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Translators and interpreters: How different are we?
Thread poster: protolmach

protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Jun 25, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

I am the editor of SlavFile, the quarterly publication of the Slavic Languages Division of the American Translators Association. For the next issue , which will have a focus on interpreting, I got the idea of trying to experimentally test the hypothesis that translators and interpreters have different personality types. I found a personality test on the web that can be taken in less than 10 minutes and provides a four element Myers Briggs profile of the taker. The results I have so far gotten are truly fascinating, but I need some more data, especially from interpreters before I can draw any firm conclusion. I am asking anyone who would be interested in participating (especially interpreters) to take the test at http://www.kisa.ca/personality/ and send the results to me at lydiastone@verizon.net, telling me whether you work primarily with written or spoken material. If your work is about evenly divided tell me which activity you are more comfortable with. When I write up the results for our publication, I will be sure to post a copy on this site.

Thank you in advance on my own behalf and that of science.

Lydia Stone, Editor SlavFile


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protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Disclaimer Jun 25, 2008

Hi,
I am sorry I've posted it without any clarification. I am Elana Pick, the ATA Slavic Division Assistant Administrator. A dear friend and colleague of mine whose message you've read above, asked me to post it here as I have always been raving about this site and colleagues I was fortunate to meet here and work with on a number of projects.
Thank you and we hope the message above will interest you to the point that you'll spend 10 minutes having fun answering questions ...
Elana

[Редактировалось 2008-06-25 16:52]


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bishan sharma  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:52
English to Japanese
+ ...
In response to your request! Jun 26, 2008

protolmach wrote:

Dear Colleagues,

I am the editor of SlavFile, the quarterly publication of the Slavic Languages Division of the American Translators Association. For the next issue , which will have a focus on interpreting, I got the idea of trying to experimentally test the hypothesis that translators and interpreters have different personality types. I found a personality test on the web that can be taken in less than 10 minutes and provides a four element Myers Briggs profile of the taker. The results I have so far gotten are truly fascinating, but I need some more data, especially from interpreters before I can draw any firm conclusion. I am asking anyone who would be interested in participating (especially interpreters) to take the test at http://www.kisa.ca/personality/ and send the results to me at lydiastone@verizon.net, telling me whether you work primarily with written or spoken material. If your work is about evenly divided tell me which activity you are more comfortable with. When I write up the results for our publication, I will be sure to post a copy on this site.

Thank you in advance on my own behalf and that of science.

Lydia Stone, Editor SlavFile


Here is my result and I work for both written as well as spoken.

Test Results
Your personality type is INTJ.

Introverted (I) 61% Extraverted (E) 39%
Intuitive (N) 55% Sensing (S) 45%
Thinking (T) 60% Feeling (F) 40%
Judging (J) 68% Perceiving (P) 32%

Good luck!

Sharma B.C.


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Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:22
English to Slovak
+ ...
And this is mine. Jun 26, 2008

75% translation/25% interpreting

Your personality type is ISTJ.
Introverted (I) 57% Extraverted (E) 43%
Sensing (S) 64% Intuitive (N) 36%
Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
Judging (J) 64% Perceiving (P) 36%


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iseult  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:22
English to Polish
+ ...
interpreter Jun 26, 2008

Hi,

I work mostly as an interpreter.
My results:

Your personality type is INTP.

Introverted (I) 61% Extraverted (E) 39%
Intuitive (N) 86% Sensing (S) 14%
Thinking (T) 60% Feeling (F) 40%
Perceiving (P) 64% Judging (J) 36%


Strange I always though I was very judging, hmm


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Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 00:22
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Interpreter and Translator Jun 27, 2008

Your personality type is ENFJ.
Extraverted (E) 57% Introverted (I) 43%
Intuitive (N) 68% Sensing (S) 32%
Feeling (F) 65% Thinking (T) 35%
Judging (J) 55% Perceiving (P) 45%

This is very interesting. I was wondering if you could email me privately and maybe I can help sending this survey to my contact list of interpreters.

cheers
Atena


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Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:22
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Oh dear Jun 27, 2008

Here is my result (I only do translating, no interpreting):

Your personality type is ISTJ.
Introverted (I) 100% Extraverted (E) 0%
Sensing (S) 59% Intuitive (N) 41%
Thinking (T) 90% Feeling (F) 10%
Judging (J) 64% Perceiving (P) 36%

Shocking, huh?

[Edited at 2008-06-27 08:54]


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Lynda Tharratt  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:22
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
this was spot on Jun 27, 2008

When I looked up my personality type and the types of jobs we are suited for, I immediately recognized myself! I do both translating and interpreting and enjoy the balance that this provides. However, I enjoy translation more most days and would choose translation work over interpreting work even if the same amount of money were involved. I think it's also significant that for interpreting tasks I always prefer situations that I perceive as more challenging, ex. courts, hearings, domestic violence rather than routine medical check ups, welfare, insurance claims, etc.

Test Results
Your personality type is ENTP.

Extraverted (E) 61% Introverted (I) 39%
Intuitive (N) 73% Sensing (S) 27%
Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
Perceiving (P) 73% Judging (J) 27%

Interesting, thanks!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mostly translator Jun 27, 2008

Here is mine:

Extraverted (E) 57% Introverted (I) 43%
Sensing (S) 59% Intuitive (N) 41%
Thinking (T) 75% Feeling (F) 25%
Perceiving (P) 55% Judging (J) 45%

I am mostly a translator.

My brain probably has some underdimensioned circuits.

I feel I'm thoroughly unable to do simultaneous interpreting, as the in/out channels seem to use the same frequency, like CB radio: information can flow in one single direction at a time. Bandwidth seems to be good, as I am able to watch a video (i.e. the action), listen to the audio, read the subtitles, and at the same time check the translation, of course provided that I understand both languages. Even in languages I know barely enough for essential survival, like PL, I'm able to spot the "known" words.

Another compromised feature is my limited personal memory buffer. I can only do consecutive interpreting if the speaker is extremely committed to my success at that, and stops after every phrase. The brighter side of it is that my metrics in translating video for dubbing are superb, though solely based on personal talent or skill, since I never had any formal training for it. That's just because the small spoken chunk I am able store cannot turn into a long script in translation.

As a matter of fact, in most of my consecutive interpreting jobs so far, I knew the subject so thoroughly, that if the presenter suddenly passed out, I'd be able to finish the presentation on my own, though not doing CPR at the same time.

Nevertheless, I'm quite able to participate in meetings as an in-between for people who don't have a language in common, which is not exactly an interpreting job, as I'll be a party in that conversation. The opposite, too. I've successfully led a couple of long meetings where everybody understood fairly well all the 3-4 languages spoken there, but each one only spoke 1-2 of these fluently. These figures would be higher if Spanglish, Franglais, and Portuñol were counted as languages too.

So I might be, say, exhibit # 307 for someone atempting to prove that some physical features of the brain - the thing I called "circuitry" - have an influence on the inclination towards translation or interpreting.

There is another physical evidence - though unrelated - of the effects of language change in the human body. An American journalist who has been living in Brazil for many years wrote about it. In PT & ES it's called embocadura, the general shape of the mouth to speak a certain language, or to blow a musical instrument; I didn't find the right word for it in EN. This man, Matthew Shirts, noticed it when he met a friend of his after some decades, and was told that his physiognomy had changed after speaking mostly Portuguese instead of English (AFAIK his wife & kids are Brazilian) for such a long time.

I felt it too, though in a more painful way. Can't help it, whenever I switch between PT and EN too often and too fast, after a while I suddenly bite my (usually right) cheek, really hard! Then I slow down, because it really hurts. What I found out, though I don't speak ES so fluently, is that the "embocaduras" for ES and EN (US) are close enough, if not the same, so it's much easier and safer to shift between them than with PT-BR and EN-US.

Maybe this is the road to get rid of a foreign accent completely in a foreign language, but I'll leave it to scientists researching in this area, if there are any.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Wondering, if chosen wrong Jun 27, 2008

My personality type is ISTJ:
Introverted (I) 82% Extraverted (E) 18%
Sensing (S) 55% Intuitive (N) 45%
Thinking (T) 55% Feeling (F) 45%
Judging (J) 64% Perceiving (P) 36%

(I must say, I find some entries of the test unclear or somewhat illogical).

I translate mostly.

Funny, one of the links, that I've followed, suggests the following careers:

* Business Executives, Administrators and Managers
* Accountants and Financial Officers
* Police and Detectives
* Judges
* Lawyers
* Medical Doctors / Dentists
* Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts, and Computer Specialists
* Military Leaders

But nothing about translation/interpreting And I haven't even thought about military! Gee, I could have become colonel by now


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Enrica Brancaleoni  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 13:22
English to Italian
+ ...
my result Jun 27, 2008

Extraverted (E) 50% Introverted (I) 50%
Intuitive (N) 59% Sensing (S) 41%
Thinking (T) 65% Feeling (F) 35%
Perceiving (P) 64% Judging (J) 36%

I am just starting off as a freelancer. I studied conference interpreting and I prefer interpreting to translation, a lot!


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Carol So  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:22
Member (2008)
English to Chinese
+ ...
My Result Jun 27, 2008

This is my result:

Your personality type is ISFJ.

Introverted (I) 82% Extraverted (E) 18%
Sensing (S) 59% Intuitive (N) 41%
Feeling (F) 65% Thinking (T) 35%
Judging (J) 86% Perceiving (P) 14%

I studied community interpreting and started off as a freelancer interpreter, but now translation represents most of my work.


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Helen Farrell  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:22
Italian to English
+ ...
Mainly translation Jun 28, 2008

I'm ISFJ:

Introverted (I) 61% Extraverted (E) 39%
Sensing (S) 59% Intuitive (N) 41%
Feeling (F) 70% Thinking (T) 30%
Judging (J) 73% Perceiving (P) 27%

I mainly work as a translator and editor (with the occasional interpreting job).


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Patricia Baldwin
United States
Local time: 04:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
70 % Interpreter and 30% Translator. Jun 30, 2008

I offered the test to the other interpreters I work with and most were ENFP personality types.

On a typical week I interpret at the courts, for the government, for psychologists, for business gurus and their workshops, at trade fairs, engineering training sessions, for the media, for schools and universitites (the academic scenario), and ..., and..., and...

Ah..during week-ends I translate books, poems and songs for various publishers.
I also have time for volunteering at an animal shelter where I walk and bathe big or small dogs, young or old...I have a family and am active in church activities (where I translate a lot too!).


I have never had an identical week in my whole life and I love it. I have been translating and interpreting for more than 25 years. Now I am a little more settled down...when I lived in Argentina, besides translating etc. , I was a university professor, more than 60 students per class.

Ah yes.. I also like to answer kudoz A LOT and find time for that!!!!))


My personality type is ENFP, my test results....

Extraverted (E) 68% Introverted (I) 32%
Intuitive (N) 73% Sensing (S) 27%
Feeling (F) 70% Thinking (T) 30%
Perceiving (P) 82% Judging (J) 18%

Work Environment: ENFPs are pleasant, easygoing, and usually fun to work with. They come up with great ideas, and are a major asset in brainstorming sessions. Followthrough tends to be a problem, however; they tend to get bored quickly, especially if a newer, more interesting project comes along. They also tend to be procrastinators, both about meeting hard deadlines and about performing any small, uninteresting tasks that they've been assigned. ENFPs are at their most useful when working in a group w ith a J or two to take up the slack.

ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice; they will always make a point of launching one of their crusades against some aspect of it.

Cheers!



[Edited at 2008-06-30 18:31]


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 13:22
Swedish to English
+ ...
Only translation Jun 30, 2008

INFJ... hmmm... "INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication."

Still don't think interpreting is for me though.


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