There was a time when translating was considered an art, when translators were people with a knowledge that simply wasn’t available to anybody. And indeed, being a translator means that you are two people: your native self and your new language self. And you don’t even have to get psychological treatment for it. On the contrary, you are able to manage those two people inside you and to use them to help other people. Help them understand each other and communicate with each other. Translators were rare and the demand was huge, people took courses, sometimes even went to Med School,only to be the best translators there is.
And then, as surely as fake Louis Vuitton bags from China arrived, so did cheap translators. Now you can go online and find a translator that will “translate” 5000 words for $25 (half a penny per word!). And I understand why customers would give it a try, it nearly sounds too good to be true! Well, let me tell you the truth about it: it IS too good to be true. And, exactly like when you come back from Tunisia with those beautiful fake Gucci sunglasses, it can cost you a lot more at customs than you bargained for.
More tomorrow about how cheap translators survive even though they can’t deliver on quality.