What Is Translation in the Modern World?


In the modern era, many people disregard the need for translators. Why bother when you can just use on online translator? Or an app on your smartphone?

The problem is that these algorithmic translators tend to miss out on translating the vital context of words and phrases. Many languages don’t directly compute into one another, and this renders it very hard to achieve a translation that is easy to understand. It takes more than just asking a question of an online translator.

Even in the modern world, where we have software that accelerates the process massively, there are limitations. Human translators are still needed to offer that important local context and understanding of the subject.

With close to 7,000 languages on the planet, it helps to know that people out there know how to transform one into the next. This is why today, as we become a more globalized society and everyone sees more of cultures they likely never knew of before, translation plays such a vital role.

Bringing New Ideas to Fresh Languages

How often do you hear someone from a different culture say “In my language, we say…” and then give you a metaphor or analogy? How often does it make 100% sense to you?

Sometimes you find that an analogy can lose much of its wit or intellect when translated. It’s for this role that a translator can be worth their weight in gold; they help to develop the much-needed context to what is being said. Not only does this make it much easier to develop and understand the nature of what you are discussing, it makes it easier to frame it all as one.

Now, we can understand these analogies from other nations whereas, in the past, they would have made no sense at all. This is why, for many people on the planet, translation is one of the most taxing roles that can be undertaken. You have to understand the context and societal structure of two entire languages. It usually means understanding the people and the country behind that language, too. It’s safe to say, this takes a huge amount of time to play out.

Creating the Correct Translation

It’s another reason why, in the modern world, we expect more from translators and their work. Translators are supposed to be able to carry the ideas belonging to a completely different culture and portray them in another language, and do that with a level of perfection that is, in fact, very difficult to achieve. The challenge of creating one message in a whole new language whilst keeping the same point, theme, conclusion an overall purpose is exceptionally challenging.

However, in a world where we find that all of these thousands of languages mix together, it’s no surprise things require translation on a regular basis. As a species, we interact with each other far more now than we have at any other point in human history, thereby create a wonderful challenge that showcases the importance of translation today.

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