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Off topic: Do you feel offended by insult "translator"?
Thread poster: Emmanuelle Hingant

Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:44
English to French
Mar 9, 2006

Hi,

Did you feel offended when you saw that football supporters were insulting José Mourinho in telling him he was a translator ("Mourinho Traductor")?

To put in context, José Mourinho is the coach of one of the most important football teams of the moment (Chelsea) and declared himself as being "the special one".

He used to be the assistant coach of Bobby Robson in Barcelona, as well as the translator (interpreter I guess...) of the team.

On Tuesday, Barça and Chelsea were fighting for a place in the last 8 of the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious European club competition. Mourinho is well know for his provocations before important games and a lot of people resent him for that.

So some fans decided they would call him "traductor" to insult him.

So do you feel offended when you see that? Do you think it is not an offence to all translators, it just applies to an arrogant coach who thinks he is superior to every other person in football?

I am aware that a forum has been open about the same subject in Spanish but I'm not fluent in that language, even though I understand football articles in Spanish.

Thanks (and Força Barça)!

Emma


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
Not at all Mar 9, 2006

We all know how crazy some soccer fans are and, besides, what they meant was "interpreter, interpreter", as they were referring to the time when Mourinho, now coach, used to be "only" an interpreter... I do not do interpreting, so I really do not feel "addressed" by the insult, but even if I were, why would it be an insult? Yes, he started as an interpreter, and has been good enough to make his way up to become coach... to me this is something to be proud of! The whole thing moves me to laugh more than anything else.

However, I feel much, but much more offended when fans shout things like "monkey" or "ape" to some players, based on the color of their skin.

[Edited at 2006-03-09 15:47]


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 12:44
German to English
If I were paid like a football coach ... Mar 9, 2006

I'd put up with any sort of verbal insult. Most people involved in professional athletics are overpaid in relation to the contribution they make to society.
On the other hand, if someone said I translated like a football coach, I might give him a thrashing!


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:44
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not offended Mar 9, 2006

Mourinho does look as a lucky boy in football. His first year of coaching Porto brought him three trophies at once: league and cup in Portugal and - wow! - UEFA Cup. Next year he beated MU in the Champions League, then won the most prestigious prize against `Monaco'. No wonder he's both admired and hated, so they may call him `an interpreter', `a smith' or `a shoemaker' - he's a great coach, anyway. I mean I would be proud if anyone compared me to him.

Anyway `Vista Catalunya!'


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:44
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
"only" interpreter? Mar 9, 2006

Thanks Rosa Maria for your answer!

I feel offended by that insult because as you said, the "only" is highly implied.

What does it mean "only" interpreter? Should Mourinho be ashamed of ever having been an interpreter? I think it really lowers the value of translators and interpreters. Of course, I don't pretend putting translators on the same level as such a famous and public person like Mourinho but I think the insult is quite offensive to interpreters (let's forget about the fact that - as usual - people don't know the difference between translator and interpreter).

Mourinho went up the hierarchy since his days of interpreter but the football supporters who thought about "Mourinho Traductor" definitely wanted to insult Mourinho telling him that NO, he is not the best football coach ever, but "just" a translator, "only" a translator, like it's a job you should be ashamed of.

I understand the insult meant "Mourinho, who do you think you are?". But what about saying "Mourinho, amateur" or "Mourinho, one among others" (I should write football banners...). I know it was easy to find the insult "translator" as Mourinho was one for Barça before but still, I think it shows that this particular football fan, the author of the banner, denigrates the job of translator. And remember that this insult has been seen by hundreds of thousands of football supporters (at least 98,436 fans in the stadium + all the TV viewers in the world, newspaper readers the next morning, etc.).

And I agree with you for the "monkey" insult. But that's another subject. That's an everyday fight, believe me.

Thanks!

Emma


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:44
Member
English to French
Insult to typists as well Mar 9, 2006

as we all know, translators are just typists who can speak two languages...
Coming from football hooligans, who acan be praised for their smartness, I don't feel really affected.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:44
I did not mean to offend Mar 9, 2006

Emmanuelle Hingant wrote:

Thanks Rosa Maria for your answer!

I feel offended by that insult because as you said, the "only" is highly implied.

What does it mean "only" interpreter? Should Mourinho be ashamed of ever having been an interpreter? I think it really lowers the value of translators and interpreters.
Emma


Hi Emmanuelle,
I am not sure if I offended you with my statement of Mourinho being "only" an interpreter, but it was not my intention. I meant no disrespect to any interpreters (or coaches, for that matter).

However, a colleague in the Spanish forum has shed some more light about the episode. Apparently, the fans shouted "translator, translator" to Mourinho because he, during a previous interview (a year or so ago), got upset when a journalist asked him about his phase as "interpreter" with Robson. Mourinho responded angrily that he had not been Robson's "interpreter", but his "assistant". Apparently this is how the fans came up with this "made to fit" insult. Mourinho showed a weakness, and those who are not his fans just took advantage of it.

It now seems to me that it is Mourinho who disregards the job of interpreter as something menial... too bad for him...

[Edited at 2006-03-09 19:51]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 18:44
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Emma, don't take it to heart/too hard! Mar 9, 2006

Yes, it simply means "Who do you think you are?", and there should be read nothing more into it.

The reason for chosing "interpreter" as something shameful is very simple: to tell him that he has got nothing to do in football, because he is "simply" an interpreter. The "simply"/"just"/"only" here refers to that most interpreters would probably not be able to coach a professional football team - their expertise lies elsewhere.

Remember that the "simply"/"only"/"just" must be understood in the context, i.e. as opposed to having been a career football player or something before becoming a coach. Nothing insulting about that to my mind.

And I don't think anyone would think less of interpreters or translators because of this - it would be like comparing oranges to apples, IMHO.


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:44
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
carried away Mar 9, 2006

No no Rosa, you did not offend me with your previous statement, don't worry. Thanks for the precision from the Spanish forum. This sheds new light on the subject as it is quite different now, it is more of an answer to José's denial of his past as an interpreter.

The thing is Mourinho is really arrogant (and successful hence the jalousy...) and it is easy not to like him (for the moment, I don't belong to the Mourinho fans category at all). If on top of that, he has a problem with having been an interpreter, then...

It's just that to the eyes of the world, translators are nothing when I wish we were considered more importantly sometimes. Thanks PCovs for the comment as well. As I am passionate about my job, I got carried away I guess!

Emma


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Peter Enright  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 03:44
French to English
+ ...
Not really Mar 10, 2006

Football fans can carry on in all sorts of crazy ways, and are sometimes best ignored! I guess they were simply implying that Mourinho should stick to translating/interpreting rather than coaching if he is to perform poorly in this latter.

Emmanuelle Hingant wrote:

Hi,

Did you feel offended when you saw that football supporters were insulting José Mourinho in telling him he was a translator ("Mourinho Traductor")?

To put in context, José Mourinho is the coach of one of the most important football teams of the moment (Chelsea) and declared himself as being "the special one".

He used to be the assistant coach of Bobby Robson in Barcelona, as well as the translator (interpreter I guess...) of the team.

On Tuesday, Barça and Chelsea were fighting for a place in the last 8 of the UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious European club competition. Mourinho is well know for his provocations before important games and a lot of people resent him for that.

So some fans decided they would call him "traductor" to insult him.

So do you feel offended when you see that? Do you think it is not an offence to all translators, it just applies to an arrogant coach who thinks he is superior to every other person in football?

I am aware that a forum has been open about the same subject in Spanish but I'm not fluent in that language, even though I understand football articles in Spanish.

Thanks (and Força Barça)!

Emma


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Ramon Inglada  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I did feel offended Mar 10, 2006

I actually felt quite in shock when I saw a bunch of supporters shouting "traductor, traductor" to Mourinho on his arrival in Barcelona, and even more when the same "insult" was displayed on several banners in the Camp Nou the day of the match again Chelsea. We all know about the infamous "traduttore, traditore", we are tired of listening that translators are just people who are able to type in 2 different languages, and that anyone who has spent a month in England learning English can work as a translator. But using "translator" as an insult directed to him... I never thought I'd see something like that.

I am well aware of the fact that football fans sometimes go just a bit too far and that most of their comments should be ignored. I also think that a lot of people involved in the translation industry will not consider it as an insult, and will simply prefer to think that this has no importance of all. The problem is that, in my humble opinion, members of the general public will consider it, in this specific case and context, as an insult. And I think this is even worse due to the bad situation and the lack of recognition of the profession in Spain, with ferocious competition and rock-bottom rates in most language combinations, that keep getting lower everyday. I know Spain is not the only case of a bad translation market, but in an European context, as far as I know, it's definitely not one of the easiest countries for anyone trying to earn a decent living as a translator.

Again, from my point of view, most people, especially outside the translation world, will consider it as an insult, and I don't believe this did any favour to our profession (in many cases, our vocation and our passion as well).

Ramon


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 18:44
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
I think you worry too much. Mar 13, 2006

Ramon Inglada wrote:

We all know about the infamous "traduttore, traditore", we are tired of listening that translators are just people who are able to type in 2 different languages, and that anyone who has spent a month in England learning English can work as a translator. But using "translator" as an insult directed to him... I never thought I'd see something like that.

...

The problem is that, in my humble opinion, members of the general public will consider it, in this specific case and context, as an insult.

Ramon


I really don't think the general public will take this as an opinion of translators/interpreters.
Yes, it's an insult in this specific case and context, but nothing more.

If you said to a translator that he/she is just a secretary, would this be an insult to secretaries? I don't think so. It's an insult to that person, because this is not the job he/she is undertaking thinking him/herself good at.

I think the translation business is under a lot of pressure in just about all countries and all language combinations, but I am quite sure that stupid insults like this have no effect on the market.

Just the way I see it.


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