Join our weekly newsletter.
Articles, news, and ideas.

Languages, people and their cultures.

In need of a translation or interpreting service? Get a 5% lifetime discount now!

Dating a Translator? You Better be Aware of These 7 Details

Dating a Translator? You Better be Aware of These 7 Details
on July, 17 2015

Image Copyright : My Make OU /

If you think there’s nothing intimidating about translators, you seriously got it all wrong. We’re not even talking about individual characters here. There’s something – many things actually – common to translators that you may want to be aware of. Avoid the “shock” of dating a translator by knowing these idiosyncrasies.

7. They can be ridiculously passionate about languages and translation.

Obviously, translators know languages and they are passionate for them if they know them by heart and if they've been doing translations for years. If you don’t want to get yourself in hot water, don’t even think of engaging them in discussions like; which language is better or whether or not it’s really necessary to know different languages. Don’t even dare raise the speculations about computers and AI taking over the language translation industry.

6. They expect you to know the difference between a translator and an interpreter.

As much as possible, avoid mistakenly using the terms translator and interpreter interchangeably. These are two different things in translation. Hint: A translator is to write, while interpreter is to speak. In their defense, though, this is not really a matter of being obsessive compulsive. If you don’t know what they are actually doing, it can be easily interpreted as your lack of interest in them.

5. Sometimes they love exhibiting their superiority.

Don’t dare compare, even implicitly, a translator you are dating with your ex. Translators know their worth as they are usually exposed to various cultures because of the nature of their work. They are usually tolerant but they know they have an edge in their multilingualism alone that they can easily brag whenever they feel like you are making comparisons. This often makes them appear judgmental or critical of other people especially when it comes to their written or verbal use of languages. When going to foreign-themed restaurants, for example, they tend to easily catch errors in menus or signages, and raise an eyebrow over misspellings or mistakes in the words used. If you are not sure how to pronounce certain foreign food names, it’s better to simply point it on the menu to the waiter to avoid the embarrassment or not-so-secret grin from your date.

4. They are strict with grammar.

Annoyed by online “commenters,” forum members, or social media users who are excessively fond of correcting people’s grammar and punctuation use, word choice, or spelling? Prepare to encounter someone similar in the flesh. Translators have been trained to be meticulous and precise to properly convey the idea of the texts they are translating. They are somewhat obsessed with the thought that a little mistake in spelling or punctuation can change the message of what ought to be conveyed.

3. They are always on work mode.

Those who work in the translation field rarely rest their brains. Even when they are simply strolling around or doing some window shopping on their way home, their neural networks continue moving to associate the words and things they see with their equivalent terms in other languages. And they’re not even intentionally doing this! It’s a habit they could hardly undo. This shouldn’t be annoying, though. Just think of it as a learning opportunity.

2. They can use languages to tease, irritate, or curse you.

Familiar with instances when someone wants to say something to you but he or she couldn’t muster enough of the courage to say it. How about situations wherein someone wants to cuss at you or give you a less than pleasant treatment? Translators know how to use the third, fourth, or fifth languages they are fluent with to indirectly do these. Many of them want to express themselves to release the pressure they are feeling but they want to do it in a less confrontational way.

1. They will ask for context...and more context.

Translators know the value of context more than anyone. If you argue with them or if you are trying to reason out to them, be ready to properly present the context. Most likely, this is because they are trained to always look at the context in everything. Likewise, if you are asking them to translate sentences or phrases, don’t expect them to automatically generate a translation. Remember that they always want to be precise in understanding and translating messages. Also, if you want to use one-liners and witticisms on them, don’t expect them to simply show an expression of awe without looking into the context of the words you are using.

Lawyers, programmers, and financial analysis experts are not the only professionals who have the inherent ability to intimidate their dates. Translation professionals, too, possess qualities and attitudes you may not find easy to handle. If you ever plan on dating one, remember the pointers above.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

  • Khaldoon Sughayer

    Great decomposition of a translator's character. Simply, this is me.

    • Day Translations

      Thanks for sharing your views Khaldoon, have a nice day.

      • Sherry Rosebud


      • BLIZEN


  • Frédrik Chang Xie

    altough im jew and dont like to be called nazi but this article got a point. but i reckon it wont work when an interpreter dates another interpreter. :p

    • Day Translations

      Hi Fredrilk, you're right about that, we're sorry. We meant to say that translators are very strict with grammar usage. We would never mean to offend somebody, hope you understand :). About dating another interpreter, yeah, well one time I dated this girl that was ALWAYS in work mode, and guess what? she was a translator. I believe she had a huge obsession with her job. I love my job, but I know I also need some time to relax. I guess it all depends on the type of person you are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
      Camilo at DayTeam.

      • Frédrik Chang Xie

        hey mate. no hard feelings. 🙂

        • Day Translations

          😉 Cheers!

      • herring

        PC paranoia.

  • Patrick

    This article is basically saying that translators are a bunch of jerks, who are intimidating and will annoy the hell out of you. How sad. I've met many translators and except for being passionate about languages (well duh), they are luckily nothing like that...

    • Day Translations

      Hey Patrick, how's it going? We are saying those are the most common behaviors among the majority of translators, of course, doesn't mean all translators are exactly like that, and we would never say they are "jerks". You are absolutely right when you say they are passionate about languages and communication. I guess that's something we all share in common and that's why we continually ask for more context and correct ways of language usage.

      We're sorry you felt that way about the article, but the good side is that we share views on translators' love for languages.

      Have a nice one. Camilo @DayTeam

  • BeS

    Spot on!! 😀 This made me chuckle 😛

  • Lisyane Mercadier

    I do not see what is superior to be a translator, most of them including me are unemployed. And most of them are interested in nothing and are lifeless

    • Sherry Rosebud

      Learn English. I am not dead yet.

  • Timothy Barton

    I totally agree with number 4, so please sort out that semi-colon in number 7!

  • Alla Tkachenko

    None of the above! Article described a total BORE and not a translator.

    • Florian Pfaffelhuber

      Totally agree.

  • Jean-Louis DeVriendt

    I've been a translator full time for a little over a year, and I think I becoming just like that.
    Thanks for the laugh.
    One thing : translators DO drink wine ! (cf. the picture)

  • How true!!

  • Hey.

    thanks for a great article, it is so true! 🙂

    Slavis Translations

  • Blazzo

    Only one problem with this article - it reads like a translation 🙂

  • Abshir Yasin Ahmed

    Great article! And yes we are obsessed with context! It helped me with my International Relations studies as well as my over all approach to any political discussion, always look for the context. The best transferable quality, however, in my case certainly, would be the ability to completely be neutral on any given subject. Neutrality/impartiality is a must in this profession and many among us have the ability to easily detect when an issue of conflict of interest arises.

  • 0. Never say "Come on, you are a translator!"

  • herring

    Don't date them if you are not worldly enough.

  • petra

    Who's the translator on the photo? The one with a neck tie or the one without? And how to translate the dishes into something less minimalist/more appetizing? And the water into wine?
    So many questions raised by this article (yet strikingly true)!

  • Roman Bushev

    Completely agree with point 3. I often find myself absorbed in many projects without any hope of fixing my sex life or creating a family. Can't figure out how someone manages to find the time for dating, when you have to work hard to pay your bills.

    • herring

      That applies to any job.

  • Matthew Kamba

    Absolutely marvelous. Now this has helped me understand myself.Am ever critical of people who fail to punctuate their writings. Have also noticed that am at loggerheads with people in groups as am constantly demanding for context and more of it.

  • jony

    hy I ve been a translator full time for a little over a year, and I think I becoming just like that.
    Thanks for the laugh...

    by pie susu dhian

Join our weekly newsletter for articles, news and ideas

In need of a translation or interpreting service? Get a 5% lifetime discount now!