French/Spanish to English translation

02 November 2012

Language Learning in Australia

If you’ve spent any time in Australia, you will know that it is not a very multi-lingual country. Although there are many, many varying cultures and ethnicities sharing this melting-pot continent, the emphasis on children and adults learning a second language is poor at best.

In Australia, only around 12 per cent of Year 12 students are studying a foreign language—and very few will go on to become certified translators.

New policy has been issued by the incumbent government to affect a change in this dismal finding, including the mandatory teaching of at least one language in every school.

In the 1960s the level of language study in Year 12s was near 40 per cent, a level that Tony Abbott of the opposition is attempting to espouse as part of his education campaign. If the leaders and the opposition both agree that Australia needs to do more about its language learning, then you know it’s serious.

The need to learn a second language is more than merely practical. It changes the way people think about different cultures and opens them up to the beauty and mechanics behind how language works. It is an enriching experience.

The increasing globalisation and communication with foreign countries will see a greater need for NAATI certified translators. There are great prospects and job opportunities, as well as enriching experiences to be had in, say, becoming a French-to-English Translator, or a Spanish to English Translator.

The reverse question must be asked however, what if we could just do away with the other languages, obviating the need for certified translators, by allowing English to dominate the rest of the world? Could we simply live in a world of monolingualism?
English is the most salient language of the West and in many fields of commerce, science and law—and it is forcing aside many other languages.

In Ottawa, the new census has shown that in the last four years the number of people claiming French as their mother tongue has dropped by 0.8%, which is a large drop for a very small period of time. This is 14.8% over the course of an average lifespan—at least the average lifespan of someone living in Ottawa.

However, not in the lifetime of anyone who is reading this now, will we see this phenomenon of global monolingualism. There are simply too many nuances and variations on a language to keep it static. This is in addition to the impossible task of persuading others to give up their native languages, which are so often linked to their culture and perception of the world.

These barriers, ostensibly entirely impossible to overcome, mean that, for now at least, the Australian people need to hit the books and their local café de baguettes and start learning new languages. The need for French to English Translators and Spanish to English Translators, unless something drastic happens, will exist for many more generations to come.


What is translation?

Translation is the process of changing the text from one language to another whilst conveying the same meaning as demonstrated in the source text...


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Why should I have my documents translated professionally?

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