Every profession is victim to a fair share of stereotyped beliefs held by people who are either rank outsiders or have negligible insider knowledge. Such beliefs irk the dedicated and/or experienced practitioners of a profession no end! Translation is not immune to such issues; a widespread and annoyingly persistent belief related to language translation that refuse to die is –
Translation is all about converting one language into another
A lot of people who obviously do not have any idea about the process of translation think that it only requires knowing two languages well, and all one needs to do is to replace words in the original language with their equivalents in the target language. But as fellow translators would be aware, nothing could be farther from the truth. There are countless people out there in the world who are apparently fluent in multiple languages, but cannot provide quality or even accurate translations in the same. And that is quite obvious, since languages are like people, they don’t just look different, they are different in many other ways! The grammar, the native idioms, the structuring of sentences, even cultural differences affect the written and spoken language of a place. And only when all these factors are taken into account, a high quality translation is guaranteed.