Poll: I would like to have been the first translator of
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:51
SITE STAFF
Jan 20, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "I would like to have been the first translator of".

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


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Szymon Metkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:51
Member (2006)
German to Polish
+ ...
I would be the first to translate... Jan 20, 2008

... German and Austrian codes of law into Polish

And I will some day!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:51
English to Russian
+ ...
Other Jan 21, 2008

I would like to have enough of creative and well-paying translation work in the fields where I specialize or work in.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 16:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Been there, done that! Jan 21, 2008

The poll question refers to early technological papers, which is open to interpretation, especially if we considerer the phenominal rate of development of technology in recent decades and the equally rapid demise of pioneer systems.

I'm happy enough to have had the opportunity, as the only French to English technical translator working in-house at the European Broadcasting Union, back in the 1980s and 1990s, to translate many ground-breaking research papers that lead the way to the introduction of digital technology in radio and television studios worldwide, and the development of the DVB and DAB systems now rolling out across Europe ... and the world.

Among the firsts under my belt are:

- Specification of the - then revolutionary / already defunct - MAC/packet systems for broadcasting scrambled analogue component video with digital stereo sound. The development of these systems was coordinated by the late Prof. Henri Mertens, working with dozens of research engineers mostly from across Europe, and as a Belgian he drafted everything in French.

- Research papers dealing with satellite broadcasting of conventional analogue television signals using high-power satellites in the 12 GHz band, and experimental HDTV broadcasting in the 23 GHz band.

- Hundreds of pages of verbatim reports of the committee meetings in which the world's major broadcast standards bodies (EBU, SMPTE etc.) worked together with manufacturers (Sony, Panasonic, Marconi (!) and others) to develop the world's first digital television tape recorder for use in broadcast studios. This became the D1 standard using two-inch magnetic tape; the work was coordinated by my former colleague Jean-Jacques Peters - another Belgian.

- The very first published papers outlining the theory of COFDM (coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) which is the basis of the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) systems. These first papers were written by Daniel Pommier and his colleagues at the Centre commun d'études de télévision et télécommunications (CCETT), in Rennes (France) - and although the French texts were easy enough they caused some major headaches on account of the complexity of the mathematics involved. From those beginnings I provided support to the entire development of the DAB and DVB systems through to the publication of the relevant standards by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI), translation of learned papers explaining the theory and system concepts, plus a host of promotional materials designed to persuade the world's broadcasters to adopt these new digital systems in preference to those being developed at the same time in the United States, Japan and elsewhere.

It was a great privilege to have known and worked with dozens of research engineers who collaborated in the development of these systems - and that was indeed one of the great compensations for the long hours spent translating their papers, the standards developed as a result of their work, and numerous learned articles in the specialist press explaining for broadcast engineers around the world what was being developed, how it worked (in the minutest detail) and how it would revolutionize broadcasting. Several of these projects lead to the European Broadcasting Union receiving Emmy Awards (the television industry's equivalent of the 'Oscars') for technological achievement.

The downside to this was that partly as a result of the close collaboration that was established and maintained between all these experts across Europe and the rest of the world, many of them became proficient writers of English and the need for translation from French to English declined - to the point that my employer eventually decided there was insufficient justification for a full-time in-house translator (the 'final straw' came when France abandoned François Mitterand's policy of obliging all French(wo)men to speak and write in French when addressing international organizations...). The English tide was so strong, even, that some years later the organization abandoned French as an official language in the technical domain. Fortunately, I was able to move into the chief technical editor's chair, where I continued to be very closely involved with those same developments.

Thinking for a moment about really early technological papers in my field, I guess some of the names that would crop up would be Benjamin Franklin, Marconi, Tesla, De Forest, et al. Of course those 19th and early 20th century pioneers of wireless did not write in my source languages, so would they would not have had need of my services. Nonetheless, even if there had been opportinuties for collaboration I'm not at all sure I would have had the same sense of involvement in their work. There was a fundamental difference between their individualistic 'pie in the sky' way of working and the collaborative goal-oriented approach used in more recent times. The 19th century pioneers spent much time observing natural phenomena and dreaming up things that might be done if they could harness those phenomena: Franklin, for example, pondered whether he could 'catch' the energy in a stroke of lightning (yes, he could - and did! - but he had no idea what he might use the energy for...); Marconi questioned whether he could carry a message across the Atlantic Ocean without wires (yes, he could - and did! - and later, in a fit of remorse as he thought of the poential uses of 'wireless', said it would be of no benefit to Mankind...); Tesla questioned whether he could cure medical conditions such as arthritis using high-voltages (well, his degree of success is still being debated in the medical profession - but he tried it and in the process developed electromagnetic devices that helped to advance the technology of radio transmission); De Forest asked "What happens if we put a grid between the cathode and anode of a thermionic diode?" (he found could modify the current - and his 'Audion' tube was the world's first electronic amplifier).

What was different in the 1980s was that the latter-day pioneers started from purely theoretical considerations and worked their way through to practical, functioning systems which, when observed a posteriori, were found to work as predicted.

I can't help feeling that if I had been alongside Benjamin Franklin as he flew his kite in a thunderstorm I would have been telling him "Hey, Ben! - You're bonkers! This is dangerous! What's the point?" Who knows? - he might have been disuaded from his investigations and we might, today, be sending e-mail by carrier pigeon!

MediaMatrix


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mohsin Alabdali  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 23:51
English to Arabic
+ ...
Reverse Translationof The Arabian Nights - I'd Like to be First to Do It. Jan 21, 2008

I think the Richard Burton translation of the Arabian Nights into English is not simply a translation of a great work of literature but a creation of another great work of literature. For this reason, I think it would be fun to reverse translate from English to Arabic. I'd live to do this myself but consideration of age and other responsibilites preclude me from such a possibility. Probabaly some younger translator with the time and energy to undergo such a task would venture to do so.

I suspect a reverse translation of the Arabian Nights by a competent translator would creat yet a third great work of literature. I know the Arabic source and the Burton translation into English are not simple mirror images but are fascinating linguistic adventures.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elena Carbonell  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:51
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translating my favourite TV series ever!! Jan 21, 2008

I would love to translate Firefly (by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear) into Spanish. It would be creative, fun and a big challenge since the original is pun-loaded.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
Literature, TV, plays... anything with dialogue Jan 21, 2008

Last year, I translated a new novel and co-translated a collection of oral histories, and both jobs were fantastic. I'd love to do more work like that.

I particularly like translating comedy and humor, but the opportunities to do that are rare.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Denise DeVries  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:51
Spanish to English
+ ...
spiritual poetry Jan 22, 2008

for example, the works of Luciano Pizziconi, some of the Latin American poets, etc.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Sandro C  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:51
English to Georgian
+ ...
Other Jan 22, 2008

At the moment I am pursuing very realistic goals – to further refine and diversify my skills in the areas of law, economy, education, human rights, international organisations, etc. In the long run, when and if I find myself mature enough to embark on the road of literary translation, I would love to translate Georgian classics into English…

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:51
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Please edit this for the article collection! Jan 22, 2008

mediamatrix wrote:

I'm happy enough to have had the opportunity, as the only French to English technical translator working in-house at the European Broadcasting Union, back in the 1980s and 1990s, to translate many ground-breaking research papers that lead the way to the introduction of digital technology in radio and television studios worldwide, and the development of the DVB and DAB systems now rolling out across Europe ... and the world.

Among the firsts under my belt are:
...
...
...
I can't help feeling that if I had been alongside Benjamin Franklin as he flew his kite in a thunderstorm I would have been telling him "Hey, Ben! - You're bonkers! This is dangerous! What's the point?" Who knows? - he might have been disuaded from his investigations and we might, today, be sending e-mail by carrier pigeon!

MediaMatrix


Fascinating post, Mediamatrix!
Have you thought of editing it for the articles collection?
Please do! It should be preserved somewhere a bit more accessible than in the bulk of the discussion forums.
And thanks for taking the time to write it.

Christine


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Odile Stuart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:51
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
historical document Jan 22, 2008

I would love one day to translate documents (historical and literary) from the XIXth century, anything around the French revolution and the napoleonic times, specially if fresh documents were "unearthed"... ahh !

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: I would like to have been the first translator of

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums