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Spanish and English Speaking Translators

August 29, 2008 2 Comments »

I don’t know if it happens in every country, but I feel like in most places people’s speaking and writing is getting worse and worse. And we, the translators, are people too; meaning that, living in this century, in this society, we are no different. We are well aware of the rules, but we don’t use them in our daily lives: because it would sound awkward, because one wants to “fit in,” because we don’t have time for everything.

We use “bad words” and borrowed words, and we don’t even pay attention to the correct forms or structures of how things should be said or written, even though we are well aware of what is correct. It is estimated that kids today have a vocabulary of roughly 200 words, while a middle aged adult (40 years old) normally uses about two thousand. Television, radio and newspapers are certainly not helping, because they’ve fallen into using the same deprived language. New forms of communication- chatting, e-mail, text messages- ironically make communicating easier, but also force us to use fewer words, abbreviations, and the shortest of phrases.
I believe that translators, both young and old, belong to a special group of people that loves language, takes care of it, studies it and has obtained a richer vocabulary. In our job, we watch the rules and force ourselves to edit properly. And we have an important task: to continue preserving our language, to continue forcing ourselves to use it as it should be used and not allowing it to become impoverished.  The advantage is that for us, this is not a job that we do reluctantly, but rather a duty that we fulfill with a satisfying dignity.

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2 Responses to “Spanish and English Speaking Translators”

  • Commented on August 31, 2008 at 12:38 am

    You state that translators have an important task, that of “not allowing [language] to become impoverished.” I love language just as much as the next translator, but I don’t feel that it’s my duty as a translator to make sure language fits some “correct-usage” mold of my design. I love language precisely because it does change and evolve. Language does not become impoverished, it merely changes and adapts. As translators, our job is to reflect in another language the original language being used, no matter if it’s a text message, a chat conversation, or an email. We don’t have the right to judge the “correctness” of language. Many people use your same argument in regards to Spanish spoken on the border of the U.S. and Mexico, but I also feel that this is misguided. People use language to communicate, and as long as communication occurs, who are we to say that their language is deficient?

  • Commented on August 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    You state that translators have an important task, that of “not allowing [language] to become impoverished.” I love language just as much as the next translator, but I don’t feel that it’s my duty as a translator to make sure language fits some “correct-usage” mold of my design. I love language precisely because it does change and evolve. Language does not become impoverished, it merely changes and adapts. As translators, our job is to reflect in another language the original language being used, no matter if it’s a text message, a chat conversation, or an email. We don’t have the right to judge the “correctness” of language. Many people use your same argument in regards to Spanish spoken on the border of the U.S. and Mexico, but I also feel that this is misguided. People use language to communicate, and as long as communication occurs, who are we to say that their language is deficient?