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“You’ll never know exactly what a translator has done. He reads with maniacal attention to nuance and cultural implication; then he sets out to rewrite this impossibly complex thing in his own language, re-elaborating everything, changing everything in order that it remain the same, or as close as possible to his experience of the original. In every sentence the most loyal respect must combine with the most resourceful inventiveness. Imagine shifting the Tower of Pisa into downtown Manhattan and convincing everyone it’s in the right place; that’s the scale of the task.” – Tim Parks
Although known examples of translation date back to 2000 BC, it hasn’t become a profession with its own specialties until it was eventually required by the Industrial Revolution for commercial reasons in the mid-18thcentury. Since then, translation business has evolved along with everything else in the world. And today, professional translation and localization services have become crucial for any company that seeks to expand throughout the world.
Unlike some, who aren’t directly involved in the business of translation, Tim Parks does us translators some justice. Translation, as a profession, is unfortunately and unintentionally much underrated. Unless you are familiar with the profession, it is really easy to think of translation as something that can be easily done by any bilingual person. But preserving the context while trying not to make any compromises isn’t as easy as it sounds.