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.