For those of you that have watched that brilliant film, “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, you’ll get what I’m going on about straightaway. For those that haven’t, let me give you a quick synopsis, so you’ll understand what I’m going on about!
Murray stars as an aging actor, who is now milking the end of his career promoting a brand of whisky. Johansson, just out of college and following her boyfriend on a trip to Japan, is fresh faced and keen to experience something new. They end up meeting at the hotel bar and realise that they actually have quite a few things in common (despite the age difference), when plunged into the very strange and unfamiliar surroundings of Tokyo.
Clinging on to one another for emotional support, there is a very real sense in the film of them both being very lost because of their situation in Tokyo, where the culture is so very different from that back home (in the US) and the language totally unfathomable to the foreign ear.
This is why I love doing what I do, which for me isn’t just a simple case of translating word for word in a very literal sense. I like to think I build bridges for my clients from one culture to another through language. They no longer have to be concerned about making a cultural faux pas or offending a potential business partner as they are using a professional translator to guide them through seamlessly.
Language is so imbibed with cultural nuances that it’s impossible to think that you can get your point across by running your document though Google Translate or A.N. Other translation tool. At worst, you run the risk of offending the person you are addressing or you might just never really manage to get your point across because there’s something always missing: something which gets lost in (bad) translation.
The essence of good translation is working with a translator that is not only fluent in the language pair, but has an excellent command of the cultural nuances of both languages. This way, your translated text will have real meaning in the context of the target language.
A good, professional translator is never going to be a free online tool. You need to find someone to build those cultural bridges so that you never get lost on your journey into cultures new…
I look forward to taking you on that journey….inawordfrenchtranslation