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to become a professional translator is it necessary for translator to get proper linguistic educatio
Thread poster: xxxAndreyS
xxxAndreyS
English to Russian
Jul 4, 2003

Dear Colleagues,

to become a professional translator is it necessary for translator to get proper linguistic education? or even translator with sole technical education can become professional translator either? Does customers first of all pay attention to proper linguistic education? Or they are interested in proper knowledge, experience?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely Jul 5, 2003

Before even attempting translation you must be completely fluent in the languages you are working with, and that includes your first language as well as your second language.

Otherwise you will not be able to produce what your client needs. It's as simple as that.

You also need specialties with which you are fully conversant.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
Flemish to English
+ ...
Is it necesarry for a pilot to get his flight license ? Jul 5, 2003

Would you set a foot in an airplane if you knew that the pilot did not have a license?
-
The same is true for languages.It gives you a deeper insight in the structure of your working languages. Can you translate Japanese, Russian or Chinese into English if you have never learnt these languages. I can not. With the proper language training and total immersion in the languages, this becomes possible


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
Finnish to English
Tanslation IS linguistics Jul 6, 2003

It is impossible to translate if you don't know the language you are translating from and can't write your own language properly.

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xxxT_Herrmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
German to English
+ ...
What about bilingual people? Jul 26, 2003

How do you feel about bilingual people who have used two languages in daily application over say thirtysomething years?


Williamson wrote:

Would you set a foot in an airplane if you knew that the pilot did not have a license?
-
The same is true for languages.It gives you a deeper insight in the structure of your working languages. Can you translate Japanese, Russian or Chinese into English if you have never learnt these languages. I can not. With the proper language training and total immersion in the languages, this becomes possible


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exceptions that confirm the rule Jul 26, 2003

T_Herrmann wrote:
How do you feel about bilingual people who have used two languages in daily application over say thirtysomething years?

A true bilingual translator is *very* rare.

People who speak two languages without having been constantly and continuously immersed in the respective cultures cannot be considered true bilinguals by any stretch of the imagination.


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Jirina Nevosadova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:33
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Unfortunately this does not work in some countries Jul 27, 2003

Williamson wrote:

Would you set a foot in an airplane if you knew that the pilot did not have a license?
-
The same is true for languages.It gives you a deeper insight in the structure of your working languages. Can you translate Japanese, Russian or Chinese into English if you have never learnt these languages. I can not. With the proper language training and total immersion in the languages, this becomes possible


Unfortunately this does not work in many (post comunist) countries. Anybody can try his/her luck and the results can be seen everywhere. Spelling mistakes in target text (Czech) appear very often and in case that target language should be English, it is Czenglish or, in better case, EuroEnglish. Many outsourcers prefere low price to quality.


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flaviofbg
Spain
Local time: 01:33
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Linguistics are definitely needed. Aug 1, 2003

How can anyone ever attempt to be a professional translator without a proper linguistics background?

Flavio


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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:33
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Do not agree with Flavio Aug 2, 2003

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:

How can anyone ever attempt to be a professional translator without a proper linguistics background?

Flavio


I think linguistic education is not so important. I know many good translators with sole technical education, and
many moderate or bad translators with linguistic education. 1. One should 'feel' the language - and this is rather inborn feature. 2. if take into account that most translations are technical translations - it is a question what education is better.

[Edited at 2003-08-02 06:53]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
German to Italian
+ ...
it depends Aug 2, 2003

I think there can be good translators without a linguistic background, but they are the exception, not the rule - just as excellent singers who were never taught to sing. However, I think this is the case only in technical translation - you definitely need a literary background to be a literary translator.

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 19:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
"Feeling the language" Aug 2, 2003

Flavio Ferri Benedetti wrote:
How can anyone ever attempt to be a professional translator without a proper linguistics background?


Myron Netchypor wrote:I think linguistic education is not so important. I know many good translators with sole technical education, and
many moderate or bad translators with linguistic education. 1. One should 'feel' the language - and this is rather inborn feature.


I think that the qualities needed are

    - good understanding of the source language
    - very good writing skills, with a grammar and spelling excellent knowledge in the target language.

Some people have a "feeling" for grammar or spelling, O.K. but it's not "inborn". It's because they have acquired them using the language (in a surrounding where it was correctly spoken) or reading.
It goes farther than the Bilingualism discussion, it's about knowing our own language. This is what I call a linguistic background, even if it wasn't learned at school. And it's essential for translating any kind of document.


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Myron Netchypor  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:33
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Claudia! Aug 2, 2003

Claudia Iglesias wrote:

Some people have a "feeling" for grammar or spelling, O.K. but it's not "inborn". It's because they have acquired them using the language (in a surrounding where it was correctly spoken) or reading.


Claudia, do you think that playing all day long, or music conservatory makes a good musician? Yes all this is of much help but one should have also a talent for a music.
The same is and with translation.

[Edited at 2003-08-02 16:04]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 19:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Don't you give study any chance? Aug 2, 2003

Myron Netchypor wrote:
Claudia, do you think that playing all day long, or music conservatory makes a good musician? Yes all this is of much help but one should have also a talent for a music.
The same is and with translation.


I agree, you need talent and also to enjoy what you do (I wouldn't be able to play -or to translate- all day long if I don't like it), but there are many things that can be studied, and for those who have talent as you say but who weren't born knowing it's really useful to be able to learn that way.
I'll give you an example. Forgive that I take my own case.
Since I was a child I used to have good skills in grammar or spelling, visible in my writings. But I was unable to learn Grammar rules. In the University, studying Grammar in order to become a teacher, 50% was for applying the rules and the other 50% was for theory. I always had my 50 for applications and nearly 0 in theory. Then I started teaching and I noticed how important it was to be able to explain why things should be written or said "that" way and not in an other manner. And for the first time I had to learn what I had always avoided because I didn't need it to write. My pupils who didn't have that "talent" could learn, and apply the rules.

I'd see the difference you make between a good (musician, translator) and an excellent one. There are genius in all the matters.

[Edited at 2003-08-02 16:40]


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