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Writers, journalists and translators
Thread poster: lingomania
Local time: 13:07
Italian to English
Jun 19, 2007

I have often wondered about this. Would writers, journalists and reporters necessarily make good translators? Do you think they have an advantage over non writers/journalists. What about vice-versa. Comments welcome. Thank you.


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N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Vice versa Jun 20, 2007

lingomania wrote:
Would writers, journalists and reporters necessarily make good translators?

I think good translators could make good writers, journalists, and reporters.

- Translators have to love the written word and be extremely literate, mastering their mother tongue above and beyond the average joe. Like writers.

- Translators have to be curious, constantly seeking out new terms and language evolutions in all their language pairs. Like journalists.

- Translators have to be observant and open to multiple cultures, subjects, and news to apply their knowledge to their jobs. Like reporters.


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Local time: 13:07
Italian to English
Speaking for myself Jun 20, 2007

Hello Natalia. Your reply is logical and very 'accomodating' so to say. Speaking for myself, I have never written a book or novel and I don't think I have the capabilities and skills to write a readable book. Oh I like reading and writing very much and that is a very important factor for a translator. A good translator needs to know quite everything of the linguistic culture of his/her linguistic pairs. Perhaps my next queston would be if only good writers make good translators...?! Writers may have a slight advantage over non writers, but good translators will necessarly fill the gap along the way.
Thank you for your reply.


[Edited at 2007-06-20 12:20]

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Vania de Souza
Local time: 04:07
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Translators, journalists and writers Jul 4, 2007

Translators can be very good journalists, like Natalia says:translators must be curious. They can also be writers, as they have a good command of the language and a vast vocabulary apart from interest in a variety of subjects. However, both writers and journalists cannot be good translators. Translation is a technique of transfering to a different language what's being said in another.

It is a mistake to think that journalists can be good translators. Having worked in a newspaper, I''ve found that they make the simplest mistakes we learn not to make quite early in translation school. In my experience, I came across some very weird translations done by some very good journalists.

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