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Poll: When it comes to your language work, are you primarily a translator or an interpreter?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:16
SITE STAFF
Jan 13, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When it comes to your language work, are you primarily a translator or an interpreter?".

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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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:16
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
How about translation checking? Jan 13, 2006

No doubt that some language professionals spend a good deal of their time checking the accuracy, suitability and other issues involved in the translations produced by others.

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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 13:16
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Editing, proofreading, transcribing, teaching... Jan 13, 2006

I checked "only translate" since I understand the focus of the poll to be on translating v interpreting. I don't interpret--I don't hear well enough, and am not of the right temperament for that job. Besides, not many interpreting jobs are available at 11 PM, which is when my brain goes high-speed!

However, "when it comes to [my] language work," translating is not all I do, by any means! I check others' tranlations, as Aisha mentioned. I proofread texts in my second language, Spanish (I'm visually oriented, with a natural killer eye for things like accents marks). I go beyond proofreading into extensive editing on texts in my native language, English. I do some subtitling, and have translated depositions, which means I sometimes have to transcribe my text from a DVD or audio cassette. And I have done some teaching of English as a second language, both in the classroom and one-on-one.

I wonder: Is there anyone in our field who does only one single type of language-related work? I suspect my list is rather typical.


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realannette
English
It's part of the same thing in my opinion Jan 13, 2006

I don't think it's possible to translate if this activity does not at the same time include an act of interpretation.

I believe, therefore, that if we attempt to take these two aspects of translation apart, we do both an enormous injustice.

I am not only talking about fictive texts. I am talking about all texts that include a context.

To me, translating MEANS just that: Interpretation.

Suppose, I was translating a manual for microwave oven usage.

How could I transfer one concept in the source language to its equivalent in the target language, if I did not know what SENSE I had to convey? Impossible.

And that, to me, is what interpretation is all about: Finding the corresponding SENSE.

Translation, on the other hand, is CONVEYING that sense once found.

We cannot do them apart. And we shouldn't.

Annette


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Zsanett Rozendaal-Pandur  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 19:16
Dutch to Hungarian
+ ...
Mediation Jan 13, 2006

I mostly translate, but I also do mediation sort of, for contacts between Hungary and the Netherlands. This can include making telephone calls, filling in forms, finding out things for clients, etc.

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:16
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Definition of interpretation Jan 13, 2006

I don't think it's possible to translate if this activity does not at the same time include an act of interpretation.

I believe, therefore, that if we attempt to take these two aspects of translation apart, we do both an enormous injustice.
It just seems to me you didn't get what we are talking about... Of course translating involves interpreting, but the question is about interpretation as a profession, i.e. translating oral stuff (whereas 'translation' as it is used in professional environment basically means 'translating written stuff').
Hope I made it clear for you.


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:16
Spanish to English
Translator or Interpreter Jan 13, 2006

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When it comes to your language work, are you primarily a translator or an interpreter?".

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[/quote]

I am a translator and only in one pair of languages and only in one direction (Spanish (Castellano) to English (UK or US). I am married into a family in Valencia where no-one speaks any English (apart from College English from the younger ones)and when any of my family and friends come to visit us from the UK, my job is the interpreter. I can honestly say, I find it very hard work. Translating is like reading and thinking at the same time, and can (usually and should) be done at at a slower pace. I think that they are two distinct professions.

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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:16
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Translators and Interpreters Jan 13, 2006

David Brown wrote:

I think that they are two distinct professions.


Yes, definitely they are two different professions.
The polls results shows that proz.com is populated mainly by translators - among over 500 votes nobody answered "I only interpret"!

This actually confirms my observation from interpreting booth (I do both things, splitting my working time between translation and conference interpreting): conference interpreters use Internet less or in different manner than translators. Most of my colleagues (those who do simul interpreting only) never actually heard about proz.com or similar websites and they rarely or never market themselves via Internet. To prepare for an assignment they rely rather on materials provided by organisers and frequently are not accustomed to searching information in Internet. Some actually use Internet for e-mails only and told me that they do not see any use for Internet in their work... It's very different for translators, though:)

Magda


[Edited at 2006-01-13 17:31]


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Atenea Acevedo  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
interesting, Magda Jan 13, 2006

Magda Dziadosz wrote:

David Brown wrote:

I think that they are two distinct professions.


Yes, definitely they are two different professions.
The polls results shows that proz.com is populated mainly by translators - among over 500 votes nobody answered "I only interpret"!

This actually confirms my observation from interpreting booth (I do both things, splitting my working time between translation and conference interpreting): conference interpreters use Internet less or in different manner than translators. Most of my colleagues (those who do simul interpreting only) never actually heard about proz.com or similar websites and they rarely or never market themselves via Internet. To prepare for an assignment they rely rather on materials provided by organisers and frequently are not accustomed to searching information in Internet. Some actually use Internet for e-mails only and told me that they do not see any use for Internet in their work... It's very different for translators, though:)

Magda


[Edited at 2006-01-13 17:31]


I'm also an interpreter AND a translator, but I must say that the Internet is quite a useful tool for me as an interpreter and not only as a translator. Regardless of a client giving me prep material, I always run google searches to get more familiar with the speaker's/speakers' background info and the subject itself. It's also great to build your own vocabulary and terminology for whatever subject you'll be dealing with once in the booth.

Cheers,
Atenea


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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:16
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation vs Interpretation Jan 13, 2006

I really admire people who have skills to do both translating and interpreting.

In a former job as a corporate translator in the oil industry, part of my work consisted in interpreting in meetings among the parties which included nationals, Americans, British and Scots. (Bosses who don't have a clue about the difference between translating and interpreting just believe that a translator is an interpreter by default). Without being discriminatory whatsoever, interpreting for Scots (from some regions) has been one of the hardest tasks I ever faced, and something I never wish to do again (some of them recognized how hard it must have been for us, the translators/interpreters).





[Edited at 2006-01-14 17:09]

[Edited at 2006-01-14 17:09]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:16
Flemish to English
+ ...
Translation vs Interpretation Jan 14, 2006

Translation: A profession you can start with "overnight". You just "annoint" yourself as a translator.
A profession with a lot of tools and the internet at your disposal. With time to think. The words do not need to roll out.
With a lot of pennypinching and nagging over payment.
A lot of players on the market.
Conference interpreting: A profession for which you need the proper training at the proper school.
You don't learn "consec" overnight. It takes at least two years to become a good interpreter.
You can take the risk of "learning by doing" but then you stand a 80% chance of falling through.
Highly professional and well-trained C.I.'s are a rare breed.
No nagging about price/rates and no tools availabe of which the makers impose rate-reductions upon the sector.
More tiresome.


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:16
Spanish to English
Scots wha Hae and Scots who haven't Jan 14, 2006

[quote]Elías Sauza wrote:

Without being discriminatory whatsoever, interpreting for Scotts (from some regions) has been one of the hardest tasks I ever faced, and something I never wish to do again (some of them recognized how hard it must have been for us, the translators/interpreters).

Just 2 small points it's British and Scots. Being a Scot myself, I do sympathise with you as I have to interpret for my Spanish wife and her family when any of my family visit us, and it even takes me an hour or two to adjust to their accents. This equally applies when I meet people from other parts of the UK with strong regional accents (Yorkshire, Somerset, Liverpool and South of London (who do not use pure vowel sounds).


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Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:16
German to Russian
+ ...
Interpreting, translating, teaching Jan 14, 2006

voiceover and even editing & proofreading in my native language It's close to impossible to make a distinction. I have just finished 5-day-simultaneous interpreting tour. In the evenings I translated 6 pages for some agency, worked two hours as a language tutor & transcribed some proper names for my client today. They are different professions, indeed, but performed by the same persons frequently. Language tutoring allows to bring stability to personal incomes. I consider it as the only way to survive & stay independent. It's quite important not to depend upon one client or one language pair. Clients have also to compete.
Re.: Magda's opinion
Most of my colleagues (those who do simul interpreting + translating occasionally) never actually heard about proz.com or similar websites and they rarely or never market themselves via Internet either. They prefer personal contacts. Majority of simul interpreters actually use Internet for e-mails + terms search for occasional translating only and told me that they do not see any use for Internet in their interpreting work...
To tell the truth, I use proz.com glossaries & dictionaries when preparing for interpreting jobs.

[Edited at 2006-01-14 18:09]


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