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Today is International Translation Day, and it’s time to give an overdue pat on the back to all our amazing translators and interpreters. To constantly bounce from one language to another takes effort and talent—not all multilinguals can do it.
While knowing two languages can be useful while traveling, working and socializing, it can be overwhelming at times.
Have you ever lost your train of thought in one language? Imagine having twice the vocabulary to choose from! Your brain must process multiple languages to find a word or phrase; as you can imagine, it takes a while.
Oxford Journals study: Fitting two languages into one brain
I sometimes find myself searching for a word to use in English—a word I use daily no less—and all my brain finds is the French equivalent (which is my first language). Of course there’s no need to worry when I am around other Frenglish/Franglais speakers, since I can simply use the French word in the middle of my English sentence and the shift in language barely registers to them. But this “brain blank” forces me to start over and rephrase my sentence in the hopes that the right words (in the right language) will appear.
Have you ever experienced this phenomenon?
Expertly shifting from one language to the other is exactly what translators and interpreters do! Test your interpreting skills; you don’t need to know more than one language to do so. The following article begins by telling you how to test yourself using only an FM radio.
It takes a special person to make a living out of multiple languages, and International Translation Day is the time to celebrate all those who do so! Hats off to you!
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