The lesser-used languages: useful for translation?
Thread poster: Macià Planas

Macià Planas
Local time: 01:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 9, 2007

I am a professional translator and my target languages are Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan.

I was thinking of learning some new languages this year, but not like French, German or Italian, I was thinking of something more like Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish or Romanian.

However, I don't really know if there are any translation jobs for translating from these languages into Portuguese/Spanish/Catalan.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alan R King
Local time: 02:02
Basque to English
+ ...
There are jobs, but... Jun 9, 2007

There is work translating out of (presumably, in you case) such languages, but fewer than out of "larger" languages. That, however, is not a problem, in principle, because the supply of competent translators who can deal with such languages is also much smaller. So, it's a smaller market, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is a less profitable one.

On the other hand, if all you're interested in is making money, you may be looking in the wrong place; perhaps others can provide better advice on that. Most people I know who work with such languages have other motives than simply love of money...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:02
French to English
+ ...
Notifications Jun 9, 2007

You could always set up job notifications for these language pairs (without listing yourself as working in them) just to get a feel for which ones are most in demand.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Macià Planas
Local time: 01:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good idea Jun 9, 2007

Anne Goff wrote:

You could always set up job notifications for these language pairs (without listing yourself as working in them) just to get a feel for which ones are most in demand.


Good idea, but I'm not sure if Proz jobs reflect the market. Do them?

[Edited at 2007-06-09 20:19]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maybe stick to EU languages? Jun 9, 2007

Eet wrote:

I am a professional translator and my target languages are Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan.


Given that your main target countries are Spain and Portugal, you may do well to stick to E.U. languages since there's bound to be trade-related and/or administrative work from those languages.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
lingomania
Local time: 10:02
Italian to English
Picking up Jun 9, 2007

I think Romanian is picking up since Romania has joined the EU recently. An opening market in my opinion.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 20:02
Russian to English
+ ...
Oh, really? Jun 10, 2007

How long do you think it will take you to learn a new language well enough to do professional quality translation? In my particular case, it took me , well, my whole life. Do you think it's worth investing that much time and effort to pick a few extra odd jobs here and there?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:02
English to Slovak
+ ...
Very good idea!!! Jun 10, 2007

Eet wrote:

I am a professional translator and my target languages are Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan.

I was thinking of learning some new languages this year, but not like French, German or Italian, I was thinking of something more like Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish or Romanian.

However, I don't really know if there are any translation jobs for translating from these languages into Portuguese/Spanish/Catalan.


I'm sure there will be, and very soon. Definetely Romanian or Bulgarian (learning the later could also help you with the languages like Russian or other Eastern European Languages).

Turkish will be on demand soon as well, but choosing one of the Eastern European Languages (which are very similar) would be a better choice. IMHO

Myself:
Slovak- mother tongue, Czech - more or less the same (very similar languages + the time spent at the uni in the Czech Republic); Polish - very similar to the dialect spoken in my hometown (more or less fluent); Russian - "A" level plus - more or less fluent; Bulgarian - can read and write plus everyday conversation, etc.

Think the EU and I'm sure you will make the right decision.

Rad


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 03:02
Turkish to English
+ ...
Turkish is in demand at present Jun 10, 2007

I can only speak from my personal experience, but I have witnessed an explosion in demand for translation from Turkish into English over the past two years. I have been working flat out for the past year and have had to reject a large number of job offers in this pair for lack of availability. Whether there would be much demand for translation from Turkish into the languages of the Iberian peninsula is another question, and not one on which I am competent to comment.
I am not sure whether the current growth in demand for translation from Turkish is fed by the prospect of Turkish EU membership, or by the spectacular levels of economic growth recorded in Turkey in recent years. It is clear that the fortunes of translators working into or out of Turkish are closely tied to that of the one country in which this language has de facto official status, i.e. Turkey. Turkey has historically proved to be a highly unstable country in both economic and political terms. Massive foreign debts overshadow the country's recent strong economic performance. A serious political crisis has recently emerged that has forced the ruling party to declare early elections. Turkey may very well find herself later this year with a very different government, and one which steers the country away from Europe. There are even rumours of another coup if the army does not like the outcome of the early elections. Personally I do not believe that Turkey will ever be accepted into the EU, anyway. In short, there is no guarantee that current high levels of demand for translation from Turkish will continue.
There is an argument that Turkish should become an EU language regardless of whether Turkey becomes a member. After all, Turkish is an official language of the Cyprus Republic which acceeded to the EU in 2004, and the 200,000 or so Turkish Cypriots are deemed to be EU members. It is surely an anomoly that I can submit official documents here in Cyprus written in Turkish, yet the same language has no official status at EU level. There are historic Turkish-speaking ethnic minorities in a number of EU member states (845,000 people in Bulgaria, 130,000 in Greece and 30,000 in Romania). Then there are large Turkish-speaking communities made up of more recent immigrants in several Western European countries, most notably Germany, a country which now has a large number of Turkish-speaking citizens. A Cypriot MEP recently advanced this argument in the European Parliament. Even so, I wouldn't bet on Turkish ever becoming an official EU language.
A final point is that Turkish, as a non Indo-European language whose vocabulary is based either on Turkic roots or borrowed from Arabic and Farsi, is much more difficult for a European to learn compared with even Slavonic languages (and I have studied Russian and Polish, so I speak from personal experience). It would take a European longer to acquire the level of competence required for a translator in Turkish compared to another European language from the Indo-European family. There are no irregular verbs in Turkish, though!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:02
English to Slovak
+ ...
Really, really? Jun 11, 2007

The Misha wrote:

How long do you think it will take you to learn a new language well enough to do professional quality translation? In my particular case, it took me , well, my whole life. Do you think it's worth investing that much time and effort to pick a few extra odd jobs here and there?


Don't think that learning a new language can do any harm to anyone. It might be a life-time mission (as you said) to reach "near native speaker" level, but why not?

Lotsa people start to work as translators after completing their "Translation studies" degree.

I can't see the reason why the one couldn't master any language in a couple of years to the level to be able to translate into her/his mother tongue?

After my last project (for a Japanese company), I've started to learn Japanese. Difficult; may never master it to use it as a translator, but it will not stop me from trying to learn it

Have a go Eet!! Good luck!!

Rad




[Edited at 2007-06-11 02:16]

[Edited at 2007-06-11 02:18]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:02
German to English
+ ...
Go for something you love Jun 11, 2007

As a translator, you know well the effort involved in learning a new language, so pick one you love, a language spoken in a country where you would like to spend time, a literature that you are interested in, etc. It will be worth it whether you end up getting jobs in the new language or not.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Macià Planas
Local time: 01:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Conclusions Jun 11, 2007

Thanks to all you have taken the effort to write in this topic. I have reached the following conclusions:

1) I will learn a language that I would love to learn
2) I think that if I do good publicity of my language combinations, I can get quite a lot of jobs from these lesser-used languages.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

The lesser-used languages: useful for translation?

Advanced search







WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



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