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Off topic: Who wants to translate forever?
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:39
Flemish to English
+ ...
Jul 6, 2003

Some of the people here went to a T&I-school. Most of them did so with the idea of becoming an interpreter-not a translator or with the idea of a job as a staff-member at an international institution in their minds.
Some of the people here are "specialist" i.e. people who did not attend a specific T&I-program, but have an engineering or medical background and who found translation an interesting activity.
Some engineers become a technical translator upon retirement.
Others found out that translation paid more than their full-time job.
This is relative if you compare the time spent on a full-time job and time spent on translation and additional activities such as invoicing, advertising, customer-search,.... Moreover, most translators also work from 6-22 hours and on weekends. Should you do the same when on a full-time job, what would earn most?

Based upon the pictures posted in the profiles, I would say that most of the Prozians are in their thirties and translation enthusiasts.
A question for those who started with the profession and to those in their thirties and early forties: Will the translation fervor still be there within say 10 years from now (taking into account the evolution of I.T.-technology)? Is translation an activity you want to do until you retire and even beyond retirement?


 

Sherey Gould  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
German to English
great for "now" - but not forever Jul 6, 2003

I truly enjoy the work/situation as it allows me to (1) arrange my time around my still-young kids (9&7) and (2) use my writing skills (prior to this I was an advertising copywriter).
What I am not particularly pleased about is (1) the uncertainty at times, (2) the at times looong hours (in the case of urgent jobs) and (3) the fact that I don't get to interact with real people.
In 10 years... I don't think so. I am now 44 but won't feel this "young" forever -! My ideal would be to land a position at a small college (administrative, NOT teaching) or similar setting where I could still use my German but at the same time interact with real live people!
Interesting question, by the way!


 

Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:39
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Quick & Dirty Jul 6, 2003

Is translation an activity you want to do until you retire?

Yup.


 

PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
English to Polish
+ ...
took the thread right out of my head Jul 6, 2003

heh heh... rhyme unintentional

but let's get serious now.

I started translating ca. 10 years ago and went up and down the ladder - from free-lance to in-house and back again.

Right now I'm taking steps to dig in and make this my only career (I also used to teach chemistry), but my questions/ doubts are as follows, and I would be very grateful if subsequent posters would also answer them in addition to Williamson's question:

1. Assuming you want to do this "forever", how long can you really do it before your hearing deteriorates and you can't do those factory walk-abouts anymore?
The same goes for your powers of concentration - how long will you be able to memorize 5 minute sequences and interpret them faithfully - notes or no?

2. How long will you be sharp and receptive enough to keep up with the changes taking place in _both_ your source and target languages?

I am not particularly worried about software. Maybe CAT tools will become better, but I don't believe computers will be capable of translating as well as humans for a long time yet...

nag nag nag
the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak...

"up and down the ladder" sounds like free-lance work is somehow less noble than in-house - that wasn't my intention, just a figure of speech.


[Edited at 2003-07-06 18:00]


 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:39
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Oh, yess! Jul 6, 2003

Is translation an activity you want to do until you retire and even beyond retirement?


One of the reasons I wanted to become a freelance intepreter is NOT to come to the same office everydayicon_smile.gif

I tried several ways: I graduated T&I, I've worked in business and in arts, had low-paid permanent job and a very well paid nice one as well, but when I realised that in evenings and weekends I was translating something anyway, it was high time to say goodbye to everything else and start doing just what I like the most.

When the time comes to retire from interpreting, I guess I will just spend more time on translating.icon_biggrin.gif

IT developments certainly will influence the way we work, but I don't believe it will replace us any time soon. (I hope..)

Magda

[Edited at 2003-07-06 18:20]


 

Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 04:39
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
YES Jul 6, 2003

I am translating for 15 years now and I am still wondering what will be the next assignment.
First, I wanted to learn languages because I did like it. I could have been an language teacher, but I wanted more, I wanted to keep on learning. And that is what I have been doing for a long period.
Learning about physics, mecanics, cooking, and ..... What will be my interest tomorrow, I do not know and that is the reason why I love this job. And when I will retire, perhaps I will translate a fiction book or something like this, I have always dreamt of translating fiction books but it does not seem to pay much.


 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:39
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Hey! Jul 6, 2003

Martine Etienne wrote:
.. What will be my interest tomorrow, I do not know and that is the reason why I love this job.


Isn't it what keep us going, huh?icon_smile.gif

Magda

[Edited at 2003-07-06 19:23]


 

Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:39
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
my intellect is always stretched Jul 6, 2003

I've been translating now for over 20 years so I'm out of the age group you questioned directly - I'm 47.5 (half-birthday a couple of days ago!). Although my degree is in chemistry, I've specialised in all things technical, be it welding instructions for reconnaissance tanks, wheelsets for trains, rotary kilns for cement works, CD players, etc. etc. I love doing the research for new areas, learning how things work - and its amazing how much gets stored upstairs that I can regurgitate. Then I think "now where did that come from?" You never know what is coming next, something new everyday. How could I do a 9-5 and work in the same field day in, day out? How boring. No-one knows what the future will bring, but I intend to go on for as long as possible because this is rarely hard work, it's fun!

The internet and the need for international websites and global communication will keep us in food and drink in the future. Cheers!

Jill


 

Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
Member (2001)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, I love it! Jul 6, 2003

Williamson wrote:

A question for those who started with the profession and to those in their thirties and early forties: Will the translation fervor still be there within say 10 years from now (taking into account the evolution of I.T.-technology)? Is translation an activity you want to do until you retire and even beyond retirement?


[Edited at 2003-07-06 19:52]

I do want to keep on translating as long as possible, at least until I can't see anymore.(my eyes get tired from the computer). I teach English to high school students, and I've taught adults too, but there is something about translating that just keeps me hanging in there. I am reducing my teaching hours again this year, as I did a few years ago and then went back up to full load. And I will more than fill them with translation, I'm sure.
I agree that the hours are absolutely insane compared to my teaching job, the pay can't be compared either. Sometimes a job just rolls of the tips of my fingers and then other days my husband and kids bring food and drink to my desk so I can keep on working. Words are fascinating and it's a great feeling to find the right style. What a reward to have someone read your work and be amazed that it was not written in English in the first place.
I definitely want to continue beyond retirement. (What's retirement?icon_smile.gif )

PS, I'm sorry that I answered this, I'm beyond your requested age group...
Gayle


[Edited at 2003-07-06 19:53]


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:39
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
what changed my life Jul 6, 2003

...I was in the swimming pool on a sunday with my 3 year old kid, and still working for an IT firm. I had to carry 2 phones and a a laptop.. some client called in to ask me to check their database ... and I thought : "why am I still doing this, I'm an intelligent person..."
I became a translator a few months later, OK so the salary is not the same, but al least I get paid in different ways...
and it's no longer " the harder I work, the richer my boss becomes"

so, it's without hesitation that I answer:
YES ! I DO !

(or until somebody actually developes a babblefish)


 

Sofia K  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 05:39
English to Greek
+ ...
No... Jul 6, 2003

I don't want to translate for ever,even though it took me almost 5 years to graduate.Maybe you earn a lot of money, but you don't always get projects you really find interesting and I don't particularly enjoy sitting in front of the computer for hours.

 

Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
German to Italian
+ ...
Yes! Jul 6, 2003

I can't think of any other job. Ok, I've been working as a translator for only 3 years now, and maybe in 10 years (or even less!) I'll change my mind, but I don't think I will. I like being independent, even though - of course - being a freelance has its shortcomings.

 

Paul Roige (X)
Spain
Local time: 04:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Retirement? Jul 7, 2003

Williamson wrote:
A question for those who started with the profession and to those in their thirties and early forties: Will the translation fervor still be there within say 10 years from now (taking into account the evolution of I.T.-technology)? Is translation an activity you want to do until you retire and even beyond retirement?


Retirement??? Yuk! 24 hours a day trying to figure out why one is still around and decaying?? Yeah right, I'd rather give up the ghost while clicking the Enter key... Amen.
Picon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2003-07-07 00:07]


 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
English to Tamil
+ ...
I am 57 years young and am looking forward to many more years of translation Jul 7, 2003

I am 57 years young and am looking forward to many more years of translation. As for retirement, I retired twice in my life, the first was when aged 35 years I retired as an engineer from the Central Public Works Department of the Government of India to join a Government run pharmaceutical company as an electrical engineer cum French translator, from which post I retired when I was 47 years young.
It is really bizarre. Now I am doing a lot of work and loving it. Even when I was employed full time I used to work as freelance German (from 1975) and French (from 1978) translator. I still feel young and God willing I will like to translate and interpret all the days of my life.


 

mónica alfonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:39
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
YES! Jul 7, 2003

This is my cup of tea!
I really enjoy the challenge that each of my new jobs pose.
My answer is Yes!


 
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