What do translation and photography have in common?
Forget about choosing between words or images
Today is World Photography Day. Although for many people an image is word a thousand words, words matter.
However, I am not here to make you choose between words or pictures. Actually, I found out that translation and photography have many things in common.
See some examples in these quotes about photography that can be applied to translation too.
Photography is truth.Jean-Luc Godard
And translation too! Besides the coronavirus, we’re suffering the fake news pandemic, and translation is a tool that will help you fight misinformation.
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.Henri Cartier-Bresson
And your first translations! I recently had a look at my first translations, back to my university years, and yes, there was room for improvement. There is always room for improvement!
The context in which a photograph is seen affects the meaning the viewer draws from it.Stephen Shore
Context is probably the favourite word for a translator (see my bio at the end of this post 😉). The context of the source text affects the way the message is conveyed in the translation. That’s why you cannot use millenials language to translate a story that took place in the XIX century, for example. But context isn’t important only in literary translation. The different contexts in your business communications will need different vocabulary and tone of voice in your translated messages.
Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.Diane Arbus
I particularly like this one 😍. With translation, you open the reader a window to a world of knowledge, feelings, traditions, culture and social values that people who can’t read in another language wouldn’t enjoy otherwise.
We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.Ralph Hattersley
As Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche explain in their book Found in Translation, language shapes our lives and transforms the world. Translation is everywhere, it helps boost the economy, saves lives and bridges cultures. I highly recommend you to read this book, you will learn a lot about how vital translation is in our daily lives.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.Dorothea Lange
Translation is an instrument that helps you enjoy translated texts (be it a book or a website) as an original work. It is drawn from a source text, but it is packed with elements from the target culture that make a translation an original work.
Having a camera doesn’t make you a photographer. Similarly, speaking a foreign language doesn’t make you a translator.
Translation and photography are two fields that are much more complex than what people imagine.
Don’t waste your time translating when you can trust on professionals like me to do this job and focus on your core tasks.
Need help to translate your content into Spanish? Drop me a message.
See you for the next post!