For years, in my translation classes, I have learned one thing: Translation is not looking up the dictionary. There are many variables other than this: context, target culture, source culture, target audience etc. However, last night, I have decided that translation is literally looking up the dictionary. Yes. If anyone wants me to define “translation”, I would say: Translation is looking up the dictionary and choosing the right equivalent of a given word considering all the variables. In time, as translators, we learn how to look up the dictionary. We learn to choose the exact match from hundres of options.
It is nonsense thinking a translator without a dictionary in hand. I do not mean that we should look up each and every single word; however, translating a long text involves some research and thinking. Two weeks ago, I was in an internship interview. The manager came and gave me a paper. There was a short text (500-600 characters) about marketing and statistics. It is a subject with which I am not familier. She said I had 20 minutes- without a dictionary. At that moment I made my mind; I would not accept the internship even if they accepted me. This is like singing without knowing the melody exactly. You have lyrics but you do not know how to combine them in a harmony.
I just wanted to share what I have been thinking since last night. Have a nice day fellow translators!