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Poll: The longest it's ever taken me to translate a difficult word/term was...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:06
SITE STAFF
Nov 29, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "The longest it's ever taken me to translate a difficult word/term was...".

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 11:06
English to Russian
+ ...
More than 48 hours Nov 29, 2007

Sometimes it is really tricky. It was in 2004 when I first came across the term "очки труб" and it was only several months ago that I found the right translation - "spectacle blinds"!

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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:06
Italian to English
+ ...
Still working on it... Nov 29, 2007

My personal favourites are the French "valoriser" and "privilégié" (heck, might as well throw in their Italian counterparts "valorizzare" and "privilegiato" too). Translating them for the context in question is not too much of a problem, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming of the (unlikely) day when an English equivalent will exist that caters for their many meanings.

So, still working on it.
(If anyone has that English equivalent I will be more than happy to hear it...! )


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:06
French to Spanish
+ ...
Compadre into French. Nov 29, 2007

Compadre, in Mexico, has a very specific and tricky meaning... a lot of "¡Compadre!" in Mexican films... impossible into French... still working on it... any suggestion, welcome.

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:06
English to Arabic
+ ...
KudoZ excluded... Nov 29, 2007

Kudoz questions excluded, I can't imagine myself sitting on the same word for longer than an hour!
Of course, if I posted the question on Kudoz, then it really depends on how long it took till I received the first answer.


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Sandra Petch
Local time: 09:06
French to English
+ ...
In the days before Internet... Nov 29, 2007

I remember spending several hours searching through reference books at the natural history museum in Paris for the name of a particular fly. I don't remember what it was in French or English but I did get a buzz when I found it

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:06
Member
English to Turkish
I'm still working on it... Nov 29, 2007

... with the help of 14 colleagues so far (11 Kudoz answerers + 3 peer graders)!



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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
> 48 hours Nov 29, 2007

I've been in business for 36 years, so if you say "ever", then I would have to say that back in the early days it could take a number of days to find the correct term by hunting in the library, etc.

Now it takes me no more than a minute or two, and it's not often that I have any trouble at all.


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JWSTRANS
Germany
Local time: 09:06
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Still working on it... Nov 29, 2007

Still dreaming of perfect translations for certain German legal terms....


Astrid


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:06
Spanish to English
One of the things I love about translating Nov 29, 2007

That is one of the things I love about translating, the search for the elusive term, except when I am just reaching the end of a long and arduous translation and running out of time...grrrr

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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 02:06
German to English
Unclosed KudoZ questions Nov 29, 2007

I still have a few KudoZ questions that I never really got a satisfactory answer to, either from other translators or the client. So - still working on it!

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Alfredo Tutino  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:06
English to Italian
+ ...
in translating novels... Nov 29, 2007

... needing a couple hundreds pages to find the "right" way to translate that elusive word or phrase or sentence found in the first few pages used to feel quite normal...

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Raffaella Cornacchini  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:06
English to Italian
+ ...
the translator's burden Nov 30, 2007

Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.
(T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets)


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:06
English to French
Research is translation work Nov 30, 2007

I'm happy to see all your answers.

I used to work in a company which had implemented a "time keeper". So you had to clock in in the morning, clock out for lunch, clock back in, clock out at night.

AND every time we had to do some research (on the Internet, in dictionaries), we had to click a button called "pause" because they didn't consider it as actual translation time.

Of course no one (i.e. no translator) was doing it. We tried to explain to them that research was part of translating but to no avail. I don't know if they're still using this button...

Emma


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