Translating like neurosurgery?

I found some interesting information at a site that answered some questions about translating.

They say that "Turning out a good translation is an extremely labor-intensive task..." That is definitely true, especially when translating Japanese (or other Asian languages, I'm sure) because the sentence structure, vocabulary, and way of thinking is very different than the European languages, so there's more effort required to put it into smooth English.

However, I'm not too sure if the following is also true:

...there are too many wannabe translators who have taken a few language courses and are misled to believe that they can just start translating and boom!, like magic, they're a translator and can translate, say, legal contracts. That's like someone trying to practice neurosurgery on a brain tumor patient after he/she has attended a couple of premed courses and read a few textbooks, but has no license to practice, has not passed the board examinations, and worse, has not acquired the experience and specialization needed to truly help the patient and do a sufficient job. He/she could go ahead and perform the surgery, but not without harming or killing the patient due to a lack of specialization and experience, not to mention getting sued for practicing without a license or credentials. It's the same way with professional translation - or at least it ought to be.

So, basically, if people submit bad translations, it might kill the client. Wow. I didn't know it could have that effect. Maybe translators should buy malpractice insurance.

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