The Native Speaker Myth

Native_Speakers

Time and again, I get the following phone call or some conversation very similar to this one:

“Hello? Yes. Erm, you do translations, don’t you?”
“Yes.”
“Yep. Erm, do you also translate into English?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Aha. Good. Well, you see, we had this text translated recently by a native speaker, hm.”
“Yes?”
“And, erm, now our subsidiary in Kansas, well, hm, they tell us it’s not good.”
“Aha! Is this native speaker of yours a professional translator?”
“Well, erm, not exactly. Actually, he is from Sydney, but he’s been with our company for quite some time now. He is a software developer.”

Need I say more?

Speaking a language as one’s mother tongue is never sufficient qualification for doing translations. Professional translators spend several years in translation training. They know how to do it right.

Trust me
Karoline

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