Tag Archives: importance of translation

Fiction: a world without translation

translator3Humanity would be devoid of so many opportunities if translation didn’t exist.
Let’s try to imagine a world without translation and translators. What sort of opportunities would we miss out on?

Let’s consider the subjects that are truly global. Translation is, of course, one of the pillars holding up all the international and intercultural communications.
Of course, we’ve all been told about it at the introduction session in freshman year of university, and hundreds of posts, articles and even essays have been written on the subject… Nonetheless, let’s try and illustrate the seriousness of translation and imagine the world we’d be living in if people were, for some reason, unable to communicate an idea from one language into another.
1. Impossibility of communication. Any communication and understanding reached with people who speak a language different from your mother tongue would’ve been impossible. Virtual communication would’ve also taken a hit. The Internet wouldn’t be a single network of communication and information search, but would be divided into sectors of virtual environment.

2. Impossibility of travel. Without translation, people simply wouldn’t have been able to travel or go abroad for any other reason. Even if you’re a real sociophobe and definitely don’t need to converse with representatives of other nations (for example if you’re only interested in sightseeing), you simply wouldn’t have been able to get a visa or purchase a tour.
3. Impossibility of intercultural enrichment. People simply wouldn’t know anything about what was happening in their neighbourhood countries and would’ve considered their residents to be “wildlings”. Entertainment would also has been scarce”: try to remember the last time you watched a Russian film or a TV series, or played a Russian computer game. We also would’ve never learned about Dumas, Shakespeare or Salinger!

4. Impossibility of enriching global intellectual resources.
Science would be developing much slower, people wouldn’t have been able to share discoveries with each other. People who aren’t academics wouldn’t be having a good time either – we’re so used to using Wikipedia and other kinds of reference sites; 90% of information that they contain is translated text. Humanity’s overall level of intelligence would’ve taken a massive dive.

5. Impossibility of peaceful coexistence. As a result of isolated development of science within each nation, a superpower that has scientists who invented the most destructive weapon (forget about peace agreements – country leaders wouldn’t be able to understand each other).
6. Impossibility of international trade. Countries that speak different languages wouldn’t be able to engage in trading with each other which would in turn lead to impossibility of creating a single global market. Even worse – in a world where trading relationships between countries are impossible, the main source of development would be military crusades, which makes the whole picture even more depressing.
7. Impossibility of using products from different countries. This point is directly related to the previous one. Technology, news publications, entertainment, wardrobe, food and drink produced by other countries – anything, really! – we’d never have seen any of that. Each country would’ve been surrounded by its own iron curtain.

Many other points can be made, but they would all be the result of the ones listed above. In other words, without the ability to translate text, the world would simply not be able to exist – people would either destroy each other or simply die out quietly as a result of a lengthy standstill and lack of development of civilization. For the purposes of survival, humanity would have to invent some sort of a universal language that each resident of the Earth would know or… use the services of Bilingua translation agency that offers good rates and high quality of translated text. We’re all for World Peace!