Inside a World of Translations

Being new in this world of translations and interpretations, and as a Human Resources professional, I find really impressive the number of people, roles and trades that collaborate and strive in a project to reach a final shared goal: that a concept or idea is understood by many people as possible.

Following this idea, and being close to the International Translation Day, I would like to write with a special focus on the role played by linguists.

There is no specific information about when this activity began. It certainly evolved along with the growth of a population spreading in villages and the need to communicate with each other thousands of years ago. Even at the time of the Aztec and Mayan empires, which were united despite being formed by different tribes with their well maintained and respected own dialects and religions, those who had the ability to manage two or more of those dialects were highly regarded and used as mediators to communicate the central city with the surrounding towns.

There is a lot of historical data about translations, but for me, the most interesting thing about all this is the role assumed by the person who is going to translate. The translator must be able not only to know perfectly well the languages involved, but also the culture that surrounds them. She or he becomes a link that unites different cultures transmitting a unique message, which must be understood and interpreted in the same way in all the languages ​to which it will be targeted. This is where they find the great challenge of creating a content that, when processed by the recipients, they do not notice that it is a transformed text, but that it rather has the characteristics of having been originally written as such.

This is why, among other things, I think it is a very interesting and more complex work than commonly believed. So, it is not only about knowing words in a different language, but also to know how to adapt them without losing the idea where those words are coming from.

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