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Do You Translate Texts (For Clients) That Have An Agenda/Bias That You Don't Personally Agree With?
Thread poster: Barbara Cochran, MFA

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
That prison Oct 21

Serious question coming up, Tom!! ...

Why couldn't you take the prison thing?


expressisverbis
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:14
German to Serbian
+ ...
Ugly, gloomy designs, bunk beds, windows too small? Oct 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Serious question coming up, Tom!! ...

Why couldn't you take the prison thing?


Anyway, on topic: there could also be parts or aspects of a larger text/project I don't personally agree with. What then, drop the whole project because of three paragraphs?

However, there are topics I consider unethical and that I would turn down, however I am rarely offered such projects.


expressisverbis
 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 13:14
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
A bit off? Oct 21

Chris S wrote:

I remember way back at the beginning of my career when I was ghost-writing this book called Mein Kampf for a German client that the flavour of the guy’s politics was a bit off, but I told myself, you’re a professional, Siegfried, there’s no place for personal sentiment here, it’s a free country and if you don’t do it, someone else will.

If we want to make a stand, I suspect we will make a greater difference by not using fossil fuels and not gassing people.


You write "the flavour of the guy's politics was a bit off". Surely you know that 'the guy' is Hitler, a dictator who gave orders to murder millions of Jews and whose occupation forces tortured and murdered thousands more in almost every country in Western Europe, including yours and mine.

I am truly astounded that you trivialize that as 'a bit off' and that you would even think of translating it. True, if you don't do it, someone else probably will but you could be one of the many who will say 'no' to this and keep your integrity as a person and as a translator intact.


Barbara Cochran, MFA
MollyRose
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Method architecture Oct 21

A committed method architect might rob a bank or something, and deliberately get caught for the specific purpose of being put away for a while simply to get ideas to do away with that ugliness and build the perfect penitentiary after release. Like Robert Redford in that film Brubaker, except he was the new warden, not an architect, but you get the idea. An in situ questionnaire for inmates to complete in the yard, maybe. Which is an effective synergy-builder, by the way.

Chris S
JennyFreelance
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
@Tina - that struggle Oct 21

I'm sure Chris's humour doesn't mean to offend. Many things, in fact, are denounced by humour. Would you say Charlie Chaplin was trivialising the issue in The Great Dictator? Was John Cleese trivialising the war in the Fawlty Towers "The Germans" episode? Cleese's script went so far as to actually mention the like of Goebbels, Himmler and Bormann, and he even goose-stepped during the sketch with his finger on his upper lip to simulate a moustache. Admittedly the Chaplin film was released in 1940... See more
I'm sure Chris's humour doesn't mean to offend. Many things, in fact, are denounced by humour. Would you say Charlie Chaplin was trivialising the issue in The Great Dictator? Was John Cleese trivialising the war in the Fawlty Towers "The Germans" episode? Cleese's script went so far as to actually mention the like of Goebbels, Himmler and Bormann, and he even goose-stepped during the sketch with his finger on his upper lip to simulate a moustache. Admittedly the Chaplin film was released in 1940 before the full horrific scale of it all was revealed, but people will still laugh at it today.

"A bit off" is simply another way of saying "despicable", if you read between the lines.
Collapse


writeaway
Cilian O'Tuama
Eric Azevedo
JennyFreelance
Christine Andersen
Kay Denney
Zibow Retailleau
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:14
German to Serbian
+ ...
Actually. Oct 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

A committed method architect might rob a bank or something, and deliberately get caught for the specific purpose of being put away for a while simply to get ideas to do away with that ugliness and build the perfect penitentiary after release. Like Robert Redford in that film Brubaker, except he was the new warden, not an architect, but you get the idea. An in situ questionnaire for inmates to complete in the yard, maybe. Which is an effective synergy-builder, by the way.


I watched a documentary about a woman prisoner (a jewelry thief) who had some painting and drawing skills and offered to repaint the walls in all rooms around the prison to make them look more beautiful. They let her do that .. and while doing her painting project she figured out the full prison layout and a perfect way to escape, so she did. Another probable thing in the architectural plan is that things need to be planned so it's really hard to escape (despite security), that probably makes it much more difficult for the architect. Tom also probably didn't want to add a toilet bowl in the bedroom in his plan.

Sorry for the off topic.


Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Prisoners Oct 21

So she did it the other way round, getting out of prison instead of getting into prison.

 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 14:14
English to Russian
+ ...
Time to change the trade? Oct 21

Jan Truper wrote:

fossil fuel, airline

Why not? Because they are destroying the planet we live on and I don't want to waste my life supporting evil.

[Edited at 2020-10-21 06:55 GMT]


Since translation is needed for international businesses there is none that can survive without both because people in international business travel. So, indirectly, you serve those industries anyway. What heats your home, if I may ask?

Sweet child Greta hitched a ride on a yakht but did she know how many reporters bought plane tickets to meet her??? At least she was a child...


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 13:14
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jokes Oct 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

I'm sure Chris's humour doesn't mean to offend. Many things, in fact, are denounced by humour. Would you say Charlie Chaplin was trivialising the issue in The Great Dictator? Was John Cleese trivialising the war in the Fawlty Towers "The Germans" episode? Cleese's script went so far as to actually mention the like of Goebbels, Himmler and Bormann, and he even goose-stepped during the sketch with his finger on his upper lip to simulate a moustache. Admittedly the Chaplin film was released in 1940 before the full horrific scale of it all was revealed, but people will still laugh at it today.

"A bit off" is simply another way of saying "despicable", if you read between the lines.


Making jokes on TV or in films, where the ridicule is obvious, is different from seeing it written in black and white. Chris is no Charlie Chaplin. All I'm saying is that you need to be careful what you joke about and how it may be perceived. As for me, this joke rubbed me the wrong way.


Mervyn Henderson
Barbara Cochran, MFA
Helen Shiner
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:14
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Because Oct 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Serious question coming up, Tom!! ...

Why couldn't you take the prison thing?


Because my approach to architecture is based on encouraging social interaction and designing spaces that are pleasant. But I was told I couldn't do that. I don't know how to design inhuman, unpleasant places.



[Edited at 2020-10-21 19:02 GMT]


Eric Azevedo
Mervyn Henderson
JennyFreelance
P.L.F.Persio
Kay Denney
mughwI
MollyRose
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:14
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Special Oct 21

Tina Vonhof wrote:
All I'm saying is that you need to be careful what you joke about and how it may be perceived. As for me, this joke rubbed me the wrong way.


I created a special thread just for Chris and Mervyn in the hope that their flippant sense of what I suppose is "humour" would find an outlet and would keep them away from the more serious threads. Alas, it hasn't worked. Further action may be necessary. They seem to be intent on destroying every discussion in these forums, on every subject. And you can expect one/both of them to come up with some smart-aleck response to this comment too.

[Edited at 2020-10-21 19:03 GMT]


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
WOW! Oct 21

Tom in London wrote:

Tina Vonhof wrote:
All I'm saying is that you need to be careful what you joke about and how it may be perceived. As for me, this joke rubbed me the wrong way.


I created a special thread just for Chris and Mervyn in the hope that their flippant sense of what I suppose is "humour" would find an outlet and would keep them away from the more serious threads. Alas, it hasn't worked. Further action may be necessary. They seem to be intent on destroying every discussion in these forums, on every subject. And you can expect one/both of them to come up with some smart-aleck response to this comment too.

[Edited at 2020-10-21 19:03 GMT]




Rachel Fell
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
@Tina Oct 21

Tina Vonhof wrote:
I am truly astounded that you trivialize that as 'a bit off'

I am sorry to offend you, Tina. I would say, though, that either you didn’t read my post very carefully or you have been a bit quick to take offence. I haven’t trivialised anything. The use of understatement for rhetorical effect is very common in Britain at least.

I also think it’s pretty obvious that I know who wrote Mein Kampf and what he would later go on to do. And that I did not in fact ghost-write it for him.

So why did I tell this tall tale? To poke holes in the argument that it’s fine to translate absolutely anything because we’re professionals / because someone else would if we didn’t / even war criminals deserve the very best legal representation / Nazi prison guards were just following orders.

Of course we shouldn’t just translate anything.


mughwI
P.L.F.Persio
 

JennyFreelance
Australia
Local time: 07:14
Member (Nov 2020)
Bosnian to English
+ ...
tongue in cheek Oct 22

Tina Vonhof wrote:

Chris S wrote:

I remember way back at the beginning of my career when I was ghost-writing this book called Mein Kampf for a German client that the flavour of the guy’s politics was a bit off, but I told myself, you’re a professional, Siegfried, there’s no place for personal sentiment here, it’s a free country and if you don’t do it, someone else will.

If we want to make a stand, I suspect we will make a greater difference by not using fossil fuels and not gassing people.


You write "the flavour of the guy's politics was a bit off". Surely you know that 'the guy' is Hitler, a dictator who gave orders to murder millions of Jews and whose occupation forces tortured and murdered thousands more in almost every country in Western Europe, including yours and mine.

I am truly astounded that you trivialize that as 'a bit off' and that you would even think of translating it. True, if you don't do it, someone else probably will but you could be one of the many who will say 'no' to this and keep your integrity as a person and as a translator intact.


Of course it should never be trivialized or referred to flippantly, but I personally believe that the ability to keep a sense of humor, sometimes in the most horrific circumstances, is one of humanities best qualities.

[Edited at 2020-10-22 07:22 GMT]


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Prisons Oct 22

That was a reasonable explanation of the prison thing. I see that now.

 
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