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My daughter has just become employed as a translator. Not from one language to another, but from geeks and legal experts on the one hand to business people and corporate folks on the other.

It's a concept we have struggled with in our company, as well. The IT folks seem to speak Geek just fine, and we on our side speak our specialty languague, but there often is no one in the middle who understands both sides well enough to grasp where the misunderstanding lies and explain concepts as well as translate.

Because translation is more than just substituting words. It's explaining meaning. If an IT person talks about an operating system, and one of our people talks about the pictures on the screen when the computer boots up, it takes the translator to explain to the IT person that the user is looking at icons and explain to the user what an operating system is, and that the icons give access to parts of the operating system (My Computer) and other icons access programs (after explaining that Word and Excel are programs loaded on top of an operating system).

I used to spend many hours each day just translating back and forth--explaining to the IT people what the users meant by what they said and then re-explaining to the users in plain language what the IT people were trying to say was the solution. The translation task was not word for word; it often involved seeing where the understanding gap was and bridging it.

She will be a natural at it. We need more bridges.

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