Person in front of a laptop taking notes on a notebook

Why Should a Professional Translator Always Translate into Their Native Language?

While a translator may specialize in several languages and a few fields (e.g., legal, financial, computer, medical), a true professional always translates into their mother tongue. This is a golden rule that we scrupulously respect at Joseph Blain Inc. in Montreal. Read on to find out more!

 

The Influence of Sociocultural Context

A high-quality translation is idiomatic, meaning that it takes into account the socio-cultural context of its target audience. For example, Quebec French is not identical to French in France. For example, while in la Belle Province we use "dîner" to refer to lunch, in Europe it refers to supper. Such details might escape a "non-native" translator, who would mistakenly believe that the two words are interchangeable. At Joseph Blain Inc. our team would not be taken by surprise!

 

The 1001 Shades of the Language

Although a translator can undoubtedly read, write and speak several foreign languages fluently, they will never master the slightest nuances of their mother tongue. On the one hand, their vocabulary is richer, allowing them to use a more sustained register. On the other hand, they are also more familiar with turns of phrase, characteristic expressions, language inventions, popular usages, exceptions, punctuation, grammar, typographical rules, and other subtleties. The result is a much more accurate translation.

 

A local translator knows that, according to the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), it is necessary to say "être dans les affaires" (being in business) rather than "être en affaires" (being in business); that "leader" is an accepted anglicism; that "donner son 4%" (to give someone his or her 4%) means to fire him or her; that numerical adjectives are invariable in number, except for "vingt" (twenty) and "cent" (one hundred); and finally, that there is a space in front of a colon.

 

Joseph Blain Inc. is a network of interpreters and translators offering services in Montreal and Canada. We translate legal and official documents (contracts, deeds, judgments, etc.), certificates (marriage, divorce, birth, etc.) and technical manuals (patents, diagrams, plans, etc.). We also work in various languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Portuguese, etc. Trust us for an impeccable job!