The art of specialised translations originated in antiquity, but the vocabulary and grammar of the source and target languages are constantly changing. So the translation process needs to keep up. Today’s requirements for translation are much different than they were hundreds of years ago: we now use CAT tools, glossaries, online dictionaries, etc., which make a translator’s job a bit less complicated.

Specialised translations—5 interesting facts you might not know:

  • When speaking about business English, translators normally refer to international English, and they make no distinction between British and American English.

  • 78% of the books published in English from 2000 to 2010 have been translated into French and German, but only 5% into Chinese.

  • There are over 330,000 translators worldwide. And if this number included people who translate only for private purposes, it would be considerably higher.

  • Vladimir Nabokov, the famous Russian-born American novelist, was totally against any translation of his works, because he believed it would ruin the beauty and style of the phrasing (although he once attempted a word-for-word translation of his own work with hilarious results). Nonetheless, thanks to translators who did not share his opinion, today we can all enjoy his remarkable work.

  • In contrast, Gabriel García Márquez said of his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude that he thought it sounded better in English than in Spanish. A surprising statement, since most readers agree that all books “sound” better in the author’s original language than in translation. Nevertheless, this proves that a good translator is an artist who can actually improve a novel in many ways