Translating – the danger of ‘Danglish’

My translation business is suddenly gathering pace – it is exciting, but at the same time, the responsibility is great. Translating e.g. a business plan really well may mean the difference between the client getting or losing the loan / sale or whatever. A poorly translated document will reflect on the translator – but the real loser is the client. So, extra careful proof-reading and knowledge of the subject matter under discussion is essential.

The Wikipedia states: “Perhaps the most common misconception about translation is that there exists a simple “word-for-word” relation between any two languages, and that translation is therefore a straightforward and mechanical process. On the contrary, translation is always fraught with uncertainties and with the potential for inadvertent “spilling over” of idioms and usages from one language into the other. ”

There are several machine translation services available on the net – type in your text and the software will translate it for you. I have played with some of these and not been impressed with the results – but for quick translations, say to get the gist of a text, they are good and improving all the time. I just do not think they’ll be as good as humans for quite a while yet.