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Thread poster: Raf Uzar

Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 14:47
Polish to English
Mar 5, 2009

I've just come across a fresh post on http://transubstantiation.wordpress.com/ which talks about what up and coming translators need to know. I've whittled it down to four requirements:

1. Practical Translation Procedures
2. Translation Theory
3. CAT Tools
4. Business Knowledge

Do you guys agree? Must new translators fulfil these four requirements?


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:47
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Depends Mar 6, 2009

Hi Raf,
I think it depends on what area(s) you work in as a translator. Obviously, a literary translator doesn't need to know about business (unless you're referring just to the translator's own business) and it is highly unlikely that he/she would use a CAT tool.

I have been translating for over a decade and do not use a CAT tool.

Not sure what you mean by "Translation theory," or Practical translation procedures," for that matter. Could you explain?


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Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 14:47
Polish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Amy asks, Raf answers... Mar 6, 2009

Thanks for the question, Amy.
I understand CAT as more than just translation memories and the business of localisation. For me, CAT also includes word processors, the internet and everything that uses the computer.
By translation theory, I agree with the author of http://transubstantiation.wordpress.com/ and believe that translators should have an understanding of the basic theories of translation and equivalence which have helped me, for example, get a better insight into why some things work in translation and others don't.
Translation procedures: the basic organisational approach of the translator to his/her work i.e. the need to observe, analyse and interpret the source before beginning work, followed by re-interpretation, the translation act itself, proofing, editing and re-editing. I think this is vital knowledge for the translation 'freshman'.


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:47
French to German
+ ...
Sure Mar 6, 2009

Raf Uzar wrote:

Do you guys agree? Must new translators fulfil these four requirements?


That's what translation courses are for.

It's not new to me, except for the CAT tools which were not availabe 25 years ago.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:47
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Vital things that are missing... Mar 6, 2009

...like a recommendation to read, read, read in both the source and target languages, and watch and listen all sorts of media in the source of target languages. Unfortunately many new translators lack a sufficient knowledge of the source language to offer translation services, even if their teachers convinced them otherwise.

...like a recommendation to practice writing skills or taking courses on writing in the target language.


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Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 14:47
Polish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Ideas... Mar 6, 2009

Eric Hahn,
I think time and experience brings all these things together (even the CAT tools).

Tomás Cano Binder, CT,
A wonderful recommendation!


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Licia Oziantini
Italy
Local time: 14:47
English to Italian
+ ...
speed Mar 6, 2009

How fast a translator must be? I mean, how many words can you translate in an hour?
Lycia


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:47
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A very touchy topic Mar 7, 2009

Licia Oziantini wrote:
How fast a translator must be? I mean, how many words can you translate in an hour? Lycia


This is a very touchy topic indeed! This has been discussed several times in the past in Proz's fora and no agreement was reached about what is normal. It will of course depend on the nature of the text, the source and target languages, whether you know the matter well or not, how fast you can type, how many interruptions you have during the job, etc.

You might want to set up a topic about it in an Italian forum, asking people what is their average throughput in English into Italian. In the case of English into Spanish, the average seems to be in the range of 300-350 English words per hour, although I know that many colleagues here in Proz do a lot more than that.


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:47
French to German
+ ...
It depends Mar 7, 2009

Licia Oziantini wrote:

How fast a translator must be? I mean, how many words can you translate in an hour?
Lycia


The lower the rate, the faster the work


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:47
English to German
+ ...
Good grief! :-) Mar 7, 2009

Eric Hahn wrote:

Licia Oziantini wrote:

How fast a translator must be? I mean, how many words can you translate in an hour?
Lycia


The lower the rate, the faster the work


So, Eric, does that mean that:

- You charge less for rush jobs?

- You deliver shoddy work after you agreed to a low rate?

- You ever deliver anything less than top-quality?


I can't follow you. What piece of advice is that supposed to be?


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:47
French to German
+ ...
The meaning is ... Mar 7, 2009

... that with low rates, you'll need high speeds to earn the same money.

BTW, it's not an advice, but a statement.


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:47
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Another one Mar 7, 2009

I think it is important for translators to have excellent research skills.


[Edited at 2009-03-07 19:17 GMT]


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:47
French to German
+ ...
Research skills Mar 7, 2009

Do you mean googeling skills ? It was even harder before we got the Internet.

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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:47
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Research skills Mar 7, 2009

I mean researching the subject matter - you can't translate something you don't understand - and researching correct terminology. I have seen many translations where the translator simply did not have an adequate understanding of the subject. Just looking at Kudoz questions and answers reveals a lot about the poor research skills of many of the people who are translating.

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Raf Uzar
Poland
Local time: 14:47
Polish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Need for Speed? Mar 8, 2009

I'm not convinced that translators should be measured by their word rate and I'd even go so far as to say that this is a poor marker by which to assess up and coming translators. Speed is something you learn (and gain) with experience and it's NOT something that should be a fundamental requirement for those new in the field. Quality not quantity.

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