Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Shall I accept a job that involves a list of swear words?
Thread poster: Csaba Ban

Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 07:23
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Aug 18, 2004

I have this regular client that provides me with a steady flow of small but interesting jobs - marketing blurb, advertising slogans, commercials, etc.

This time, however, they ask me to translate a list of English swear words into my native language. Nothing else, just a pure "terminology" list of some 30 words.

What do you think? Is this acceptable? Would YOU do it? If not, how would you decline the job?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:23
Member (2002)
English to German
To swear or not to swear Aug 18, 2004

I am sure the client actually would never use these words himself. It is important though that he knows their meaning if he will ever be confronted with them

Sure, I would do it, but charge my time and not a per-word-fee.

Anyway, if you feel uncomfortable doing it, just say that you never use such words, so there possibly might be a colleague who can do the job better...

But honestly: The purpose might be to compile a filter that sorts out inappropriate messages, so why not?


[Edited at 2004-08-18 22:10]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxsarahl
Local time: 23:23
English to French
+ ...
it's up to you! Aug 18, 2004

serbus Csaba
if it bothers you, don't do it and tell your client you feel uncomfortable translating 4-letter words.
I, for one, would definitely do it, it's easy money for once.;-)
Sarah


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 07:23
German to Polish
+ ...
I would. Aug 18, 2004

The purpose might be to compile a filter that sorts out inappropriate messages, so why not?


Also, they might want to set a fixed vocabulary for, let's say subtitlers. For example, in Polish, the English swear words have to be slightly "weakened" when translating films. Otherwise, the Polish viewer might be appaled. Just the characteristics of the language...

The key is to find out what the purpose of the job is and/ or who is the target group of your translation.

Thumbs up, and let us know what became of it.
Regards
-Agnieszka-


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:23
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
In a heartbeat Aug 18, 2004

I have no problem with that kind of translation/job.


Sormane


Direct link Reply with quote
 

lien
Netherlands
Local time: 07:23
English to French
+ ...
Question Aug 19, 2004

Csaba Ban wrote:

What do you think? Is this acceptable? Would YOU do it? If not, how would you decline the job?


You want to do it or you do not want to do it. No need to ask for permission.

If you don't want to do it, you tell the client that. No need for an explanation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
of course you should(n't) Aug 19, 2004

Here's a related thread you might find interesting http://www.proz.com/topic/14829

My gut instinct tells me that if you even need to ask the question, then maybe this is not the job for you. I agree with Lien no explanation to the client is needed as to your reasons for accepting/declining the job. If you feel more comfortable offering a reason, you can always claim a scheduling conflict...at any rate I would keep it professional at all times.

Best luck with your decision

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Better than translating propaganda for "honorable" politicians.. Aug 19, 2004

..isn't it?

Anyway: Well sworn is half won!

Dirty Harry

[Edited at 2004-08-19 04:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:23
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I would not do it Aug 19, 2004

if I did not feel comfortable.

Monika


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
German to Italian
+ ...
it's up to you Aug 19, 2004

My opinion: if you really feel uncomfortable about it, don't do it. I don't think it's a matter of professional ethics or so, just of personal feelings.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 07:23
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Ask for the purpose of it Aug 19, 2004

Hi Csaba,

For me the key factor to decide would be the intended use of this list, which you, as a translator, are entitled to know. If it's "legit" - like spam filters, I wouldn't object.

I apply similar rule to crime & violence related materials - I do it if the intended use is law enforcement. I would not do it if it is, say, designed to be pulished on a website or if I'm not given clear answer what is the purpose.

HTH,
Magda


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
a real challenge Aug 19, 2004

It's entirely your decision, based on whether you would feel comfortable with doing the job.

I think it would be a terrific challenge:-)

However, I don't think it would be an easy job. Swear words are culture-bound, and often don't have direct translations, so the problem is finding an equivalent that mirrors the meaning and yet has the same force. The Spanish say 'Me cago en la leche (as well as on other things/people)', this cannot be rendered as 'I shit on the milk' - it's meaningless, and even hilarious in EN, therefore fails in its intention.

I really think it's a bit like literary translation, becuase of the cultural aspects. It ideally requires collaboration between a SL translator and a TL translator, both of whom know the other language to perfection.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
IrinaGM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:23
English to Georgian
+ ...
It depends on a person... Aug 19, 2004

Like others have mentioned, don't do it if you feel uncomfortable translating the words. I personally would not do it because I simply don't use, swear or even think swear words in my native language. But some translators might see it as a challenge... an interesting job... so it is entirely up to you/how you feel about it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:23
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Areas of expertise? Aug 19, 2004

If you're familiar with the required vocabulary, I'd say: Hell, yes.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Shall I accept a job that involves a list of swear words?

Advanced search


Translation news





SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs