Off topic: Acknowledgment of translator on 'free' work
Thread poster: silviantonia

silviantonia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 30, 2006

I have translated for many years now, and yes, my favorite is literary translation, particularly poetry, but it does not pay the rent, so I just do it, and have completed translation of two books of poetry of an Argentinian poet who is not known very well outside of her country. I obtained her family's permission... now I have to find a publisher; perhaps one of those contests...

My question is this; as an activist, I am always translating (for free) articles and press releases for causes that I am involved in, such as the peace or antiwar movement. Now, most of the time I do not care whether my name is on the translation, but sometimes I would like to be acknowledged, particularly because it will be the only 'payment' I will get. For example, right now I am participating in eight weeks of sustained direct action, which may involve civil disobedience, and I am translating to Spanish to see whether I can involve the latino community in the US. I was born in Cuba but have lived in the US for many years, so I consider myself a native speaker of both English and Spanish. I can also translate from French and other languages, but I feel most comfortable in my native language pair.

How to ask for one's name on the work translated? I don't care about the daily drudgery that helps to pay the rent... but it would be nice, once in a while, to have one's work recognized. I struggle over nuances to make sure that I will reach the desired audience... and when I speak publicly on issues, it always helps to have materials in both languages. Recently I have been visiting colleges in order to explain to students why we participate in civil disobedience and what is involved... I then offer to hand out flyers which they may read.

What do you think of insisting that my name appear as translator?

Last year I translated an entire special magazine issue; they sent me copies when it was done. I would have loved to have been listed as everyone else was... It is as if we as translators sometimes are simple flies on the walls of the word...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Just ask Nov 30, 2006

Have you ever tried just asking? Have you ever been refused acknowledgment?

[Edited at 2006-11-30 07:32]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:00
English to French
+ ...
I don't see why you would not get recognition Nov 30, 2006

It doesn't cost anything to add your name to a document and it probably wouldn't have any consequence on the cause either to reveal who translated a flyer/brochure/website, etc.

If you are doing it all pro bono, then I think it is very reasonable to ask for your name to appear under the title of the document. There isn't really any other possible reward for taking care of the translation aspect of the activism (except maybe the warm, fuzzy feeling that a cause has a better reach thanks to you), so I think you deserve it for the effort.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

silviantonia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Made to feel uncomfortable... Nov 30, 2006

Linda Bolzern wrote:

Have you ever tried just asking? Have you ever been refused acknowledgment?

[Edited at 2006-11-30 07:32]


When I asked, although I was thanked for 'the work you are doing for us,' I was also made to feel distinctly uncomfortable, as if I should be above these petty things...

Lately I have been speaking up for the rights and difficult work of translators... it is, in my view, one more among those invisible jobs, that everyone needs but no one appreciates.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

silviantonia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, most of the time the warm fuzzy feeling suffices (how is that for alliteration) Nov 30, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

It doesn't cost anything to add your name to a document and it probably wouldn't have any consequence on the cause either to reveal who translated a flyer/brochure/website, etc.

If you are doing it all pro bono, then I think it is very reasonable to ask for your name to appear under the title of the document. There isn't really any other possible reward for taking care of the translation aspect of the activism (except maybe the warm, fuzzy feeling that a cause has a better reach thanks to you), so I think you deserve it for the effort.


Thank you, and I will begin to ask this, with an explanation, that I believe the work of translation is important, and that I wish to be acknowledged for the effort that goes into it. The independent media outlets do allow the name of the translator to appear... but that is an exception. I translated most of the website for a local presidential candidate, and was one of three, but that was all a 'warm and fuzzy' situation.

I think part of the reason I am annoyed as well is because in the US and in the state I now reside in, they are instituting English only laws...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
one risk factor Dec 2, 2006

Just make sure that they don't have somebody else mess with your translation afterwards... (In most cases, you won't be able to, though.)

I just recently came across a website I had translated a while ago and where I had asked that my name be listed. In the meantime, some non-native speaker had "translated" updates to that site with the help of a basic dictionary - with horrible results. Typos, non-idiomatic expressions, grammar mistakes everywhere! And my name was still associated with it!

The previous website manager working for that company was well aware how important a professional translation is and that it doesn't come free. Then the company switched to somebody else...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

silviantonia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A translator's nightmare... Dec 5, 2006

What you tell us about is every translator's nightmare... Perhaps one can post a warning with website translations to the effect that 'meddling with this translation may result in heavy fines, public flogging, or even death...'

All joking aside, that has happened to me... More and more people think they can use babble fish or some other type of automatic 'free' translation device and that it will translate well... Inasmuch as they don't know the language in the first place, they often obtain silly and nonsensical results...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Richard Benham  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:00
German to English
+ ...
Other bad stuff can happen.... Dec 9, 2006

I did some free translation once. It was organized by someone I'll call Joe Blow. I did quite a few articles, and then one day I went to the website where the translations were published, and there it said "Translations by Joe Blow". Some of the other articles translated (other than by me, I mean) were a complete joke, and so I am glad my name wasn't associated with the publication, but even so...trying to use someone else's voluntary work to publicize one's own commercial enterprise....

Direct link Reply with quote
 

silviantonia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Justifiable homicide? Dec 22, 2006

Richard Benham wrote:

I did some free translation once. It was organized by someone I'll call Joe Blow. I did quite a few articles, and then one day I went to the website where the translations were published, and there it said "Translations by Joe Blow". Some of the other articles translated (other than by me, I mean) were a complete joke, and so I am glad my name wasn't associated with the publication, but even so...trying to use someone else's voluntary work to publicize one's own commercial enterprise....



I think that might have been my response...

Sorry it took so long for me to respond; diagnosed recently with hypertension and severe edema; not able to be on computer as much...

Have a very wonderful holiday!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mike Fuentes  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:00
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
You are The author in target language, without carve-outs. Jan 5, 2007

Dear Silviantonia, The gist of the matter is that you are The author of the translation.

Many authors need to fight for recognition, and that doesn't take an ounce of value off their work once they get it.

An historic example of unrecognized authorship is that of Wallace vs Darwin.

Demanding credit is no sin, nor petty interest. If your teamsters fail to see this, they should remember that achievement (selfless or otherwise) needs to have peoples' names attached for the public to give them any notice. Greenpeace needs Bono, McCartney and thousands of local names over the world to get the leadership pull they need.


I took the string too late, but I am just getting my feet wet on these forums.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

Acknowledgment of translator on 'free' work

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



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