Translator and globalization: page 2  

Technical translator should be educated in two areas, drastically different from each other. He must be a good linguist, that is being proficient not only in the language of the original, but also in the target, or native, language, which is often overlooked. For me, for example, the criterion of native language proficiency are the translator’s publications, regardless of the area, but issued within professional literature or mass media. The translator must be able to express his thoughts easily and freely in his own native language, or despite proper understanding of the content of the original, he won’t be able to adequately deliver it to the target language audience. But the main thing a technical translator needs is technical education. An endless discussion proceeds in literature and on the Internet, concerning what is important and should be primary: linguistic or technical education. Both points of view are supported by many, having almost equal number of supporters. I do not claim absolute truth, though I do affirm that for a technical translator it is highly desirable to have even not just a technical education, but also the experience of working in the selected field. Translators-philologists naively believe that they can perform technical translations with a set of technical dictionaries, some picked up technical terms or even invited friend, skilled in the art. Most probable result is a low-grade, inaccurate, and sometimes dangerous translation (in the case, for example, of safe regulations for highly specialized equipment). Only "techies" know that the technical language in every branch of engineering is an almost unique language, which has little in common with the standard language.

It is more of a jargon, not a language, understandable only to the workers of this branch. It is well known that learning of a foreign language’s jargon is almost impossible as these jargons are countless: school slang has nothing to do with the jargon of dock workers, which in turn is absolutely different from bikers`jargon. The situation is pretty similar with the same words in the drilling business, sausage manufacturing and production of bikes having completely different meanings. Besides none of existing technical dictionaries embraces even a half of all the technical terms, the terminology changes so quickly nowadays that dictionaries simply do not update so fast. Multitran, the most complete of the existing Russian-English dictionaries in my opinion, seems overdue very often, especially when your request results in the answer: "this word (expression) was searched ... times." Commendable that the developers of the dictionary keep such statistics, and new words (expressions) may appear in the following version, but for the request time it is no good for a translator. Without plunging into the specific environment, it is rather difficult to master the terminology, especially when you need to do a translation in a short time and you haven’t got six months to prepare.

Faced with the global market, the translator, if honest with himself and the customer, will only work in areas of his expertise. The choice at the same time is virtually unlimited and the possibility of finding potential customers from the given area is high enough. I foresee indignation of some translators, especially beginners, who hectically try to get any order through the Internet, when they read these words. But it is not a question of ethics, but marketing, which I will speak about below.

Thus, globalization was a positive factor for translators, both in terms of growth of the translation market, and in terms of expanding the range of potential customers. The role of freelance translators in the market has become dominant. Now I focus on the drawbacks of globalization from the point of view of a professional translator.

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