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Poll: Have you ever wished you could personally meet the author of the text you were translating?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:59
SITE STAFF
Nov 8, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever wished you could personally meet the author of the text you were translating?".

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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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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:59
French to English
+ ...
yes, so I could strangle him/her Nov 8, 2007

I'm kidding, of course. But some very poorly written texts really make me wonder about the people who penned them.

On a more serious note, I would love to meet an author whose literature I have been translating for years now. I already feel I know her quite intimately through her work, and would love to finally see her face to face. She lives on the other side of the ocean, however, so I doubt it will happen in the near future.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
I second that Nov 8, 2007

Mara Bertelsen wrote:
On a more serious note, I would love to meet an author whose literature I have been translating for years now. I already feel I know her quite intimately through her work, and would love to finally see her face to face. She lives on the other side of the ocean, however, so I doubt it will happen in the near future.
But some very poorly written texts really make me wonder about the people who penned them.


I can see that Mara and I are on the same wavelength

Yes, lots of times.

I’ve translated lots of well written documents on interesting subjects. I’ve often thought that it’d be interesting to have a conversation with the author of the text just to learn something new. I translated a course on immunology once. It was so fascinating that I wanted to meet the author personally to congratulate him on his work.

On the darker side…

At other times, I wanted to personally strangle the text writer for “composing” the useless gobbledegook they did. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are in positions of writing and don’t have a clue of how to string together a logical, clear sentence.


[Editado a las 2007-11-08 14:28]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:59
French to English
Me too Nov 8, 2007

Mara Bertelsen wrote:

I'm kidding, of course.

I'm not.
Or I could do a trade-off with them.
I promise not to throttle them, if they promise never to go anywhere near a word processor again as long as they live

But more seriously, yes, I do sometimes translate something and think - yes, I wouldn't mind going for a pint with the author.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:59
French to English
Indeed Nov 8, 2007

I think we have to accept that sometimes people are asked to document something when, in fairness to them, their penmanship was never really a criterion for employing them in the first place. I get this a lot with IT texts, and I think that it generally demonstrates that actually working in the field before attempting to translate in it can be an advantage

John Cutler wrote:
At other times, I wanted to personally strangle the text writer for “composing” the useless gobbledegook they did. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are in positions of writing and don’t have a clue of how to string together a logical, clear


I know, and sometimes they don't even finish their.....


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:59
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Some great authors Nov 8, 2007

I would really wanted to meet some authors personally, because I used to translate books (and still do sometimes), and I would not mind to meet some great people like Joseph Campbell, Karen Armstrong or Chuck Norris and Jackie Chan. Just to thank them for the fact they are.

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xxxMedway TS
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:59
German to English
+ ...
My thoughts exactly Nov 8, 2007

[quote]Mara Bertelsen wrote:

I second Mara's response exactly............. particuarly if it's a text that I've particularly enjoyed or hated for whatever reason. I'm often quite intrigued about what the author is like as a person


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:59
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Other Nov 8, 2007

It was quite a unique experience...

I translated a graduate-level textbook on solid-state physics from Hungarian into English. I had known the author personally beforehand, and we got on quite well, he was responsive to my queries, etc. More than a year ago I sent him the first part of the translation - well over 300 pages - which he corrected, and then we met to discuss modifications. So, he was the author and the editor in one person, which made the situation quite unique.

There are basically two kinds of corrections: the ones that you agree with - so, there is not too much to say about them apart from "Yes, that's OK" -, and others that you have objections against, so they must be discussed. So, for like twelve hours, we were trying to justify our points of view. This can be quite a challenge with someone whose English is good enough to communicate his research results to peers in specialist journals but who may not be aware / care of the importance of using a different kind of language in a textbook. (Oh, all those 5+-line sentences... No doubt, all information is there, but will the reaer really have the patience to decipher all those overcomplicated explanations?) From a physics viewpoint it was very instructive, OTOH it was really exhausting. It would have been so much simpler to do this in writing: even marking the OKs of agreement would have made it so much lighter: we would not have had the impression that we were just disagreeing on every discussed point. (Doing it in smaller batches was no option, as he lives in Hungary and I in France.)

The same happened with the second part of the book - perhaps I needed that reminder to see that this approach is pointless. I am now working on book 2, and it is reassuring to know that it will be different: he will mark up the pdf file, and I will have ample time to deal with the comments.

Attila


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
A memorable experience Nov 8, 2007

The question assumes that we have not met the author, but one of my most pleasant experiences was to meet the author of a children's book I translated. He had dinner with my family and we had a long and enjoyable conversation. Although we only met on that single occasion, it is a cherished memory, and we are always excited to see when another one of his books published because, unlike all the other many books on our shelves, we met him in person.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Touché Nov 8, 2007

Charlie Bavington wrote:

John Cutler wrote:
At other times, I wanted to personally strangle the text writer for “composing” the useless gobbledegook they did. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are in positions of writing and don’t have a clue of how to string together a logical, clear


I know, and sometimes they don't even finish their.....


I forgot to mention copying and pasting errors!


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:59
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I second Mara... Nov 8, 2007

...because right now I'm trying to understand the complex grammar of the Japanese inventor who translated into English a patent, which I'm translating now into Spanish.

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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:29
German to English
Yes Nov 8, 2007

Ideally, we should *always* be able to meet the authors of the texts we translate.

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:59
English to Polish
No Nov 8, 2007

... but I wished I had some of things I translate manuals of... like a DVD projector or milti-functional coffee maker



Anni


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 10:59
German
+ ...
I had the same thought Nov 8, 2007

yes, so I could strangle him/her

I would have settled for a black eye, but the sentiment is the same.

B


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joanna_j
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:59
English to Polish
+ ...
yes Nov 8, 2007

tectranslate wrote:

yes, so I could strangle him/her

I would have settled for a black eye, but the sentiment is the same.

B

seconded!


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