English to French translation is important in a wide range of sectors. It is a skill that not everyone has, and without it international business would grind to a halt. However, there are still people out there that don’t realise this. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about translation and the role of the translator.
The first misconception that people still hold is that if you speak a second language you have everything you need to be a language translator. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is very different. To be a successful translator you need an additional skill set, as well as the ability to speak and understand another language. These skills include the ability to write and be meticulous about grammar and punctuation. A translator French English needs to understand the complexities of both the source language and the language that they are translating into. Close enough is not a phrase that an English to French translation expert ever uses. The second most common misconception is that interpretation and translation are the same thing. The truth is that they are very different, and require very different skill sets. Translators work with the written word; an interpreter works in the verbal tradition. They need to be able to listen and interpret in real time, and adapt to different subjects and situations as they happen. While a translator could always make use of such skills, they are not essential or as important as strong writing skills.
The third misconception is that to translate English into French, the translator does not need to understand what they are translating. You wouldn’t want a doctor to explain a legal document, or a lawyer to read your medical test results to you. The reason for this is because they have specific terminology and nuances that need to be understood by the reader for the meaning to come across. It is the same with languages. A legal document in French needs to be read and translated to English by someone who understands both the language and the legal terminology. Business contracts, housing contracts, medical documents and works of fiction all have their own idiosyncrasies too. The four misconception is that to translate English to French is easy, and is a money-making machine. While those at the top of their profession do make good money, this is as a result of years of hard work and dedication, it did not happen overnight. The final misconception is that English to French translators are no longer required as there are tools on your computer that can do all of this for you. The simple answer to this is to try it. Take a piece of text that you know the correct translation for, and then run it through one of these free tools. See what we mean?
Free tools have their place for translating single words or simple phrases for personal use. But when it comes to English to French translation for any business or professional needs, then a professional that understands the languages in detail and has the correct skills and experience is essential to getting the job done right the first time.