Translators are awesome, and we love them. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of fun facts about translators that you may not have heard before.
1. They know a little about everything and a lot about some things
Translators are often thought of as being world-class experts in their one field, but the reality is that they’re also well-versed in lots of other subjects. They have to be able to move between different languages and cultures, which means they need to understand lots of different topics—and since they can’t just ask someone what something means, translators have to be able to find the answers themselves.
2. They speak at least two languages
Translators who speak more than one language can easily identify which words don’t translate well from one language to another and make sure that their translations are accurate and fluent for native speakers of both languages. With every project they take on, translators are exposed to different cultures, ideas, and concepts that they need to understand to create an authentic translation for their clients’ needs. This makes them curious about everything around them — politics, history, or science — so they continue learning new things every day!
3. They understand the nuances of language and culture
In addition to knowing the language they translate, translators also have a deep understanding of the culture behind it. This makes them able to accurately convey not only the literal meaning of a text but also its cultural nuances. They know when it’s appropriate to use colloquialisms or slang and can tell you how a word is used in a given context.
4. They are amazing at solving problems and overcoming challenges
Translators are creative problem solvers. It takes a lot of creativity to translate text from one language into another because there never exists a one-to-one correspondence between words or phrases in two languages. In order to make sense of this problem, translators have to figure out what the message is first, then find the best way possible of conveying it in their target language.
5. They are walking lexicons/dictionaries
Translators are the people you go to when you want to know what a word means, or if something is correct. They know all the different meanings of words and how they are used in different contexts.
6. They are professional writers and editors, grammar snobs, and spelling geeks—and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Translators know what words mean, how grammar works, and what sounds right in speech. They are often extremely picky about spelling and grammar (some might even say pedantic) because they know that their editing can make or break the meaning of the text.
They will correct your English without mercy!
7. Translators are patient and kind
It’s true! When you work with a translator, you’ll be working with someone who has the patience of a saint and the emotional intelligence of an angel. That’s because translators have to be able to read between the lines, dig deep into the meaning behind words, and understand the context to translate accurately. They have to keep a cool head when faced with difficult concepts or clients who are just plain impossible (and there will always be at least one).
These are some of the top things that make translators awesome. And who, before reading this article, would have thought that translators were, in fact, awesome? So next time one of these individuals does an outstanding job with your translation project, take a moment to stop and say ‘thank you’ for making your life a little easier.