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Poll: In how many fields do you specialize?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:25
SITE STAFF
Feb 2, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In how many fields do you specialize?".

This poll was originally submitted by Suthasinee Susiva

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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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:25
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
main fields of specialisation or sub-categories Feb 2, 2009

Could the originator of this poll maybe clarify whether "fields" here refers to main fields of specialisation or if sub-categories are also included, e.g. main specialisation engineering (but split up into electrical, mechanical, etc....engineering)?
Thanks for clarifying.
Might yield clearer results.

Manuela


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Suthasinee Susiva  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 11:25
Member (2008)
English to Thai
+ ...
Main or Subcategory? Feb 2, 2009

when I proposed this poll, I am thinking of the main specialisations because it is very difficult to count sub categories as each person would have defined sub-categories differently.

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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:25
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Thanks... Feb 2, 2009

for clarifying!

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abdurrahman  Identity Verified
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 08:25
English to Arabic
+ ...
Legal Feb 2, 2009

Hello Colleagues,

I prefer legal documents. It's an easy field although it seems not like that.

Have a nice translation.


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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 01:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
I voted 6, but it's just 3 Feb 2, 2009

I specialize in Psychology, Systems Engineering (including computers-software/hardware/networks and telecommunications as part of this whole) and Business (which includes contracts, management, finance, accounting, human resources, training, banking, imports/exports, and several others).

It is hard to draw boundaries when you have been doing this job for more than thirty years.

Have a great week, guys!


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Oleg Osipov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:25
English to Russian
+ ...
B... Feb 2, 2009

María Eugenia Wachtendorff wrote:

I Business (which includes contracts, management, finance, accounting, human resources, training, banking, imports/exports, and several others).

It is hard to draw boundaries when you have been doing this job for more than thirty years.



Business covers them all.
I cannot add anything to María's remark.

Take care,

Oleg


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I put 3-4, but it depends on how you count them Feb 2, 2009

Within medicine, there are areas I'm very good at and others that stump me, but I've counted it as one. Public health, human and veterinary diseases, research, drug protocols, and drug nomenclature are my strongest suits within medicine.

I've translated enough economic texts to sink a national economy, but I'm still not comfortable with them. I also have some mini-specialties thanks to quirks of fate and/or experience translating book-length projects - for example, the oil industry and the United Nations system of national accounts.

I have never had a translation in my true specialty, which is theoretical linguistics (88 graduate credits). However, my training has enabled me to answer quite a few questions on ProZ.

My newest specialty is botany and landscaping, which I have been studying for two years - no translation jobs, no KudoZ questions as yet.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 05:25
English to French
+ ...
>6 Feb 3, 2009

Changing as time goes and according to the people I “hang out” with.
15 years ago, I did a lot of electrical stuff – I was remodelling my own house, and had several specialists I could turn to for help. Did a lot of (industrial) machinery and (domestic) appliances too around that time.
Later, when I had a houseful of IT students, I did my share of IT press releases and IT manuals – and remember some very lively discussions at the dinner table
Went into legal (company bylaws are my favourite) after creating my own company; annual reports followed quite naturally. And from the bookkeeping aspect of the reports, I went over to financial texts (investment).
More recently, I added “nails” and “nail care” to the articles I translate for a beauty and cosmetic magazine.
More permanent subjects include: international organisations (EU, UN, IIAS, IEAP, …), but their texts vary a lot; building, more precisely restoration of old monuments and buildings, or specifications; education, which takes me back to the world where I held a position for 23 years.
Other challenges are probably waiting; other fields need to be explored. That is part of the fun of my work… never a dull moment


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Juliana Cullafiq
Albania
Local time: 05:25
Member
English to Albanian
+ ...
Technical, medical, sciences ... Feb 3, 2009

During my last year in University (I graduated in Biology& Chemistry), sb I knew asked me to translate 50 pages from a book for his thesis in biochemistry. Those were my first money earned from translation.

Having studied Human Anatomy and Physiology, and not only, makes me feel very comfortable translating medical documents. I feel the same during the common family conversations in such subject (my father and my sister’s husband are doctors).

What I had never imagined 10 years ago was the fact that I would successfully handled the technical translations especially the translation of UI and UGs for mobile phones and software.

It started when one of the agencies I offer my services, put me in contact with one of its direct clients in order to train me for the localization of its products.
I did a three day seminar with them but the training did not stopped there.
After seven years I am still translating its products, and the products of many other clients, direct or not.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:25
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You said it Feb 3, 2009

María Eugenia Wachtendorff wrote:

It is hard to draw boundaries when you have been doing this job for more than thirty years.


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Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 22:25
English to Dutch
+ ...
how can you have more than 2 Feb 4, 2009

How can a translator be specialized in more than 1 or 2 domains?! Frankly, he or she isn't specialized anymore in that case.
It takes many many years to become "specialized" in only one domain. It's not because one does "a lot of medical" that he or she becomes a specialist...

In my experience, translators tend to overrate their so called specializations.
Having quite a lot of experience in a certain domain doesn't make you a specialist.


[Edited at 2009-02-04 20:50 GMT]


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Thomas Johansson  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 23:25
Member (2005)
English to Swedish
+ ...
specialization != expertise Feb 9, 2009

Michaël Temmerman wrote:

How can a translator be specialized in more than 1 or 2 domains?! Frankly, he or she isn't specialized anymore in that case.
It takes many many years to become "specialized" in only one domain. It's not because one does "a lot of medical" that he or she becomes a specialist...

In my experience, translators tend to overrate their so called specializations.
Having quite a lot of experience in a certain domain doesn't make you a specialist.


[Edited at 2009-02-04 20:50 GMT]


I suppose that strictly speaking a specialization is any of the fields a person focuses on. Which means that specializations probably cannot be many (I think your "1 or 2" limit sounds fine).

However, that something is a specialization does not necessarily mean you're an expert/specialist or even good at it: it just means - strictly speaking - that it is a field you are focusing on in some way. Thus, there is a difference between a specialization and a field of expertise. (A field of expertise is a field one has expertise in, i.e. is good at. But a field of expertise may not be a specialization, since one may not work in it.)

Unfortunately, our business is pressing translators to designate all sorts of fields as "specializations" (- just like society in general is pressing people to pretend to have skills and capacities they really don't have, e.g. on the job market). As a translator, for instance, you're supposed to have at least 1 or 2 specializations whenever you fill out a form on this or that website, and often you know that you'd better make the list a little bit longer to increase your chances of getting a job that way. This is especially the case if you're new to translations.

My specializations should be, like, philosophy and ancient Greek/Greece, but I am still waiting for my first translations in those areas. Over the years, I also learned programming and web site development, enough to claim related areas as "specializations", which makes me a little bit more "job market-adapted".

Also, in a way, I "specialize" on "high-quality translating" as such: relatively time-consuming, slow, detailed translations that will be somewhat more expensive than clients may be used to, and won't be quick, but will give higher quality. For instance contracts and, sometimes, user manuals.


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