Poll: Which of the competences outlined in the EN 15038 do you find it most difficult to acquire/maintain?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:21
Oct 1, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of the competences outlined in the EN 15038 do you find it most difficult to acquire/maintain?".

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Celia Recarey  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translating competence Oct 1, 2008

But, in my opinion, translating competence means: linguistic and textual competence in the source and target language, technical competence, cultural competence, research competence, information acquisition and processing, and other things as well...

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Mariam Osmann
Local time: 06:21
English to Arabic
+ ...
Documented translation experience Oct 1, 2008

I am not sure about being capable of providing this item.
So far, I did not earn a degree in translation. I didn't work for a translation agency in-house.
Are clients feedbacks counted in? Most of my client may not provide reference or feedback, but cooperation continues with further assignment of the same project or completely new projects, which I consider an important feedback BUT it is not documented.

Concerning this initiative, I see myself 20 years later saying : "Proz.com, this is where I grew up as translator"

Keep it up Proz.com!

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:21
English to Turkish
Cultural competence, of course Oct 1, 2008

Although I agree with Celia that all these are inseperable, strictly speaking cultural competence is the hardest one. Because it's not something you can say, OK, I'll start working on this right now, make a course, attend this and that and accomplish in this many years, this much time and so. Things you acquire easiest (read "without realizing") are always the toughest to achieve with planned efforts.

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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:21
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Tricky one Oct 2, 2008

For me, it really depends if you mean acquire or maintain. If it's acquire, I agree with Özden, but it it's maintain or update, I think it's the technical competence. The cultural competence is difficult to acquire but fairly easy to update, whereas the technical competence is relatively easy to acquire but hard (time-consuming) to update due to the variety and the accelerated development of new tools.

The most difficult one could be the field expertise and it is not on the list. It is difficult to acquire and sometimes difficult to maintain in some technical fields or medicine.

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María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Impossible to tell Oct 2, 2008

"Translating competency" is the sum total of all those separate items.

In my humble opinion, becoming a competent translator involves "all of the above PLUS at least ten years of full-time professional experience."

Linguistic and textual competency in a single language pair plus research and CAT tool skills should be the easiest to acquire and maintain.

Technical competency, i.e., full specialization in a couple of fields, may take half a lifetime and then keep counting to stay up-to-date.

To me, the most difficult aspect of this profession is experience, because you can't get it before you've got it.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:21
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A very difficult question Oct 2, 2008

I was about to choose "cultural competence", but the level of "culture" is something that is very hard to measure, as "culture" itself is very hard to measure. Someone could be a walking encyclopedia in the life and deeds of the German Kaisers, but be a complete ignorant on how butter is made. And it is far more frequent to translate about butter, I reckon...

So I chose "translation competency", as ─I agree with María Eugenia─ it takes A LOT to become a good translator. I am sure that even the most experienced, seasoned and capable translator finds that many jobs are a challenge. The more you know about translation, the more aware you are of the pitfalls and issues each and every text can bring.

[Edited at 2008-10-02 15:12]

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Poll: Which of the competences outlined in the EN 15038 do you find it most difficult to acquire/maintain?

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