Monday, 6 August 2018

Translators and small things: 5 peculiar quirks

Translators have peculiar quirks and habits, especially when it comes to small things in language! While some of these are essential to the job, to outsiders they’re likely to come across as oddities. The following list of translators’ peculiar quirks is by no means exhaustive:

1. Translators can become agitated about a misplaced or omitted apostrophe or (yikes!) a spelling mistake in a book.

2. Translators don’t normally sleep too well following the identification of an error in one of their recently submitted translations.

3. If it turns out a product name is not correctly hyphenated on a label, a translator may no longer want to buy that product on her next supermarket shop.

4. It is not at all unusual for a translator to be engaged in a phone conversation with a client in regard to “that comma on page 27”.

5. Translators show great zeal in discussing even the smallest of words, and often invest lots of time in the hunt for that one word that is spot on.


Translators are extremely sensitive to details in language, and their detail-orientedness may seem odd or exaggerated to outsiders. It’s very often small things in language that they notice, have to be mindful of, and even get worked up about!


Translators often get worked up about small things in language!