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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Do you consider yourself to be an excellent translator?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:26
SITE STAFF
Apr 10, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you consider yourself to be an excellent translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maria Bellido. View the poll results »



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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
English to French
+ ...
No but I'm working on it Apr 10, 2012

despite how much experience you've got, you can always improve - being a translator is a perpetual self improvement course in one's life

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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 00:26
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, but am on the case Apr 10, 2012

I instantly voted "Other" but should have gone for "No, but working on it...".

It depends how you define excellence.


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Amandine Added  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
Member (2010)
English to French
working on it... Apr 10, 2012

Well I consider I'm not that bad or I would not do the job ! However, every single time I give a look to an old translation looking for something, I'm always like.... mmmhhhh it sounds obvious now but I should have used that word, or not that one...
But with time I feel I'm getting better so maybe someday i'll be "humble" enough) to say, yes I am excellent !
However who would not say it when asked by a client: but are you a good translator ?)))


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 00:26
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me too Apr 10, 2012


Mamande wrote:
Well I consider I'm not that bad or I would not do the job ! However, every single time I give a look to an old translation looking for something, I'm always like.... mmmhhhh it sounds obvious now but I should have used that word, or not that one...


If I had to define excellence, the ability and willingness to go over old translations with a critical eye with a view to improving current or future works would be one important criterion. For example, I often have difficulty in sloughing off extraneous parts of the original texts (in my case, they are in Spanish, which I find tends to be comparatively long-winded).


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Member (2011)
Hebrew to English
Modesty... Apr 10, 2012

...is in short supply these days, Narcissus would be proud. Whatever happened to a healthy dose of self-deprecation?

"...when you get overconfident, that's when something snaps up and bites you."
Neil Armstrong

I prefer to look at myself and my abilities as an "unfinished product" still at the research and development stages. I think there are inherent dangers in overestimating yourself, even if you happen to be fantastically talented or gifted.
Of course, this is how I "consider myself" (reading the question: "do you consider yourself").
How you "sell" yourself and your abilities to your clients is another thing altogether (this is when you'd expect modesty to go out the nearest window).

[Edited at 2012-04-10 09:30 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:26
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I have my moments... Apr 10, 2012

Sometimes excellency consists of knowing when to apply what someone else has taught you, and I have had some excellent teachers along the way.

So I'm working on it too.
It's a balancing act - aiming high, but not taking on more than you can handle well.

And yes, looking back and looking for ways to improve all the time.


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Teresa Borges
Belgium
Local time: 00:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Apr 10, 2012

Excellent? No! Overconfidence is a killer! I always do my best, but the more translating I do, the more I realise just how much there is to learn...

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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Lifelong learning Apr 10, 2012

Of course, I tell potential customers that I am an excellent translator. In practice, though, I am learning all the time. I will never achieve perfection, but that won't stop me trying.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Sometimes Apr 10, 2012

I don't see the point in being modest for modesty's sake. I don't think there's any harm in patting yourself on the back once in a while for a job excellently done. If I couldn't produce excellent work I wouldn't be in this business, and that doesn't mean I'm not aware of my many faults and constantly striving to improve. To me excellence doesn't mean knowing everything, it means producing excellent work and always trying to learn and improve.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:26
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
On the way there...it's a long haul! Apr 10, 2012

I consider myself a rough stone that needs continual polishing.

I do give myself a pat on the back occasionally -- when I win a big contract, at the end of a good month, get the rare "Thank you for a great job!" from a client, or add something worthy of mention to my CV.

Otherwise, it's slog, slog, slog and a lifelong commitment to self improvement.
I think I'll call myself "excellent" when I don't have to slave over a hot mouse for a decent living.

Happy translating!


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:26
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There's always room at the top! Apr 10, 2012



(Have you ever noticed "requirements" are always a minimum?)


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:26
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Hot mice Apr 10, 2012


Julian Holmes wrote:

I think I'll call myself "excellent" when I don't have to slave over a hot mouse for a decent living.



You are too modest, Julian; this sentence alone proves you are an excellent linguist


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:26
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
no! Apr 10, 2012

I think I'm good but I am now editing someone else's translation and they are REALLY good. As long as I can learn from someone else I can't quite call myself excellent.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Well... Apr 10, 2012

This is actually something for my clients to decide.

There's always room for improvement, but I'd say that I'm a pretty good translator.

Actually, this poll reminds me of the proverb: nobody's perfect but... me.


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