in Language Technology, Localization Tips, Translation


The translation 10 Inspirational Quotes for Human Translationindustry is currently sitting on the edge of innovation. As companies expand and go global, they often struggle to make the decision between machine and human translation. However, good translation is an art-form which needs more than a simple formula: it requires intuition and thought. Companies entering new markets are fast learning that with great pursuits, come great challenges, and there is no bigger challenge than effective translation.  Because of this, we here at CSOFT have compiled a list of 10 quotes that show why we believe in the value of human translation.

“It is translation, more than speech itself, which provides incontrovertible evidence of the human capacity to think and to communicate thought. We should do more of it.”

― David Bellos

“The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry.”

― Leonardo Sciascia

 “So many people consider their work a daily punishment. Whereas I love my work as a translator. Translation is a journey over a sea from one shore to the other. Sometimes I think of myself as a smuggler: I cross the frontier of language with my booty of words, ideas, images, and metaphors.”

― Amara Lakhous

“Translation presents not merely a paradigm but the utmost case of engaged literary interpretation.”

― John Felstiner

“There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of a translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive [books].”

– Edith Hamilton

“A translation is no translation, he said, unless it will give you the music of a poem along with the words of it.”

 John Millington Synge

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“A good translation has many other components besides language competence, the most important among these being the subject matter and the translator’s comfort with and clarity about it. “

– Ather Farouqui

“A real translation is transparent.”

― Walter Benjamin

“Not everyone who knows how to write can be a writer. Not everyone who knows two languages can be a translator.”

― Nataly Kelly

“Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.”

― Voltaire
Translation is a deeply personal pursuit and the complexity of context and emotions are something that cannot be detected through simple machine translation. At its best, translation is an art form that manifests meaning that is not inherent in individual words or phrases. So, while going global can be a very exciting time for your company, remember to not overlook the impact a good translator can have on your localization strategy.


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Written by Patrick Keefe Technical Writer at CSOFT

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