Once upon a time, dictionaries and perhaps typewriters were translator’s best friends. Today, however, the work of a translator doesn’t seem possible without a computer and Internet access. In today’s world, the Internet is the primary source which the translators use when completing their tasks. The net is full of various dictionaries on an unthinkable amount of subjects; however, there’s a lot more to translators’ resources. In this age of information, the Internet as such can be considered as a rich source of linguistic information. There is no doubt that the Internet is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Not only did it facilitate our access to information, but it also provided the opportunity for global cooperation.
So what can the Internet offer to a translator?
- Online dictionaries, glossaries and banks of terms.
There are many free dictionaries, glossaries and banks of terms which can be easily accessed from any corner of the planet. The Internet can be considered a huge library which provides dictionaries and glossaries of terms from all kinds of fields on various languages. And yet, they’re accessible to anyone, irrespective of where they are. In the past, a translator had to leave their warm house (or office) or spend a large sum of money in order to obtain what today is literally at our fingertips.
- Internet as a means of communication
In today’s world, the translation market is, first and foremost, online. The Internet is the place where clients look for translators and vice versa. Therefore, there aren’t any geographical limits for business between a written translator and a client today, and therefore, in most cases such business is contacted with the help of World Wide Web. Today, it’s possible to say that the Internet has completely changed the market system of translation services.
- Internet as a large body of texts
A body is an information system based on a collection of texts in a language in electronic form. A body of a language represents that language on a certain stage of its existence and in all its diversity of genres, styles, territorial and social features, etc. The Internet can be viewed as a large body of texts in various languages. Bodies of texts are very valuable for a translator. With their help, the translator can receive important linguistic information about spelling, terminology, phraseological units, etc. of one language or another. If we view the Internet as a body of texts, then search engines like Google or Yahoo can be considered tools for carrying out body analysis. Search engines are programs that store information about the content of various websites. When a search is carried out, search engines begin to search documents stored online by keywords. The principle of search engines’ work is similar to the system of carrying out body analysis. Search engines allow a translator to, for example, find rare terms and syntax structures, check the frequency of terms or expressions usage in a certain language.
In conclusion, Internet technologies have significantly changed a translator’s professional life. For translators, the Internet represents an opportunity for communicating with colleagues, professionals of certain fields and, of course clients. However, in order to work in the modern world, a translator needs another important skill, in addition to perfect knowledge of the language, translation techniques, etc. – the ability to quickly find the necessary information in the endless sea of the Internet.