure everybody gets fair treatment in courtrooms, whether they’re witnesses, plaintiffs, or other parties involved in the process.
Another area where translators contribute significantly is healthcare. Medical translators and interpreters make sure people have access to professional healthcare even when they have difficulties in communicating due to poor language skills.
Hospitals often rely on professional language specialists to handle international patients, to get accurate medical information, necessary for providing the right treatment.
Translation spreads information and encourages the exchange of ideas at a global level. Translators have an essential role in the way knowledge and information travels across the globe, overcoming communication barriers and bringing people together. Whether they work for commercial purposes or an NGO, translators change the world and add cultural value.