Spanish into English medical translators: why don't you participate in answering KudoZ questions?
Thread poster: liz askew
liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:37
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2013

Hi,

I am always interested to see that there are lots of you out there who translate from Spanish into English in the medical field and quote for jobs posted on this subject. That being said, hardly any of you actually contribute to queries posted on Proz. Is there a reason for this? Are you too busy and overloaded with work? Why don't you share your knowledge with others?

I am posting this out of curiosity and hope some of you have time to answer.

Liz Askew


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Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
In my case... Jun 13, 2013

a) I've pretty much given up on answering any type of KudoZ question due to lack of time, unless I know the answer immediately without having to do a huge amount of Googling.

b) There are far too many people asking seemingly trivial questions that a quick search would resolve.

c) I've blocked a huge number of people (30 or so at the last count) who continually ask hundreds or thousands of questions but never answer them. If they're not willing to help others I'm not willing to help them.

d) I don't translate medical reports, which seem to be the source of most questions, especially the abbreviations.

e) You usually beat me to it!!

Andy


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:37
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I may have to implement c) Jun 13, 2013

That's if I have the willpower....

even though I am pretty busy myself (in fact have never been busier!) I still look up stuff!

By the way, thanks for answering, at least you have taken the time.

All the best to you Andrew!


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:37
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't specialise in the field Jun 13, 2013

I still don't trust myself to translate medical texts but I'm prepared to learn, just in case, and I read the answers!

Liz, whenever I see that you've posted an answer I know that it has to be right and there's no point in searching for a better one!


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Texte Style
Local time: 08:37
French to English
Medical translation is a serious matter Jun 13, 2013

I rarely participate in Kudoz because everyone beats me to it.

However I think that if someone needs to ask lots of questions for a medical translation, they should not be doing that translation in the first place. If I were a medical translator I might be able to give the right answer but I would be really frightened about the rest of the text. Suppose the translator refrains from asking another question because they don't realise how much they don't know? So no way would I encourage these people to continue accepting work that's out of their comfort zone.


And Liz, of course everyone wants to Askew and no-one else


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do Jun 13, 2013

But I only do it when I have seen the question, I am already sure of the answer and no one has given that answer yet. I don't mind participating in any field.

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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:37
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Answers in Spanish Jun 13, 2013

Hi, it is not only in Spanish this happens. Whenever i asked EN>MT, no one answered, so I stopped asking and when I looked up directory to see position, I found only 1 person had ever answered any questions. So, you cannot blame me for not asking/answering. I answer other language pairs I work in

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Kevin Clayton
Spain
Local time: 08:37
Member (2012)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Although I haven’t actually bid on a ProZ job in months and months… Jun 14, 2013

My reasons for not participating in KudoZ are a combination of Andrew’s (thanks Andrew for saving me the time!), namely “a”, “d”, and “e”.

I also don’t receive KudoZ notification emails anymore, which contributes to “e”. And I don’t like agreeing or disagreeing with an answer without having done the research myself (and I rarely know the answer already). At the very minimum though, I should make more of an effort to agree/disagree and participate that way.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not really my area Jun 14, 2013

I can only speak for myself. I tend to suggest answers to kudoz queries in almost any field if I think it'll help, but I'm not really a medical translator per se. I have done a few med translations in my time, but whenever I'm offered one I always need to be sure that I'm up to the task - usually in close collaboration with either the author/s or someone more versed in the medical niceties of the text in question. I'm doing fewer and fewer actual medical texts these days anyway, although I do a lot of work in related areas like bio and genetics.

Nor am I expert in all the abbreviations, shorthand and acronyms used in medical texts, and in fact I usually stipulate that my clients define any such mysteries for me beforehand (in all fields, not just medical) to save time.

My impression is that there aren't many "real" medical translators out there, or perhaps they're all too busy actually working to be helping people out on kudoz...

PS: I also second what Dr A. Frankland says.

[Edited at 2013-06-14 07:03 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Quid of the question Jun 14, 2013

Texte Style wrote:

...I think that if someone needs to ask lots of questions for a medical translation, they should not be doing that translation in the first place...


And Liz, of course everyone wants to Askew and no-one else


Exactly!


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GMRT
United States
Re: Feedback Jun 14, 2013

Hi,

I am new to this discussion board. I found it really interesting to participate into. Looking forward to gain some good things here and sharing my thoughts as well with the other members.






[Edited at 2013-06-14 07:10 GMT]


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:37
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Pharmaceutical Jun 14, 2013

I don’t do medical per se, although I think pharmaceutical gets categorised under the same heading here. I very rarely answer any Kudoz questions for a combination of Andrew’s and Texte Style’s reasons. I’ll happily answer any questions on other translator forums I belong to where there isn’t the same abuse of the system. My only personal rule with Kudoz is to sow more than I reap and I keep the ratio of questions asked to answered at 1:3.

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:37
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Other options Jun 14, 2013

As you know, Liz, I do participate fairly actively here, although I tend to run off quick answers when I know them, rather than researching deep into the Internet, which I figure the asker could probably do himself/herself. It's great that you take the time to help with the researching side too, because your answers are very reliable.

However, I also take part in the Tremedica terminology forum, where there are no questions from people who shouldn't be doing a medical translation in the first place. The brainstorming principle works much better because everyone makes a valuable contribution. There's no rush for points or rudeness.

I've also just joined the ITI medical & pharma network, which also has an active terminology forum.

When I have a question, I can be sure of getting a better response from these other, more expert forums.

To answer your original question about why there are so many bids for medical jobs and so few people answering KudoZ questions, I think you're comparing apples and pears. The profiles of these apples and pears are quite different.


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Spanish into English medical translators: why don't you participate in answering KudoZ questions?

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