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Poll: What is the proportion of the time that you use for translation and interpretation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:22
SITE STAFF
Oct 5, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the proportion of the time that you use for translation and interpretation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Steffen Walter

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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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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 19:22
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
I am a translator only Oct 5, 2006

I have no doubt that being a full-time simultaneous interpreter must be a thrilling job. You get to meet all kinds of people, travel in some cases, and learn about various topics.

I once tried consecutive interpreting in college. There was a visiting Chilean poet who gave a lecture in Spanish, and I paraphrased his words in English. It was a lot of work, and took a great deal of thinking. I guess I did not like the spontaneity of interpreting.

There are several opportunities for the simultaneous interpreter here in Santiago, Chile. Nevertheless, now that I am a freelance translator and work at home, I would be hard-pressed to get up early every morning, put on a suit and tie and brave the traffic.

In addition, as far as I can see, interpreting has no macros or CAT tools. There seems to be very little equipment involved, which means taxing the brain to its utmost. Therefore, I shall stick to translating.

Reed


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Full-time simultaneous interpreter Oct 6, 2006

It is not easy to become a full-time simultaneous interpreter on a freelance basis because the jobs tend to be sporadic. I have always been primarily a translator but with a fair dose of interpreting thrown in, in more recent years strictly conference interpreting, no court, depositions, etc. For the last three years I have not done any interpreting because I have been away from my regular base.

I find it to be fun and it definitely breaks the isolation that characterizes translation. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase your talents, mix with people and gain new clients. It provides broad experience in many different subjects, and of course some good travel opportunities on occasion.

That said, whatever equipment is involved is very likely to fail, you can seldom count on having good sound and you never know how long they will keep on without a bathroom break. The latter is not a problem if you have a partner, which is an absolute requirement I have broken on numerous occasions, having taxed the brain to its utmost all day long.

I've heard it said that simultaneous interpreting is the greatest feat of mental gymnastics that the human brain can ever perform. All I can say is after doing it all day I sure feel I've really earned a few beers.

By the way, it really helps your translation skills as well, and vice versa.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:22
Flemish to English
+ ...
Training Oct 6, 2006

Nowadays, anybody can become a translator overnight and call him/herself "professional translator".
However, it requires training, preferably at a school of some reputation (member of CIUTI) to become a conference- interpreter.
No Trados, no dictionaries, just you and your linguistic skills.
In case of interpreting, I tend to agree more with the mother-tongue only mantra. In a situation that you get very stressed, you must appeal to your most profound knowledge of a language. Words have to roll out of your mouth. However, I do not agree with this mantra in the case of translation.
Reason: a lot of tools at your disposal.
With conference-interpreting, there is no pennypinching and faster payment.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
My sentiments exactly, Henry Oct 6, 2006

Henry Hinds wrote:
I find it to be fun and it definitely breaks the isolation that characterizes translation. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase your talents, mix with people and gain new clients. It provides broad experience in many different subjects, and of course some good travel opportunities on occasion.


Exactly, Henry, same impression here. It's great to get out of your "box" for two or three days a month (which is my current level of interpretation activity). I'm currently trying to expand the interpreting part of my business to capitalise on my skills acquired in formal training (with the objective to increase the percentage of simultaneous assignments in the medium term). Also, interpretation definitely requires you to keep an open mind and be versatile in exploring new fields/subjects.

That said, whatever equipment is involved is very likely to fail, you can seldom count on having good sound and you never know how long they will keep on without a bathroom break. The latter is not a problem if you have a partner, which is an absolute requirement I have broken on numerous occasions, having taxed the brain to its utmost all day long.


Depends on the specific setting - you do need a partner when it comes to conferences. By contrast, things might be more relaxed at a slightly less formal business meeting.

I've heard it said that simultaneous interpreting is the greatest feat of mental gymnastics that the human brain can ever perform. All I can say is after doing it all day I sure feel I've really earned a few beers.


Sounds familiar

By the way, it really helps your translation skills as well, and vice versa.


True as well. As a trained interpreter, I can certainly subscribe to that statement. In my opinion, interpreting practice generally increases the speed at which you arrive at solutions to your translation problems.

Steffen


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Language Aide Pvt. Ltd. - Translation & Interpreting Agency
India
Local time: 03:52
English to Hindi
+ ...
Are Proz and Polls only for Translators & Interpreters? Oct 6, 2006

Hi!

Language Aide team is user from last 6-7 years and an active member from last one year.

As an agency enrolled at Proz, we would like to pinpoint one thing as below.

It’s really disheartening to see that most of the topics, discussions, articles covered in Proz.com mostly seems to be pointing toward the benefits and interests of only Translators and Interpreters and sometimes biased on it too.

Like this Poll question - What is the proportion of the time that you use for translation and interpretation?"

And please see its options:

100%/0% (only translation)
75%/25%
50%/50%
25%/75%
0%/100% (only interpretation)

Should not be there be an option like - 'Not applicable' or 'does not do either' etc.?

Are there not Language Agencies, Clients, Language Typists and Language DTP Operators, etc. who also comprise and contribute in Proz, apart from the Translators and Interpreters enrolled here?

I am as much about Translators and Interpreters as about Language Agencies, Clients, Language Typists and Language DTP Operators, etc.; I hope the moderators, Proz.com’s Site staff or the over Translator Community should take this also into the consideration as in the very first page of the Proz.com, it is clearly written that:
ProZ.com - Directory of professional translation services by freelance language translators & translation agencies.
Sorry if my words are saying any improper thing or if they disqualify for this column.

Language Aide


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Fair point but ... Oct 6, 2006

Language Aide wrote:
It’s really disheartening to see that most of the topics, discussions, articles covered in Proz.com mostly seems to be pointing toward the benefits and interests of only Translators and Interpreters and sometimes biased on it too.


... the vast majority of site users/members happen to be translators or interpreters, or both, or at least service providers who generate the largest part of their income from these activities. So it is only natural that most of the topics deal with matters of interest to them. Please also note that the tagline of ProZ.com, "The translators workplace", does indicate a focus on that profession.

Like this Poll question - What is the proportion of the time that you use for translation and interpretation?"
And please see its options:
100%/0% (only translation)
75%/25%
50%/50%
25%/75%
0%/100% (only interpretation)
Should not be there be an option like - 'Not applicable' or 'does not do either' etc.?


It appears that this poll was just not relevant to the specific skill set you offer. (Note that polls need not necessarily be representative.)

But yes, a "not applicable" choice could have been added here or, alternatively, I could have said very clearly that this poll was targeted at translation and/or interpretation providers.

Steffen


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Translation, interpretation, and... ? Oct 29, 2006

There is a general trend to place DTP operators as a class of its own, not expected to "mingle" with translators.

To explain my stance in this issue, I should say that from day one of my professional translating activities, I was involved with "publishing". Not DTP, because it was in the mainframe age, the IBM /370 was the computer king at that time.

My first translating job involved the translation of instruction manuals for some heavy machinery for mining. The translation was handwritten and afterwards typed by a neatness expert typist. Then it was enhanced with some charts I had to redraw after unit conversion (say, from inches to metric and so on). Drawings had to be reassembled from the American 3rd-quadrant projections to the Brazilian 1st-quadrant standard, and measurements had to be converted too. All these items had to be pasted on paper, often using the image reducing features offered by the then "new" Xerox 7000 copier.

The fact remains that the translation's end product was and still is TEXT. Due to progress in computer technology, word processors now offer formatting features that no typewriter could ever have dreamt of. So, when text only is involved, the translator can deliver a final copy. It might even include illustrations, to some extent.

However when the job involves a more complex layout, or the graphic look of it is important, desktop publishing (aka DTP) is needed.

The "normal" procedure would be for the client to get the translation, and hire a DTP operator to make it look as it should. The drawback in this system is that when the graphic artist has done his/her part, it's equally normal to send the job back to the translator to check if everything is as it should. I guess very few translators - if any - include this work in their bids, while many clients expect to have this done as a favor. Depending on the setup, this might or not trigger a never-ending loop between translator and DTP artist through the client.

Another aspect to consider is that if the DTP artist is not bilingual, the translator must provide some reference on what goes where, viz. what paragraph of the translation correspond to which block of text in the original.

From the (Xerox-)copy and paste (with glue) I described above to present DTP, I went through the "Ref. #" phase, when I delivered my translation on a printout from the Apple II and a DMP to a typesetter, with a copy of the original pub marked all over with reference numbers, that were quoted in the translation. Someone had to analyze the original font, set it up, and re-type the text very accurately. As this was a human operation, proofreading was intense, and mistakes had to be corrected.

Now we live in a different world. Not only computers talk to each other, but a complete publication can be created in its final form possibly from an identical computer to the one the translator uses, provided it has adequate software. This misleads many clients into the belief that any translator can always deliver an identical publication in another language.

Since it's not true, DTP operators thrive everywhere. As one of them, I wonder what kind of trouble I might face if I had to DTP a translation, say, from Turkish to Norwegian - two languages I don't understand.

On the other hand, as an ENPT translator who speaks IT, FR, and ES fairly well, I can do DTP for translations in any pair among these five languages. Just to make things clear, I keep a house policy of not translating FROM a language that I cannot translate TO equally well.

So my point is that there should be a market for multilingual DTP operators, and Proz might be a good way to put them in touch with translators, clients, or both. I am sure this would help reducing costs for all involved. Though I can't say anything on behalf of my colleagues in DTP, in such cases all I ask is the original pub, on paper or a PDF file, and the translation in plain TXT, without any cross-references. The translator is not expected to do any formatting other than putting the [Tab], [Space], and [Enter] in the right places. This should save some time. And time is money...


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