Off topic: Do you talk to yourself when you translate? How?
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:32
+ ...
Oct 26, 2007

A few months ago I posted a thread about miming out my translations. I was glad to find out that not only I'm not alone with my miming, but also there are many translators out there that talk to themselves when they translate. I don't mean proofreading out loud, I mean having actual conversations.

Last night, I was trying to find an alternative way to translate a term I wasn't happy with. I found the translation on dictionaries, glossaries, my client's glossary and finally the KOG's, but I still didn't like it. So, after spending probably 20 minutes with this two-word term, I gave up and said out loud: "Fine! I don't like it but I guess I'm gonna have to use it". Then I realized, who the hell am I talking to? And that's not the first time I've done that.

I'd love to read other postings about work-related schizophrenia.



Local time: 23:32
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
I like the way you share it Oct 26, 2007

Haha, great mind alike. Do you love song lyric translation? Then you should be singing like that many times.icon_biggrin.gif


Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:32
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I am sure you're not alone. Oct 26, 2007

I constantly mutter to myself, things like "who the hell wrote this", or "this is a novel approach to grammar", or simply, "ay, por favor".
It's a good way to relieve the silence without creating a distraction.


Tony M
Local time: 17:32
French to English
+ ...
Very important part of my technique! Oct 27, 2007

Apart from the usual flood of expletives (voice recognition applications will never be any good for me!), I regularly say things out loud, just to see if they 'sound right' — and I do wish some of my fellow KudoZ-answerers would sometimes do the same!

It's a habit I got into years ago when writing movie and other scripts for performance — convincing dialogue can be so difficult to write, and saying it out loud is the only way I know of really checking its viability.

Another related thing I do, and I'd like to know if others do the same thing, is to regularly mis-type homonyms. I don't do this very often in my native language, but (rather surprisingly, I felt) I do do it in my second language [French] — so I may type 'mais' for 'mes' or 'ont' for 'on'. What I'm interested in knowing is why, if thinking of a word and its spelling and typing it is a purely visual process, with no speech involved, the element of sound should even come into it — and this is something I have noticed among some of my students, even in their native language.


mediamatrix (X)
Local time: 13:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sorry Tony ... Oct 27, 2007

Tony M wrote:

... I'd like to know if others do the same thing, is to regularly mis-type homonyms. I don't do this very often in my native language, but (rather surprisingly, I felt) I do do it in my second language [French] — so I may type 'mais' for 'mes' or 'ont' for 'on'.

... but although we often agree on KudoZ answers relating to the media I guess you're on your own with that problem. At least as far as I'm concerned.



Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:32
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 27, 2007

Yes, I talk to myself. It's the only way to get any intelligent conversation.
No, but seriously, like others, I swear at the ghastly terminology - "what a load of cr*p!" (especially when it's about modern "art"), tick myself off for being stupid - "get it together, you silly old bag", sing snatches of songs - usually songs I can't stand that keep going through my head, and so on. The signs of incipient madness ? Yes, for dialogue, saying it out loud is virtually essential. It helps to be an (amateur) actor, I think.


Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:32
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I also talk to myself :-) Oct 27, 2007

It helps to me concentrate especially when I am not alone and there are people making noise.icon_smile.gif

I think I've acquired this habit since the time when I studied for examinations. Back then I already did and it almost felt like I was talking to somebody, because not only do I talk, but I also make gesturesicon_smile.gif


Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:32
English to Turkish
+ ...
I never talk to myself when translating Oct 27, 2007

But I discuss with my dictionaries and other resources, inquire and comment on the author, and especially if I'm translating fiction, I always take an active part in the life events and relationships of the characters - not that I like meddling, but they always need a lot of advice and insight from me. Also, of course I cannot leave the yet-to-form readership alone - I am a regular commentator and narrator for their benefit. Expletives! Oh, horrible! Well, maybe I have so far said one thing or two to some software applications, but... and certainly in no way any expletives whatsoever for my dear fellow translator while proofreadingicon_biggrin.gif

Hmm, when I have so many conversation partners around, why on earth would I ever need to talk to myself? Am I crazy?


Lucinda Hollenberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:32
Dutch to English
+ ...
I have an attentive audience when I talk to myself Oct 27, 2007

Of the canine kind, that is. When I work I have elaborate discussions with my 4 dogs on the translation, topic and whether this word/phrase or that would be more appropiate. I swear that they understand every word that I say. A well-placed scratch on this or that head and a treat also helps to keep the attention undivided.

But I do not know if this is really talking to myself as I have a living audience. The dogs sit all around me and one is under my desk using one of my feet as a pillow.



Alana Quintyne  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:32
French to English
+ ...
Isn't it normal? Oct 30, 2007

I do. I thought it was normal. " Why can't I find this?" " This is so boring:roll: but it pays the bills;-)", "WTH?!", "Okay it's time for me to take a break from you,"...stuff like that. I woudn't be able to keep my mouth shut in translation. I make it fun that way and besides I work alone most of the time so it helps to break the silence.


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