“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
As a freelance translator, I have heard the same old question countless numbers of times. “Surely anyone can translate if they are bilingual?” So many people wrongly assume that vocabulary is all you need to translate.
After years of offering rather lengthy and dissatisfying explanations on the importance of contextual and stylistic analysis when making lexical decisions, I now prefer to point people in the direction of Humpty with his intelligible outlook on the ever-expanding variability and subjectivity of meaning.
If, like me, you consider Humpty Dumpty a pretty knowledgeable egg when it comes to linguistics and translation (or if you disagree completely!), I would love to hear your thoughts and views on my new blog ‘Tea and Translations’, covering everything and anything that matters about language and its uses, from my perspective as a geeky freelance translator.
Because let’s face it, like Humpty tells us, words are just words. It’s how we use them that really matters. So let me know what my words mean to you.