Translation has an image problem. These search results for “translation” don’t give you an adequate insight into what multilinguists can do for you. Here’s how we go beyond what the images suggest:

1: Translation happens when you press a button? Well, sometimes, but I’d recommend this only when the needs of your audience don’t matter to your text.

2: Translation happens at the word level, and there is one target word for each word in your own language? Certainly not. Just think how many German words there are for your English “cup”! Translators always start from the biggest possible unit of text, not the smallest.

3: Languages stop at country borders, and there is one language per country? In Bristol alone, 45 languages are spoken, and communicating vital information about, say, a new virus is more effective if you use at least a few of them.

4: Translators use Google Translate? If they did, they’d be in breach of your NDA. So they don’t.

5: Everybody’s monolingual, like the people in the little drawing? Most of the world’s population regularly speaks more than one language. But remember: That doesn’t make them good translators! Just like not everybody who speaks one language well is a great author.

Want to know more about translation? Get in touch, with me or the many fantastic translators in my network!