Coming back stronger (J)

This is a time of rebuilding and rebirth for my adopted country, Japan, as everyone pulls together to help those in need and to put the country back on its feet.
The tragedy is unimaginable, but it is also an opportunity for Japan to get a new start. I wish 0us all the best of luck in that endeavor.

I’ve been tracking the keywords “translation tools” and “translation” (in Japanese and English) via Google Alerts these past few months, and most every day there is something in my inbox. The hits are mostly press releases about new computer-aided translation (CAT) tools or translation systems, or news about statements that were translated (i.e. something along the lines of “a translation of Mgbo Ngaga’s speech said . . . “).

There are virtually no stories about translators themselves.

This illustrates a major misconception about translation in the general public, and that is that quality translation can be done by machines. The fact of the matter is that without good translators, you cannot get good translations. Language is, like people, imperfect. It is understandable only to other people, and even people cannot always understand each other. I can’t see how computers can be expected to translate.

The quality of a translation is a direct reflection of the quality of the translator. Good translators cost real money, but the product is worth it if you are serious about your business.