It is commonly assumed that any bilingual individual is able to produce satisfactory or even high-quality document translations simply because he is a fluent speaker of a second language. However, this is often not the case. Because of the very nature of the different skills that each possesses, bilinguals and translators are not equally prepared to perform document translations. The ability, skill and even the basic mental processes required for bilingualism are fundamentally different from those required for translation.
Bilingual individuals are able to take their own thoughts and ideas and express them orally in two different languages, their native language and a second language, sometimes well enough to pass for native speakers in their second language. However, some persons will have a native command of two languages but prove inept at translating even simple sentences.
Translators must be able to read, understand and retain somebody else’s ideas, then render them accurately, completely and without exclusion, in a way that conveys the original meaning effectively and without distortion in another language.
In other words, translators must be excellent readers in a source language, for example, in English as their second language, and excellent writers in a target language, for example, in Spanish as their native language.
Among translators, it is generally accepted that the best translations are produced by persons who are translating from their second language into their native language, as it is rare for someone who has learned a second language to have total fluency in that language.
"In the translation industry, it is considered 'standard procedure' to translate only from an individual's second language, into their native language; never the other way around. For example, a native Spanish speaker should always translate English documents into Spanish; however, this fundamental rule is often ignored by amateur translators, and surprisingly, is often accepted without question by translation buyers.". In China, Japan and elsewhere, native translators will regularly work into and out of their native tongue.
Moreover, a fully competent translator is not only bilingual but bicultural.
Translation has served as a writing school for many prominent writers. Translators, including monks who spread Buddhist texts in East Asia and the early modern European translators of the Bible, in the course of their work have shaped the very languages into which they have translated. They have acted as bridges for conveying knowledge between cultures. Along with ideas, they have imported from the source languages, into their own languages, loanwords and calques of grammatical structures, idioms and vocabulary.
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With offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Cleveland, Ohio, we at Localization, LLC Translation Services are much honored to provide language services to our clients in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Washington D.C., San-Francisco, London, Moscow and Paris to name a few.
Our goal is to provide affordable translation services and stay committed to quality, customer service and detailed process. We strive to make ourselves available to our clients 24/7 making sure that they are well-informed of every step of the project progress from cost estimation to its completion.
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