Pay the Translator (Harlan Ellison -- "Pay the Writer")
Thread poster: xxxPRen
xxxPRen
Canada
Local time: 09:48
French to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2008

Here's an interesting clip of an interview with writer Harlan Ellison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

I think it resonates particularly well for translators, especially his remarks that professionals "are undercut by all the amateurs...it's the amateurs who make it tough for the professionals" - the people charging 3 cents a word perhaps?

PRen


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-02-01 09:17]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
interesting Feb 1, 2008

PRen wrote:

Here's an interesting clip of an interview with writer Harlan Ellison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

I think it resonates particularly well for translators, especially his remarks that professionals "are undercut by all the amateurs...it's the amateurs who make it tough for the professionals" - the people charging 3 cents a word perhaps?

PRen


Don't know who he is, but his ire is patent.

What it is about translation is that it's associated with "the arts" and people "die" to work in "the arts", hence a start-off salary, as one example, in "the publishing world". is dire compared, say, to that for a prestigious company in an economic sector that's not "artistic".

Recently there was a post about literary translation (in Spanish perhaps), referring to rates that - for me - personally - make it more economically interesting to be a cleaner (no, I'm not proud, but as it happens, I respect literature too much to translate it "fast" + "for peanuts", a rotten combination). I'd love to be a literary translator, but I'm not going to be the "whore" that Ellis referred to, I feel it's more honest to be a cleaner at 10 euros/hour than a literary translator at 3 or 4 eurocents a word.




[Edited at 2008-02-01 00:14]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:48
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Three cheers for Harlan!! Feb 1, 2008

What an excellent rant! Sounds just like me. Thank you, PRen.
I believe professional actors feel exactly the same about amateur actors who, regrettably, often equate themselves with pros when talking (endlessly) about their thespian achievements. Avoid, avoid.
Regards,
Jenny


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:48
English to Dutch
+ ...
About Harlan Ellison Feb 1, 2008

In case you don't know who this is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison

He's definitely got a point.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:48
Flemish to English
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Lawsuits Feb 2, 2008

and does not hesitate to result to lawsuits.

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Pay the Translator (Harlan Ellison -- "Pay the Writer")

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