A Little Thanks To Our Interpreters and Translators

downloadLet’s take a step back to look at translations in language. What’s the purpose of them? Why do we have them? Translations, be it ones to understand a particular thing or to speak with a particular person, are paramount in understanding the world. Often times, translations have to be fiddled with to grasp the knowledge of said word or phrase. There are words in the English language that will never be made apparent in another language, likewise the same goes for any other language to English. Words have to be fixed or transformed. This is where translations come in, and where translators and interpreters make such a heavy influence on society and the world alike.

For sometime in the past and currently in particular places in the world, translations are forbidden in schools as it was thought to “confuse” language learners. Students were said to mistake one word for another, and wouldn’t be able to properly communicate in either language. This scare came from Maximilian Berlitz, founder of the Berlitz language schools.

The thought Berlitz instilled in many was over a century ago in that translations were a waste of time. It would lead to “a defective and incomplete knowledge of the second language.” Due to this, many students were forbidden from speaking anything other than the language taught at that school, meaning if the child came from another country the mother tongue was not spoken to prevent confusion.

So what does this have to say about translators and translations presently? Without either of these two things there would be no way for students, teachers or anyone for that matter to understand cultures or really get an appreciation for the world around them.

Fear instills the worst in people. It sparks wars, rumbles debate. Fear is what holds humanity back, and what has halted progression in the past, and currently in some parts of the world. Fear is nothing in regards to the importance of culture and communication, and this is where translators and interpreters should be thanked. Without them, where would we be?

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