Translation and the Internet

There is no doubt that the Internet has changed our lives. It has changed our lifestyle, thinking, language and how we use words. It has erased distances and national borders, and it’s providing us with tools of which we had never dreamed before. The Internet has become our “daily bread”: we use it to advertise our services, look for work and to do research.

It has changed and eased the translator’s job a lot. Indubitably, translation will always be a human activity that involves intuition, experience and understanding of source text and so on but we should admit that the Internet helps us gain all these abilities. We can read a lot on the Internet, share and learn from experiences of others and develop ourselves by having access to so much and various information in one place. Here I should mention the online dictionaries that lessen our time to work on a translation. I cannot imagine myself working on a translation without all these precious resources. In a couple of minutes you get all you need about a word, an expression or an idiom. More than that, the translator’s platforms are a huge help in the translation process (especially when you are limited in time), which you cannot find in real life. These platforms gather people from all over the world so you can get help from a native speaker of your TT language … what can be better? 🙂

How does the Internet help you in the translation process?

What differs a professional translator from a person knowing one or several foreign languages?

A lot of people know one or more foreign languages. However, the level of knowledge can be very different from one person to another. If you need to be guided or to carry out purchases in a foreign country it is one thing. If you need documents to be translated or negotiations to be carried out with a foreign partner, then it is another thing. An incorrect translation, accidentally or due to lack of knowledge, can lead to failure. That is why people tend to employ professional translators who can guarantee the quality of their services.

A professional translator has, as a rule, a special linguistic education with a comprehensive knowledge of both source and target languages. He/she masters not only foreign language, but also the skills of translation. The professional translator is someone who provides an exact transfer of information, including preservation of the style. He/she should be familiar with the culture, customs, and social settings of the source and target language speakers, as well as with different registers, styles of speaking, and social stratification of both languages. This socio-cultural awareness, can improve quality of the translations to a great extent.

It is important to know that it takes much more than a dictionary to be a good translator, and translators are not made overnight. To be a good translator requires a sizeable investment in both source and target languages. It is one of the most challenging tasks to switch safely and faithfully between two universes of discourse. Only a sophisticated and systematic treatment of translation education can lead to the development of successful translators. And the most arduous part of the journey starts when translation trainees leave their universities. 🙂

Is mother tongue crucial for translation?

We spend a lot of time for learning a foreign language. We study its grammar, vocabulary, style, and even its history and evolution. Moreover, we are trying to be always up to date about that language, improving it everyday. But how much time do we spend for our native language improvement? 🙂 (this is actually a rhetorical question that may determine some of you to start improve it as well) The general belief appears to be that native speakers are good translators into their native language. But how far is this true and is it true for all categories of translation?

How to Be a Good Translator



In order to become a good professional translator, it is not enough to just know a foreign language. A lot of people believe that translation is just taking the words from one language and substituting them into other languages. However, this is not the case. A professional translator needs to have good knowledge of the source language and to have deep understanding of the cultural differences. Translation requires skills and experience in order to make the right analysis of the meaning in the target language.