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Off topic: The Top Misconceptions about Translation
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 18:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 5, 2004

Ten misconceptions about our profession for us to...laugh?

Have a nice week!

Au


ps1: author is unknwown.
ps2: osh kosh, everybody is invited to add more (because THERE ARE more)




10. Anybody with two years of high school language (or a foreign-tongued grandmother) can translate.

9. A good translator doesn't need a dictionary.

8. There's no difference between translation and interpretation.

7. Translators don't mind working nights and weekends at no extra charge.

6. Translators don't need to understand what they're translating.

5. A good translator doesn't need proofing or editing.

4. Becoming a translator is an easy way to get rich quick.

3. Translation is just typing in a foreign language.

2. A translator costs $49.95 at Radio Shack and runs on two 'C' batteries.

... And the #1 misconception about translation and translators:

1. That marketing copy that took a team of 20 people two months to put together can be translated overnight by one Person and still retain the same impact as the original.



[Edited at 2004-07-05 09:06]


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
Eleven or minus one? Jul 5, 2004

Well, let's do minus one, minus two and so on. These are misconceptions among translation students. I was one not long ago.
-1 Translating, as opposed to interpreting, is a relaxing activity since there is no time pressure, no deadlines.
-2 The only criterion to decide if you want to be a translator or an interpreter is whethter you are an introvert or an extrovert, respectively. (Some people do have split personality)
-3 That you can't find the term you want means your general language dictionary isn't fat enough.


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
English to French
+ ...
I completely agree! Jul 5, 2004

The no.1 misconception is definatelly something I go through everyday at work

Educate the clients, they say...

Thanks for the laughther!


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Christian
Local time: 23:48
English to German
+ ...
Here's another one: Jul 5, 2004

AURORA HUMARAN wrote:

...
9. A good translator doesn't need a dictionary.
...


If you have a good dictionary, you don't need a translator.


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
German to Italian
+ ...
A quotation Jul 5, 2004

I just love number 4 A short quotation from an author I translated last year (talking about his job as a translator in the 60s-70s: he had a degree in Physics or so, not in translation or foreign languages) : "I had learned Russian as a hobby while in Munich and had earned some money by translating Russian scientific journals. Once you get into such work, it goes quite fast, especially if you can dictate it." Need I say more?

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
German to English
+ ...
The Top Misconceptions about Translation Jul 5, 2004

AURORA HUMARAN wrote:

That marketing copy that took a team of 20 people two months to put together can be translated overnight by one Person and still retain the same impact as the original.


As reflected in the "rule of threes" for technical documentation:

Time allocated to develop new high-tech product: 3 years.
Time allocated to write documentation: 3 weeks.
Time allocated to translate documentation: 3 days.

Marc


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 18:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
About editors... Jul 5, 2004

A contribution from my friend and colleague Dan Newland, former Director of Buenos Aires Herald newspaper:

11. (When a good editor is hired to correct the copy of a bad
translator).
He/she didn't understand me because I translate into British English and he/she is American. (Note: True, there are differences between British and American English, but hey, English is English 'in any language' and ignorance, too, is pretty universal).


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Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
About reading level Jul 5, 2004

How about:
We need to translate the project "Correlation of Nuclear Spectrometer Performance with Uniformity and Resistivity in Cadmium Zinc Telluride", but we would like you to translate it at a 6th grade reading level.


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Julie Arbon  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:48
French to English
+ ...
A dying breed Jul 5, 2004

How about 'surely you translators are a dying breed what with the advent of computer technology'?

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Todd Kreider
Local time: 06:48
Japanese to English
whistling past the grave.... Jul 5, 2004

Julie Arbon wrote:

How about 'surely you translators are a dying breed what with the advent of computer technology'?


The John Hopkins group will have all European languages cracked by 2010. I cannnot believe translators laugh at MT. It will not be funny in 5 years.


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:48
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Very funny! Jul 5, 2004

Ricardo Martinez de la Torre wrote:

How about:
We need to translate the project "Correlation of Nuclear Spectrometer Performance with Uniformity and Resistivity in Cadmium Zinc Telluride", but we would like you to translate it at a 6th grade reading level.


Very funny, Ricardo. I can't believe these people. Clients never stop surprising me.


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 18:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
:-))) Jul 5, 2004

Ricardo Martinez de la Torre wrote:

How about:
We need to translate the project "Correlation of Nuclear Spectrometer Performance with Uniformity and Resistivity in Cadmium Zinc Telluride", but we would like you to translate it at a 6th grade reading level.





And for 0.05 USD per word!!!....
(or 0.02 USD if Argentine...)


Au




[Edited at 2004-07-05 16:51]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
German to English
+ ...
The Top Misconceptions about Translation Jul 5, 2004

Todd Kreider wrote:

The John Hopkins group will have all European languages cracked by 2010. I cannnot believe translators laugh at MT. It will not be funny in 5 years.


You're right. By then, it may be good enough not to be funny anymore. Just dangerous...

Marc


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Rainer Pawellek  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
DWBH Jul 5, 2004

Todd Kreider wrote:

Julie Arbon wrote:

How about 'surely you translators are a dying breed what with the advent of computer technology'?


The John Hopkins group will have all European languages cracked by 2010. I cannnot believe translators laugh at MT. It will not be funny in 5 years.


Five years ago, some people - even translator colleagues - expressed similar fears.

Five years before that, too.

And five years before that...

...


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gebisia
Local time: 23:48
English to Polish
+ ...
one more... Jul 5, 2004

...a translator is always asking this stupid question about the deadline!Everybody knows the deadline is...yesterday.

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