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What kind of text are you offered the most?
Thread poster: Cagdas Karatas

Cagdas Karatas  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:49
English to Turkish
Nov 3, 2008

I often complain about the complexity/demanding nature of jobs that are offered to me by clients and the agencies that I work with on a regular basis. For various reasons, it is impossible for me to work within the limits of my specialty fields, and I have accepted numerous jobs so far unwillingly.

I wonder what kind of text you are asked to translate most frequently. Do you, at times, have the feeling that some people devise evil plans against you? Something like, "let the scapegoat do the dirty work!"

P.S. Please do not take this question as an inquiry about your career secrets. I just want to read about broad fields, degrees of difficulty, and your specialization dilemmas, if any.

Thank you!


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unaldi  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:49
Member (2007)
Italian to Turkish
+ ...
Same here.. Nov 3, 2008

There are times when I don't get any requests and suspect there is someting wrong with my email server And there are times everything from everybody comes at the same time, not leaving me time to grab a bite..

I often get technical manuals and legal documents and keep wondering if there are other texts wandering out there!! Stove hoods, olive collecting machines and often machines which I have never heard about. Recently I have translated some articles from the Italian constitution.. Then from another company came some text about Italian legislation on labor rights. My job satisfaction depends on the feeling that I am contributing to the lives of others (of which I myself might be one)..

The feeling of paranoia that some people devise evil plans against me often comes with fatigue, sleeplessness and the continuous procrastination of personal and family needs due to pressure..

The pressure usually comes from local companies who accept jobs regardless of complexity and strict deadlines, then to impose the stress on you.. very often in the form of 'emrivaki' as we say in Turkish.. fait accompli... Being used to this system, I often shock my clients abroad by early deliveries..

Thank you for the forum post.. It was like a therapy


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:49
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Why don't you suggest a poll? Nov 3, 2008

Perhaps this has been allready as a quick-poll.
Regards
Heinrich


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Multiple fields Nov 3, 2008

I mostly work with legal documents, but there are others for various reasons:

a. It is not unusual in court cases for there to be substantial questions of fact in addition to the legal arguments. So I might be getting a document that's a legal motion that primarily concerns an engineering analysis or some other issue.

b. The client has no idea what the document is about. He/she/it can't read it; that's why you're being hired. So you may be hired because the client considers you good. The client may find it easier to hire you than to look for an expert in, say, building dams.

You get to make the decision about whether to do it or not.


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Cagdas Karatas  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:49
English to Turkish
TOPIC STARTER
Multidimensional texts Nov 3, 2008

Paul Merriam wrote:

I mostly work with legal documents, but there are others for various reasons:

a. It is not unusual in court cases for there to be substantial questions of fact in addition to the legal arguments. So I might be getting a document that's a legal motion that primarily concerns an engineering analysis or some other issue.



I believe this is one of the primary reasons why most translators (eventually) develop into monsters of diversity. My argument is that we, translators, are obliged to have knowledge of and be able to perform to a certian extent on even the strangest subjects (including esoteric practices) This is why many others and I harp on concepts and titles like "specialization, specialty, specialized, specialist" yet are forced to submit ourselves to diverse tasks.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:49
Italian to English
Monsters and monsters Nov 3, 2008



I believe this is one of the primary reasons why most translators (eventually) develop into monsters of diversity. My argument is that we, translators, are obliged to have knowledge of and be able to perform to a certian extent on even the strangest subjects (including esoteric practices) This is why many others and I harp on concepts and titles like "specialization, specialty, specialized, specialist" yet are forced to submit ourselves to diverse tasks.


Or monsters of networking

You can't ask for top dollar if your translation isn't perfect and it probably won't be if the topic is very specialised and utterly new to you.

If you want to protect your reputation for quality, the customer must get a publication-ready translation, which means finding an expert in the sector for your language combination and collaborating, subcontracting or passing the work on.

Obviously, the client should be told what you are doing and why.

Eventually, though, you will find you have more than enough work in your pet sectors if you are significantly better than the run of the mill.

Giles

[Edited at 2008-11-03 16:49]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:49
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Depends on the language, probably Nov 3, 2008

I would think that as a translator of Turkish (a less frequently used language) you would get a broader variety of requests that those of us working with FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish - you could probably throw Japanese and Chinese in there, too).

I keep Latvian on my profile in case something interesting comes along, but it's not my main business because I am only a heritage speaker (i.e., never lived there). I definitely get a wider range of subjects in these requests than in German, where I have comfortably stayed in my subject areas for years now. As a matter of fact, it's nice to stretch and get something completely different in German once in a while.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 19:49
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mostly academic Nov 3, 2008

My work is made up almost entirely of texts generated by university professors or administrators. These fall into two main subcategories:

1) Internal administrative reports, and self-studies for administrative or accreditation purposes. (Relatively easy to translate, but it's painstaking and usually boring work.)

2) Journal articles or books by professors, usually in the field of Latin American history. (Hard but satisfying work, and it's nice to be published. At least it's relatively easy stuff to research!)


I didn't choose these specialties. I just fell into them via networking. My friends are university professors, so...


Jane


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Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:49
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
contracts contracts and more contracts Nov 5, 2008

confidentiality contracts, sale and purchase contracts, terms of business contracts, services contracts, financial contracts, subdisiary contracts, lease contracts...

I would say this is the single most common "genre" of work I get offered.


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 23:49
History, political, government Nov 18, 2008

When I was freelancing, I translated a lot of historical texts from DE-EN. Sheer bliss for me. I absolutely adored studying history in school and college.

Translating historical texts led me into the translation of political/government reports in another language pair.

I used to get a lot of requests for translating tattoos into GA, actually. Financially, they weren't worth my time and I used to refer such queries to an Irish language forum.

Orla


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
You read my mind! Nov 19, 2008

I thought the same thing!

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Perhaps this has been allready as a quick-poll.
Regards
Heinrich


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