As with many things in life, people develop misconceptions about anything and everything. Italian Translators and interpreters are not immune to this bias. They and their profession are plagued with many ill-informed misconceptions that are hard to justify.
In this blog, we have compiled a list of seven misconceptions about Italian translators and interpreters that you should get rid of immediately!
Translation is merely word exchange/substitution.
One of the most infamous and commonly-held misconceptions about Italian translators and interpreters is that the job requires a literal word to word translation of Italian words into the English language and vice versa. It is an ignorant belief that is born out of a poor understanding of what translation means.
Translators are not in the business of word substitution. Neither are interpreters. They are both language experts who have a firm foothold over both the concerned language they are tasked to translate.
If you’re bilingual, you can be an interpreter or a translator.
Another misconception that plagues the commoner about Italian translators and Interpreters is their steadfast belief that anyone can do it as long as they’re fluent in Italian and another language.
This is not true.
Becoming an officially authorized translator or interpreter requires that the professional holds a degree in translation. Moreover, the translator must necessarily be a native speaker in either Italian or another language that they’re translating.
Moreover, a translator might also need a certification or specialization in specific subjects in some cases so that they could be designated translation jobs in a particular niche.
Italian Interpreters and translators earn a lot of money.
That Italian interpreters and translators make a lot of money is another misconception that you should not buy into because it is an illusion.
Yes, some of them do make good money, but this does not include everyone. The pay scale of an Italian translator differs from translator to translator based on the translation company they work for, the nature of the work assignment, and the experience of the translator.
Moreover, freelance translators charge on a per word basis. So the higher they charge, the more money they make. And the lower the charge, the lesser they make.
All these factors come together. As such, it is wrong to assume that an Italian translator makes a lot of money just because they do Italian translation professionally.
Learning one dialect is enough.
Of the many misconceptions that plague the common man, one of the most misleading beliefs that people seem to have regarding Italian translators is regarding the language itself.
A lot of people believe that if they pick up a new language, learning one dialect is enough. However, this is not the case.
While knowing the dominant dialect in Italian gives a translator the skills needed to do a basic translation, it keeps them from doing justice to region-specific translations that they might have to do.
In the translation industry, the nuances, idioms, and unique cultural references matter. Learning one dialect is not enough. So if you are someone who originally shared the same opinion, now you know!
Italian translators can do the work of interpreters and vice-versa.
Translators and Interpreters are both professionals who work in the industry of providing linguistic services. However, their work is independent of each other. That people assume that they’re both the same professions is a misconception that needs to be clarified right away.
To give you better clarity, here’s a more accurate description of what they both are:
- A translator’s job includes translating the written text into the client’s desired language. They do this at the prescribed turn-around-time (TAT). Since they have to engage in writing work, a translator needs to have excellent writing skills.
- An Interpreter’s job includes the spoken word. Their job demands instant verbal translation of the spoken language. As such, an interpreter needs to be extremely fluent in both the languages they’re translating back and forth.
Italian interpreters and translators don’t need to understand the culture of a language they’re translating or interpreting.
Most people tend to undermine the skills and sophistication that the job of a translator or interpreter demands. They dismiss it as a skill that can be picked up without requiring an understanding of the culture.
While this is not entirely incorrect, it is simply not true. Being an interpreter or a translator means that the professional has to be abreast of the culture of the language. They need to know the nuances of each language, the idioms in that language, the references, the jokes, etc. Only then can they provide accurate and culturally-sensitive translations and interpretations.
Translators do not need to understand the subject of the document that they’re translating.
Knowing a language does not mean that you can do justice to it. Similarly, just because someone is a professional translator does not mean that they could do justice to the work without having a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
Many work assignments generally include translating patents, financial reports, legal contracts, marketing press releases, etc. These are highly sophisticated and niche topics that can’t be accurately translated and done justice to it if the translator has zero knowledge about the subject.
The translator should be able to fully understand the original text word-to-word, and command a firm foothold of the subject in question. Only then can the translation be meaningfully executed.