5 Not-So-Fun Aspects of Working As a Translator


While the work itself can be highly enjoyable, there are also some aspects of working as a translator that are not so fun. For example, there is recordkeeping, and there is sometimes explicit humour, depending on your background. While these are not the only not-so-fun aspects of translation, they are nonetheless very important and must be dealt with properly. In addition, the profession requires translators to be professional and play by the rules. Fortunately, several of these characteristics are already inbuilt in people.

Mistranslations can be funny

As a translator, you might be laughing at the hilarious results of translation. In truth, mistranslations are commonplace. While a mistranslated sentence may lead to confusion, it also may convey a message of lack of concern for the target audience abroad. Here are five examples of funny translation mistakes:

Explicit humor depends on your cultural background

Whether you should translate a joke or use your own wordplay depends on your cultural background and the target audience. If you are translating a popular joke, make sure you understand the language you are working in and the context of the joke. While some jokes are transferable, others may need to be rephrased to make them more understandable to your audience. While some humor is universal, others may require a specific language and cultural context to make them understandable.


One of the least-fun aspects of translating is recordkeeping. This isn’t as fun as it sounds; you’ll need to keep track of every single client’s invoice. But recordkeeping is a necessary evil. After all, you need to stay on top of your accounts, so you’ll never miss a payment. And you’ll need to know when to record it all!

Understanding differences between source and target language cultures

Despite the similarities in their languages, source and target text may contain words and notions that are entirely unique to their respective cultures. As a translator, you must be sensitive to these differences and their implications on the translation. In the following sections, we’ll examine these issues in greater detail. We’ll also look at some of the major challenges faced by translators in both countries. Despite the common difficulties, learning about these differences will help you translate successfully.

Dealing with a lack of trust in a translator

You may have encountered this problem when dealing with a translation project. Often, German translators have several intermediary agencies in the chain, reducing their loyalty and discretion. A professional code of conduct for translators was developed in a different environment where translators had more direct contact with the end users of their work. Consequently, if you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips to help you deal with a lack of trust in a translator.

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