Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling: Nuisance or Necessity?

The mechanical issues of grammar, punctuation, and spelling are more important in a global economy than they have ever before been, perhaps with the exception of the work of an early Christian epistle writer or medieval scribe who believed he was committing the Word of God to velum, papyrus, paper or other medium.  Today, however, because our world is so inter-dependent, some people trust an electronic application for their professional translation services needs and for quick communication.

These applications require standard spelling, grammar, and punctuation to translate meaning and structure from one language to another.  Text with illogical sentence structure, incorrect grammar and /or spelling, and absent, misplaced, or incorrect punctuation cannot convey sense, accuracy, or logic to the reader of the electronic translation.

Thus, for all practical purposes, the electronic translation is useless at best and dangerous at worst.  If useless, the skills of a competent human certified translator are required.  If time is critical and a competent human translator is not available, a sale may be lost, a diplomatic mission stymied, or a strategic meeting missed.

As is the case in all writing, good writing depends on the writer’s knowledge and skill–including expertise in grammar, punctuation, and spelling–not on the reader’s imagination or genius to unravel the meaning of a translation from a flawed source.

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