Translation: The Art of Making Communication Possible across Languages

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Discover the reasons why you should pursue a degree in Translation studies.

The discipline of translation is as old as civilization. Since ancient times, communities had to communicate in order to exchange goods, services and information. Since the human need for communication could not be only possible among members of the same language community, translation entered the picture.

If it weren’t for translation, the world wouldn’t be nearly as advanced as it is today. Communication is the key to globalization, and communication between different language communities is what allows the world to be connected. Imagine only being able to travel to or trade with those countries where your mother tongue is spoken. Civilization as we know it today is possible thanks to translanguage communication.

Translation makes it possible for the transmission of knowledge, the protection of cultural heritage and the development of a global economy to occur. 

In today’s interconnected world, the skills that translation courses provide professionals with are more desirable than ever before. Why? Because our current world demands effective, efficient and empathetic communication across both languages and cultures. 

Importance of Translation

1. Not everyone speaks English

Even though English is the current lingua franca, which means that it is mainly the language people choose when they don’t share a common native language, and English is the most prominent language in the world, this doesn’t mean that everyone speaks English. 

Even if everybody learned English around the world, it would not be fair to force them to only communicate, read or speak English. The importance of translation lies in the fact that language is not only about communication, but it is mainly about culture, heritage, society, belief and identity. Therefore, promoting a universal language, English for example, would not only be selfish, but it will also lead to a great loss of cultural diversity and identity that is communicated through people’s native languages.

2. A Global Economy is Possible thanks to Translation

Since geography is no longer a barrier to doing business of any kind and companies benefit from working overseas with countries that speak different languages, they need high-quality translation to communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings.

False cognates, more commonly known as false friends, are words that are very similar in different languages but don’t mean the same. These words lead to the most amount of misunderstandings when people are not aware of those differences. Since professional translators study the languages in depth, they acquire a deep insight into these nuances of meanings, which is why they are valuable for any kind of transaction, but most importantly, business, since misunderstandings can lead to the deals not being carried out.

3. It enables the transmission of knowledge

If it weren’t for translation, the spread of information, knowledge and ideas would not be possible. Translation is essential for the effective and empathetic communication between different cultures. 

Translation is the medium through which people from different countries, cultures and language communities come to know different works that expand their knowledge. 

Why study translation?

In addition to the well-known benefits of learning a foreign language, there are other reasons that make translation and interpretation worth studying.

If you don’t like to work in the same place all the time, translation is perfect for you. Since most translators are freelance, they can work from wherever they want to work. They can even travel the world while working, which means you can have more than the traditional 2 or 3 weeks of vacation in a year. Even though they are not real vacations, you can split your time between working and seeing the sights.

This is a profession that allows you to learn new things all the time. Since you may have to translate many different kinds of texts, related to different industries, with different topics (even within the same specialty), you will constantly learn and experience new things, which will allow you to expand your knowledge. 

Studying translation opens up a world of possibilities. There are so many different specialties within translation that you can choose the one (or the ones) you feel passionate about. You can choose from literary and journalistic translation, business or legal translation, to technical and scientific translation, among many others. 

Even though it is a well established misconception that you cannot make a living out of translation, this needs to be debunked. This profession allows you to earn a very comfortable living and gives you many opportunities to grow and increase your earning potential. 

If you are passionate about language, literature, and communication, translation is the perfect career path for you! Here you will find the best translation programs in the US.

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