Do a swimmer and translator have anything in common?

At first glance, you may think a translator and a swimmer have totally different tasks to handle. Yet, with a deeper look, you would realize that these two jobs, despite their different natures, have some close similarities. Both a translator and a swimmer need to develop a set of skills so that they can meet their target perfectly. Those skills are so similar that a good, professional translator can be simply regarded a well-trained swimmer.

A Swimmer is supposed to swim smoothly in a straight line from some point to another parallel point. Likewise, a translator travels from some text to another. The new text is not the same anymore, but it is a parallel text that copies the message of the source text, while ensuring that the new text is originally composed in the target language, as if the translator travels in a straight line between the two texts. Isn’t that what a swimmer does?

Balance is a key word for both a translator and a swimmer. A swimmer is supposed to balance all of their body parts at a time so they can swim fast and properly towards the end line. On the other hand, a translator needs to balance, not their body parts, but time, quality, and quantity to work smoothly towards the deadline. Just like a swimmer who needs to harmonize the movement of their legs, arms, and head, a translator has also to work in such harmony, translating the required amount in a certain timeframe without failing the expected level of quality. This is one of the things that makes translation a unique, challenging profession; it brings you the excitement of sports with each and every translation job.