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Poll: As an agency/outsourcer, I would be more likely to hire a translator with:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:32
SITE STAFF
Aug 20, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "As an agency/outsourcer, I would be more likely to hire a translator with:".

This poll was originally submitted by Todd Field

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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Sonja Kroll  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:32
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
What is this "other"... Aug 20, 2008

...which is neither single nor multiple language pair(s) and which is being selected so frequently?

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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Clarification Aug 20, 2008

Hi Todd,
Depends what you mean by "multiple language pairs" - a situation with, say, DE>EN and ES>EN is a bit different from someone claiming to do RO>EN, DE>IT, FR>RU, etc.


Using your example, would I be more likely to hire a translator with just ES>EN than EN>ES and ES>EN? Hmm...Depends. Maybe, insofar as I'm not a fan of claims to bilingualism that aren't justified--bah humbug--and over-confidence in terms of language combinations really hacks me off. I'd only use a native speaker, whatever the pairs. Having said that, there are a good few translators around assuming native languages when they can't even string a sentence together, but they sometimes ditch their old native language icon, resulting in yet more confusion--until they write. Also, many interpreters have both pairs in their profiles. I'm not sure whether you're referring to profile pages on this site or claims in CVs etc. So... it depends. It doesn't take a genius to spot a false claim. Neither is it impossible that someone might offer fantastic translations in one pair and fantastic translations in another with the aid of a reviewer, or that someone might be truly bilingual.

Cheers,
Amy

[Edited at 2008-08-20 13:27]


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:32
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Other... Aug 20, 2008

I voted "other" as the question of single or multiple languages wouldn't be the most important criteria for me and I can't say which would be more likely.

Also, it would depend, as Amy says, on which combinations were offered. I would probably be hesitant about hiring someone who seemed to be spreading themselves too thinly, but I wouldn't have a problem with someone offering say "EN>FR" and "FR>EN" (although I would generally hire native speakers of the target language).

[Edited at 2008-08-20 13:16]


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Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:32
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
Clarifications Aug 20, 2008

Hello everyone,

I originally submitted this poll to find out whether a single language pair (= focus) or multiple language pairs (= diversity) was considered a greater competitive advantage by translators.

I did not suggest the "other" option. I’m not sure what it is supposed to mean.

Also, the second option was supposed to read "Multiple language pairs (e.g. ES>EN, EN>ES or ES>EN, PT>EN)". I believe this is more clear than the current wording. Unfortunately it contained too many characters, and had to be shortened in order to submit the poll. I sent a support request about this, but... apparently it's too late now.

Sure wish we could run the poll again, reading as follows:

As an agency/outsourcer, I would be more likely to hire a translator with:

A single language pair (e.g. ES>EN)

Multiple language pairs (e.g. ES>EN, EN>ES or ES>EN, PT>EN)


[Edited at 2008-08-20 13:30]


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Maria Cortés
United States
Local time: 18:32
German to English
+ ...
. Aug 20, 2008

I might not really matter for the quality of the translation. But I am in favor of translators receiving an education in translation as opposed to bilingual "self made" translators. And they usually have more than one language pair.

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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
Italian to English
+ ...
OK Aug 20, 2008

Todd Field wrote:

Also, the second option was supposed to read "Multiple language pairs (e.g. ES>EN, EN>ES or ES>EN, PT>EN)". I believe this is more clear than the current wording. Unfortunately it contained too many characters, and had to be shortened in order to submit the poll. I sent a support request about this, but... apparently it's too late now.



That's a shame. Thanks for clarifying.


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kimadil
United States
Local time: 16:32
English to Arabic
+ ...
I Don't think it matters Aug 20, 2008

I don't think it matters that much, but it is interesting to see what people think.
Maria, one can be "self made" and be professional, I don't see why not. Human history is a proof. All self made scholars, scientists, philosophers....


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 19:32
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
"Jack of all trades, master of none" Aug 20, 2008

The saying speaks for itself.

Consider how much research and expertise to focus on a single area of expertise in a language pair. You can spend all day and all night translating and you won't even scratch the surface of even a few of the possibilities.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
French to English
+ ...
Other Aug 20, 2008

I don't think it matters in itself - so I think the "other option" is necessary. I know some extremely good translators who translate from a lot of languages and other equally good ones who just do one. The most important thing is the quality of the work they do and you can't tell that merely from the number of language pairs they translate.

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:32
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
none of the above? Aug 20, 2008

As both, a translator with 3 language pairs (FR, ES, PT -> ENUS), and an outsourcer,
I have to say that I hire translators with valuable tech skills, relevant specialties, professional work habits,
respect for deadlines...
Some have one pair, some have multiple, but, that has never played a role in my decision.


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:32
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I know Aug 20, 2008

Sonja Kroll wrote:

...which is neither single nor multiple language pair(s) and which is being selected so frequently?

That's what I chose, since I am both a translator with multiple pairs, and an outsource, and have hired professionals
both with multiple pairs and single pairs.
The number of language pairs has never been a deciding factor.
It has always been other factors, such as relevant specialties and experience, tech skills, etc.


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janen
Local time: 11:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pair direction confusion Aug 20, 2008

Just as a minor point, I think there can be confusion over translators showing apparently bilingual directions in their profiles. I used to show my pairs in both directions, because the tasks I was offering included editing in the reverse direction (by making comments, not direct changes), but I wasn't suggesting translating out of my native language. At some point, I realised that that would be misunderstood, so I deleted the reverse pairs.

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:32
Portuguese to English
+ ...
?? Aug 20, 2008

Maria Cortés wrote:

But I am in favor of translators receiving an education in translation as opposed to bilingual "self made" translators.


Why?


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With Amy ...... Aug 20, 2008

Maria Cortés wrote:

But I am in favor of translators receiving an education in translation as opposed to bilingual "self made" translators.


I even don't know what "translation schools" teach.
Technique is one thing, but the art of translation takes aptitude and guts.
I don't think Tolstoy, Hemingway, Herman Hesse, Paulo Coelho, etc., etc., all great writers of the world went "writing school".


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