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Poll: Do you ever translate INTO a foreign language?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:20
SITE STAFF
Mar 20, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever translate INTO a foreign language?".

This poll was originally submitted by Joanna Borowska

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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Joanna Borowska  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:20
English to Polish
Telepathy? :o) Mar 20, 2006

I submitted this poll a few days ago and today, when it is actually being run, I discovered that one of the other translators' websites is running the exact same poll (well, almost the same as they have two and not three options). Strange, huh?

[Edited at 2006-03-20 19:38]


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:20
German to English
+ ...
To be honest, yes, occasionally... Mar 20, 2006

... but it has never been all that much.

I am, however, currently in the process of phasing out that type of work altogether. I'm also phasing out anything not in my areas of specialization, i.e. legal and financial translations from German into English.

Fortunately, I can now 'afford' to do so. I do, however, have one or two 'older' clients, for whom I do occasionally make an exception.

I have found that I am much quicker (=higher profits) working in my special areas and into my native language. I have also found that I am only able to 'honestly' guarantee the level of expertise that I offer my customers and that they have come to expect by concentrating on my strengths.

Actually, if I could ever learn the German genders, I might consider getting back into it...


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tinageta  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:20
English to Latvian
+ ...
Sometimes... Mar 20, 2006

... especially when it comes to "exotic" language pairs. Indeed, there are very few, if any, Portuguese and Spanish native speakers who can translate from Latvian. But I make sure the translation is revised by a native speaker AND I make sure my rate reflects both the revision cost and my extra efforts.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:20
Flemish to English
+ ...
What is the "native language" of Brussels? Mar 20, 2006

I don't mean "Brussels" as a synonym for the E.U. , but as a city as such.
Why not? French has been the language "next door" (to be taken literally) for years.
The more you translate into a "foreign" language, the more you practise it and the better you master it.



[Edited at 2006-03-20 20:04]


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Alison High  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 01:20
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
yes, but not for money... and in a team Mar 20, 2006

I live in Switzerland, so people have asked me to translate into French... but I don't accept work contracts, its the voluntary stuff that I do into French... and I have a friend who is French mother tongue and an English teacher who corrects and refines the job to get the best output for the target readers... the system suits us, and its not all that much

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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:20
Member (2003)
German to English
Doesn't make financial sense Mar 20, 2006

I took the question to mean, do you translate PROFESSIONALLY into another language. Of course I do it informally, but never ever for pay (and yes, I get offers fairly regularly. I turned down a lucrative one from a regular customer this week).

Why? Let's say 30% 'English language prudishness,' or the bias that we English native speakers seem to have against non-natives going into the source language, and 70% cold hard financial sense: It would take me at least 5 times as long, if not longer, to do a text of any real length into German as opposed to into English. Not the first draft, mind you, that goes quick, but to check it through obsessively enough to be able to call it professional work. And that just doesn't make any financial sense--better to focus on getting more (or better paying) work in my bread-and-butter field.

[Edited at 2006-03-20 21:18]


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tortuga langua
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:20
German to Czech
+ ...
Yes. Mar 20, 2006

Into Slovak. I was born and grew on the border and also took some courses later. But I have a very good and severe proofreader, a native speaker I can rely on.
Other way I would not do it as slovak and czech are definitely not that similar as it may look from "outside".
A few times I also translated into german. But - as some other colleagues said before ... I can never be as good as the native speakers... and with the time I decided for myself I will not do that, "da ich es zu anstrengend finde" ... so somehow I believe the native speaker principle is a right thing - at least for me.


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:20
I totally agree with Derek's view Mar 20, 2006

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:

... but it has never been all that much.

I am, however, currently in the process of phasing out that type of work altogether. I'm also phasing out anything not in my areas of specialization, i.e. legal and financial translations from German into English.

Fortunately, I can now 'afford' to do so. I do, however, have one or two 'older' clients, for whom I do occasionally make an exception.

I have found that I am much quicker (=higher profits) working in my special areas and into my native language. I have also found that I am only able to 'honestly' guarantee the level of expertise that I offer my customers and that they have come to expect by concentrating on my strengths.

Actually, if I could ever learn the German genders, I might consider getting back into it...


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Ania Grajek  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:20
German to Polish
+ ...
from time to time Mar 21, 2006

Yes, I do that from time to time and these are only simple texts, no specialized vocabulary.
Actually my last project was about translation from foreign language into foreign language too, which happens very very seldom, it is just too hard and tiring. But in such cases I always have the translation checked by a native speaker of the target language in the end, so I am not afraid about the quality.


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Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:20
English to French
+ ...
Only under specific circumstances Mar 21, 2006

I did it and probably will again, but only for one customer I know very well. I explained that the result would be just OK, understandable but nothing more. She insisted, and I agreed to do it. She doesn't need the "native quality", and apparently she prefers to deal with me. I take that as a compliment, but for the same price, she could have a much better result! Anyway, when it happens between "informed and consenting adults", I guess there is no problem.

I got other offers, but I systematically turn them down. It often feels like the ones who offer that type of work are the same who use machine translation and don't have a clue what translation is about. So I say no and I explain why.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always and Never Mar 21, 2006

It depends on who the language is foreign to. For sure it will a foreign language to someone, but not to me. That's why I'm there.

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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 05:50
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Yes... Mar 21, 2006

I regulary translate into English from Gujarati, Hindi and Malayalam.

Now one can technically say that English is a foreign language to Indians, but the reality is that to many of us it is just one more of the many languages spoken in India.

I am ambidextrous in Hindi and English and I consider my knowledge of English at par with my knowldege of Hindi, which is my native language.

It is all a question of terminology, what one considers a foreign language. English will qualify as a foreign language in one way, and not in another way.


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:20
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
From time to time = twice Mar 21, 2006

In five years!

I leave English to native translators. The first time, I accepted the job because it was very well paid, I had no time pressure and the client provided me with plenty of bibliography.
The second time, a colleague was desperate and asked me to help her.

Cheers,
Andrea


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Elena Pavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:20
Member (2005)
French to Italian
+ ...
Sometimes Mar 21, 2006

Actually, I am Italian mothertongue, but I have been living in France for 12 years now.
I speak and understand French without problems now and I know that I will not make any major mistakes in my translations; there might only be some expressions or a certain "style" to be reviewed. But I only accept for some good old clients: they know that French is not my mothertongue and they proofread my translation before delivering to the final client.
I would never accept to make a translation into French for a new client or for somebody I don't know.
But I must say that many people cannot understand when I refuse to make translations into French. They say: "You live in France, I can hear you speak quite well, so, what's the problem?"


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