Translation is a courier for information, the protector of culture, the mediator between societies and so much more.
In short, translation is the means to cross borders, enabling effective communication between speakers of different languages. Taking into account that not everyone can speak English or speak it well enough to communicate effectively, it is imperative to find a way to transmit information when language barriers exist. Through translation, it is more than just the words which are being communicated, it is the meaning behind the words which are also conveyed.
Additionally, as global mobility eases, geography is becoming less of an obstruction when it comes to doing business. As such, the need to communicate clearly and professionally with oversea partners, manufacturers, clients and customers is growing exponentially. Similarly, translation can help companies and businesses to expand into foreign markets, thus growing their consumer base. By communicating in the language that your consumers know best, this will exhibit that you are putting in the effort to establish a rapport with them.
A key question to consider is, for how much longer will English remain as the lingua franca? The position and dominance of English in today’s world can be deemed to be temporary. This is because there are, in fact, a growing number of emerging foreign markets. For instance, the Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic speaking markets are just some that are growing rapidly. Therefore, translation plays a pivotal role as the demand for communication between various foreign markets becomes ever more prominent.
Furthermore, if English was to be promoted as a universal language, then this will catalyse the extinction of hundreds of languages. Although not everyone may agree, a language helps to identify a country, a society, a culture, or even a group of people in a small remote community. In other words, it should not become compulsory to speak or even communicate in English just because it is convenient for some.
Finally, through translation, we are able to share knowledge and ideas. Think about it, we have discovered so much about our diverse world through translating books, media, research and other forms of information.
“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.” – George Steiner