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Ten misconceptions about translators and translation
Thread poster: RominaZ

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 19, 2011

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I've found this article about 10 Misconceptions About Translators and Translation posted on "Creative Ramblings" and I'd like to share it with you.



1) “I am looking for an interpreter, and I thought that you could do it. You are a translator after all. Same thing.”

2) “I studied French in high school for two years. That makes me bilingual, so I can translate.”

3) “You speak Parisian French. We are in Canada. I need someone who translates in the French language used here.”

4) “A good translator doesn’t need a dictionary.”

5) “What is the problem with me asking you to work nights and weekends at no extra charge?”

6) “Your cousin told me that translating is making you rich.”

7) “Really, I should. After all, I don’t need to understand what I translate.”

8) “I have documents for you to translate. Send me your best price.”

9) “I don’t need you, I use Google Translator. The translation is so accurate and it is free!”

10) “My team of 20 people took two months to create that marketing copy, and you are telling me that you need more than 24 hours to translate it? In India, they can! And the quality is really good!”



Can you add more items to this list?

Note: this list was also shared on ProZ.com page on Facebook

Also check this YouTube video on misconceptions about translation. (original post edited to include this link).


 

Péter Jutai  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 22:37
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Three more Jul 19, 2011

Send me your best price for a bulk project, having regard to the prices of the local market [India].

We have a big project to complete within a month. Total Word Count for this project is 189695. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not joking.)

I can translate in any field. English is just English.


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:37
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Why are #3 and #6 misconceptions? Jul 19, 2011

Hi Romina,

Could you explain why #3 and #6 are misconceptions?

3) “You speak Parisian French. We are in Canada. I need someone who translates in the French language used here.”

6) “Your cousin told me that translating is making you rich.”


Thanks,
Attila


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:37
German to English
How long will it take to get this typed into (target language)? Jul 19, 2011

And they expect you to translate 120 words/minute and not charge much more than ordinary typing.

 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
#3 Misconception Jul 19, 2011

Attila Piróth wrote:

Hi Romina,

Could you explain why #3 and #6 are misconceptions?

3) “You speak Parisian French. We are in Canada. I need someone who translates in the French language used here.”

6) “Your cousin told me that translating is making you rich.”


Thanks,
Attila


Hi Attila,

I'm not sure about #6 but here you may find more information regarding #3.


 

nmfurla (X)
Local time: 22:37
Italian to English
Not a misconception then Jul 19, 2011

RominaZ wrote:

Attila Piróth wrote:

Hi Romina,

Could you explain why #3 and #6 are misconceptions?

3) “You speak Parisian French. We are in Canada. I need someone who translates in the French language used here.”

6) “Your cousin told me that translating is making you rich.”


Thanks,
Attila


Hi Attila,

I'm not sure about #6 but here you may find more information regarding #3.


Based on what I've read, then #3 is not a misconception.

I remember the first time I visited Paris back in the early 1980s...many people with whom I spoke were often puzzled by my strange accent and vocabulary. Whenever I'd say I was from Canada, I'd get smiles which I often interpreted as "Oh, that explains it!"

[Edited at 2011-07-19 15:41 GMT]


 

Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
English to French
+ ...
In memoriam
So it confirms that #3 is not a misconception ! Jul 19, 2011

RominaZ wrote:

Attila Piróth wrote:

Hi Romina,

Could you explain why #3 and #6 are misconceptions?

3) “You speak Parisian French. We are in Canada. I need someone who translates in the French language used here.”

6) “Your cousin told me that translating is making you rich.”


Thanks,
Attila


Hi Attila,

I'm not sure about #6 but here you may find more information regarding #3.


Hi Romina,

Attila's note and the thread you mentioned do confirm that #3 is not a misconception. Indeed French from France and from Canada are two different languages, even in medicine (my speciality).
In fact, it is why it makes me crazy when ProZ Jobs can't help sending me systematically offers concerning translations into Canadian French. I am not a Canadian translator, I don't speak (nor write) Canadian French. I hardly understand it sometimes.
I'd like ProZ to make the difference and stop sending offers for French Canadian to Frenchies.
I must say that I have been expecting such an improvement for years

Catherine



[Edited at 2011-07-19 15:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-07-19 16:09 GMT]


 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe we need more context... Jul 19, 2011

Maybe we need more context as when I read #3 for the first time I took it as if the person speaking Parisian French was actually being offered the job for Canadian French, in which case the statement would be a misconception. And by reading your posts I see you understand it in a different way.

Regarding your suggestion Catherine, you can send it via the support center http://www.proz.com/support/... See more
Maybe we need more context as when I read #3 for the first time I took it as if the person speaking Parisian French was actually being offered the job for Canadian French, in which case the statement would be a misconception. And by reading your posts I see you understand it in a different way.

Regarding your suggestion Catherine, you can send it via the support center http://www.proz.com/support/

Now, what about the original idea of this thread? Can you list any other example of misconception or inaccurate ideas people may have regarding interpreter and translators' jobs and what they do?
Collapse


 

Catherine GUILLIAUMET  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
English to French
+ ...
In memoriam
A typical example in my own family Jul 19, 2011

Mfurla wrote:

Hi Attila,

I'm not sure about #6 but here you may find more information regarding #3.


Based on what I've read, then #3 is not a misconception.

I remember the first time I visited Paris back in the early 1980s...many people with whom I spoke were often puzzled by my strange accent and vocabulary. Whenever I'd say I was from Canada, I'd get smiles which I often interpreted as "Oh, that explains it!"

[Edited at 2011-07-19 15:41 GMT] [/quote]

I confirm what Mfurla said, on the basis of an example in my own family.

My cousin (the son of my mother's sister), who was a French-native, left France to work in Canada, in Montréal, at the Universal Fair, in 1967. There, he was offered a very good job that he accepted.
Since 1967, he has been living in Montréal, became a Canadian citizen 22 years ago.

When he comes to France to see us, approximately every 4-5 years, I must confess that I hardly understand 40% of what he says during the first 2 days of his stay, because now he speaks Quebecois and has the Quebecois accent.
He says that, himself, has difficulties to understand about 15-20% of what we say, although he grew up and went to school and university in France!

Two countries, two languages


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:37
Chinese to English
Misconceptions I run into *inside* the field... Jul 19, 2011

# I'm a native speaker of this language, so of course I can understand the (contract/technical specification/art history essay/etc.) you need translating.

and a matching pair:

# I've worked in this field for years, and I speak language X, therefore I can translate this document perfectly.

# I've worked as a translator for years, and I learned about radiation in school, so of course I can translate this nuclear materials safety manual.


 

Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 23:37
Member (2010)
Greek to English
"proofreading" Jul 19, 2011

"It's just a quick proofreading job. My cousin who translated it watches US sitcoms all the time without needing to read the subtitles, so he's really fluent". [Text is about pharmaceutical products for the European market]

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:37
Chinese to English
Goodness, yes, native proofreading Jul 19, 2011

That's got to be the number one fallacy I see:

# Cheap translator + native proofreader = acceptable translation model


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:37
English to German
+ ...
In memoriam
"Translators don't need to know what they are translating" Jul 19, 2011

From a recent email in reply to my inquiry regarding the subject matter before I make an offer:
"It's an Excel document containing short phrases and words. I would required you to
translate each sentence and paste it in the next column (German)."


 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:37
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
I wish ProZ had a Like button like Facebook Jul 19, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

From a recent email in reply to my inquiry regarding the subject matter before I make an offer:
"It's an Excel document containing short phrases and words. I would required you to
translate each sentence and paste it in the next column (German)."


This one definitely earned you a triple Like, Nicole.


 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:37
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Oh my god! Jul 19, 2011

Dave Bindon wrote:

"It's just a quick proofreading job. My cousin who translated it watches US sitcoms all the time without needing to read the subtitles, so he's really fluent". [Text is about pharmaceutical products for the European market]


True, true!


 
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