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Poll: English is for you:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:54
SITE STAFF
Jul 14, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "English is for you:".

This poll was originally submitted by Dan Marasescu

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 08:54
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
English is for me a target language and... Jul 14, 2008

English is for me a Subject Verb Object language. So I would have to re-work that unfinished sentence as: For me, English is... or English is .... for me.

This business of haphazardly constructing sentences is, for me, a bone of contention and is not limited to non-native speakers of English. When I translate, I adopt a strict SVO style, even though there is a bit more flexibility in the English language than I am willing to afford it.

Otherwise it is a bit like waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were.


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irishpolyglot
Ireland
Local time: 13:54
French to English
+ ...
agree with Reed Jul 14, 2008

I agree with Reed... I consider these polls to be quite informal so I won't pass much judgement, especially since English is the poll writer's *source* language (I make mistakes whenever writing in my source languages, so obviously I don't do anything serious in them).
As far as the poll itself goes, most ProZers I've met (online or at the powwows) who work with English are not natives, so I imagine the poll will continue to go the way it is, especially since a previous poll showed that most of us are based in Europe, so a vast majority are likely not to be native English speakers. Interesting nonetheless. Pity this poll is English centred though; would "French is for you" or "Spanish is for you" etc. come up just as quickly?


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:54
English to Spanish
For me... Jul 14, 2008

English -or any other language for that matter- is much more than a working (source language, in my case)) language only.

Limiting a language to such a mechanic/restricted view is, IMO, risky at best when it comes to our profession.

Greetings

[Edited at 2008-07-14 17:42]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
I said both Jul 14, 2008

although if I ever undertake English -> Spanish work, I do it in a team with native speakers. I've just finished a large project into Spanish working that way and am now doing one from Spanish into English where my Spanish colleague is doing most of the work during the day (she understands the subject matter, new-fangled philosophy, better than I do) and we go over it together in the evening.

These are the only circumstances where I consider "non-native" translation valid, and I am definitely NOT in favour of it in general.

[Edited at 2008-07-14 17:44]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:54
English to German
+ ...
For crying out loud Jul 14, 2008

A nice colleague has suggested a new topic which I find quite intriguing. Yet the only discussion that is going on is about immaculate grammar and egos.
If you ever entered a poll yourself (for a change) you might notice that all polls are being edited. Try again.

I find the results extremely interesting - keep on voting!

Thanks for this interesting topic, Mr. Marasescu!


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:54
Portuguese to English
Is for me... Jul 14, 2008

Reed D. James wrote:

English is for me a Subject Verb Object language. So I would have to re-work that unfinished sentence as: For me, English is... or English is .... for me.



Is for me Spanish a language source, oh golly yes!


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Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 06:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depending on the situation Jul 14, 2008

In translation it is both, depending omn the project I am working with.
At the University, it is the source language used in the classes I teach.


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 08:54
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree Jul 14, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:

A nice colleague has suggested a new topic which I find quite intriguing.
Thanks for this interesting topic, Mr. Marasescu!


There is more to this than meets the eye. For me, English is one of two native languages (argue quietly amongst yourselves about the legitimacy of this while I continue), and therefore a point of contention between me, myself and I. At different stages of my life (depending on where I was living), I have treated English with varying levels of professional respect. Recently, I have found myself doing a lot of editing in English and find myself more and more pleased with English as a potentially beautiful target constantly being shot full of poisonous arrows.
I apologize for the poetic bent...


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 08:54
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
My aim is to do the translation community a favor Jul 14, 2008

Juliana Starkman wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

A nice colleague has suggested a new topic which I find quite intriguing.
Thanks for this interesting topic, Mr. Marasescu!


There is more to this than meets the eye. For me, English is one of two native languages (argue quietly amongst yourselves about the legitimacy of this while I continue), and therefore a point of contention between me, myself and I. At different stages of my life (depending on where I was living), I have treated English with varying levels of professional respect. Recently, I have found myself doing a lot of editing in English and find myself more and more pleased with English as a potentially beautiful target constantly being shot full of poisonous arrows.
I apologize for the poetic bent...


These are not arrows I shoot. The thought of doing so makes me quiver. (No pun intended). I did not personally deride the person who designed the poll. I did not use any rude language. I simply spoke my mind.

I often turn a blind eye to little mistakes that do not skew meaning. Things like "Thanks God it's Friday" instead of "Thank God...". After all, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to leave the s off of "Thanks" unless you know that the subjunctive is at play in that sentence.

Like it or not, the English language plays a major factor in our industry, and if it isn't close to native, people are going to judge it. In fact, native speakers who do not use good grammar or the proper register in their communication with clients or others also have problems.

I found it sad to read some of the "feel good" responses to my posting. I could pitch in and say "Don't judge a book by its cover", but I would be mistaken. Goods are judged by their appearance, and our goods are words. If these words aren't put together right, they, and consequently we will be judged.


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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 06:54
English to Dutch
+ ...
source of course... many would-be English native speakers Jul 15, 2008

I don't want to judge anybody, but there are only very few non-native speakers that really can translate into English as well as into their mother tongue and as well as English native speakers (truly bilingual or really really gifted people). I used to be surprised at the number of people translating into English, but I have personally experienced that quality often isn't all that great...

I work a lot faster and accurate when translating into Dutch/Flemish then into any other of the languages. Even financially speaking, it wouldn't be very wise to try and translate into a foreign language.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:54
Flemish to English
+ ...
The proof of the pudding.... Jul 15, 2008

Michaël Temmerman wrote:

I don't want to judge anybody, but there are only very few non-native speakers that really can translate into English as well as into their mother tongue and as well as English native speakers (truly bilingual or really really gifted people). I used to be surprised at the number of people translating into English, but I have personally experienced that quality often isn't all that great...

I work a lot faster and accurate when translating into Dutch/Flemish then into any other of the languages. Even financially speaking, it wouldn't be very wise to try and translate into a foreign language.



Both. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, not in your prejudice.

Moneywise: If you want to make translation a production process which generates more money, there are only a few M.T.s into Dutch.


[Edited at 2008-07-15 08:39]


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 14:54
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
the language I have to use Jul 15, 2008

For me English is the language of communication, how could I post anything here without knowing some English? For me this language is the language desire to understand, desire to learn.

Why?

"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshness;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest or movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
there would be no dance, and there is only the dance."
(T.S.Eliot, Burnt Norton)

Reading these kind of wonderful arts, I can just desire to know about this language more and more.

My abilities still not let me to translate into English, but I am eager to learn this wonderful language.
"immaculate grammar" - I think it simply does not exist. Even I am native Hungarian, I can make a mistakes in my own language (not trivial mistakes, I mean). Of course, the translators have use the language in master level, but we are human beings too and sometimes, looking at my old translations, I see my own typos, my own mistakes. Concerning foreign languages, I think when I am writing in Russian, I am concentrate more than in case of writing in my own language.

Have a nice day, Liza


[Módosítva: 2008-07-15 07:03]


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Anita du Plessis  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 14:54
Member (2008)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Both Jul 15, 2008

I do both, but I must admit, I prefer translating from English to Afrikaans, my mother tongue. With Afrikaans I feel as if I can run, sail the sea and fly the sky- not that I won't encounter bumps on the journey.... As for English, I often feel I am walking on a tight rope and must be very careful not to fall. But English is such a wonderful communication medium, I will always try to hone my skills in walking the tight rope....

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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:24
Member
German to English
We ought to observe the rules or at least remind ourselves that they exist! Jul 15, 2008

I prefer translating from German to English, though can manage some amount of translating into German often with the assistance of a German native speaker.
As a student of German, I was struck by the clear and often strict rules of grammar used in that language. Some of my colleagues and teachers reminded me that English too has its share of rules - though many of them are often observed in the breach in some of the English speaking countries. A gentle reminder now and then, that these rules do exist, could perhaps help! After all, we claim to be language professionals.


Reed D. James wrote:

Juliana Starkman wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

A nice colleague has suggested a new topic which I find quite intriguing.
Thanks for this interesting topic, Mr. Marasescu!


There is more to this than meets the eye. For me, English is one of two native languages (argue quietly amongst yourselves about the legitimacy of this while I continue), and therefore a point of contention between me, myself and I. At different stages of my life (depending on where I was living), I have treated English with varying levels of professional respect. Recently, I have found myself doing a lot of editing in English and find myself more and more pleased with English as a potentially beautiful target constantly being shot full of poisonous arrows.
I apologize for the poetic bent...


These are not arrows I shoot. The thought of doing so makes me quiver. (No pun intended). I did not personally deride the person who designed the poll. I did not use any rude language. I simply spoke my mind.

I often turn a blind eye to little mistakes that do not skew meaning. Things like "Thanks God it's Friday" instead of "Thank God...". After all, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to leave the s off of "Thanks" unless you know that the subjunctive is at play in that sentence.

Like it or not, the English language plays a major factor in our industry, and if it isn't close to native, people are going to judge it. In fact, native speakers who do not use good grammar or the proper register in their communication with clients or others also have problems.

I found it sad to read some of the "feel good" responses to my posting. I could pitch in and say "Don't judge a book by its cover", but I would be mistaken. Goods are judged by their appearance, and our goods are words. If these words aren't put together right, they, and consequently we will be judged.


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