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Poll: Does the content of the translation you are working on affect your mood?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 11:58
Jun 19, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does the content of the translation you are working on affect your mood?".

This poll was originally submitted by unaldi

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:58
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

Of course it does! Jun 19, 2009

This is why there are some particular areas which I won't even consider, such as medical translations.
I can't thank my colleagues who work in this field enough for helping me when I need them.


Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
Russian to English
+ ...
Try not to come under this influence... Jun 19, 2009

But sometimes the influence helps to TUNE UPicon_smile.gif


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
The mincemeat engineer Jun 19, 2009

I am not usually affected, apart from finding some jobs irritating; but I once had to do part of a long air accident report about an engineer who got too close to an airliner's jet engine, was sucked in and came out chopped up into little pieces spread over an area the size of a football pitch. I must admit that one depressed me a bit.

[Edited at 2009-06-19 21:20 GMT]


Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:58
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jeez, Jack! Jun 19, 2009

I guess that would have depressed me "a little" too!

Well, I certainly can't top that, but I admit that I was working on an insurance document not long ago and was tearing my hair out with boredom and seriously contemplating not translating any more.

I'm OK now.icon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2009-06-19 21:55 GMT]


Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It happens very rarely Jun 19, 2009

I remember one time I was doing a health care related translation and it had so many detailed descriptions of infections and body fluids and all kind of horrible diseases... OMG.
I really had to stop sometimes because I was starting to feel a little bit nauseous, as I am very sensitive to this kind of stuff.icon_frown.gif

Oh and I just remembered another example: back in 2006 I translated several documentaries about Jack the Ripper. Those were quite horrible too, due to the lively descriptions of the murders.

[Edited at 2009-06-20 03:13 GMT]


María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Subjects Jun 19, 2009

I agree with those who find some jobs irritating, and I hope I'll never run into anything similar to Jack's terrible experience.

When my oldest direct clients ask me to do free translations, I usually get involved to the point of helping them improve their texts, which is highly gratifyingicon_smile.gif

Finally, whenever I get to translate psychology/psychiatry literature, I enjoy every minute and wish there were many more pages, just like when reading an interesting book.

In my opinion, every job affects us in one way or another, from satisfaction to boredom to excitement to joy.


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:58
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not so much my mood Jun 20, 2009

as motivation. Sometimes the more tedious ones can be hard to get motivated about.

I also did one about a workplace accident but it wasn't quite as grisly as the Engineer- eww! however, I did do a legal one which was pretty horrible... It was a hearing regarding a man who had committed a number of sexual was interesting on one level, but the details of his crimes were really depressing to read about. And it was right near Christmas. I'd rather do medical stuff!

[Edited at 2009-06-20 02:54 GMT]


Anita du Plessis  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 20:58
Member (2008)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Each one has an influence! Jun 20, 2009

When I work in the medical field, e.g. like when I do the accident reports of victims, I tend to worry over those persons and often wonder how they are and whether their lives are normal again.

When I work in the technical field, I often read more about the machine, etc. out of pure curiosity. I once worked on an excavator and now suddenly I look at excavators with different eyes! Before the translation I just found them annoying things on the road.


Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Yes if Jun 20, 2009

considering quality part of the content. I find irritating source text badly written by a non mothertongue in which I have literally guess what's going on.



neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Every time I have to Jun 20, 2009

... try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear...
Sloppy original texts, undefined acronyms, bad or non-existent punctuation, failure to capitalize ... (all systematic failings in my experience in Spanish-English translation). Jargon-filled "instruction manuals" with impenetrable concepts (the other day I asked a client the meaning of one particularly obscure phrase and got the reply "even the person who wrote it doesn't know what it means...").
PDFs and other awkward or protected formats, graphic inserts and formatting parameters that slow down the basic text translation task, almost always sent "urgently" by clients who never seem to factor in translation time when drafting their texts...
I could go on and on about this but what's the point? ... I feel the storm clouds gathering already...
I do try to get my clients to wisen up by sending them a set of recommendations regarding the above, basically nagging them into giving a little thought to "the big picture" before sending me their stuff...
On the other hand, the only time I felt personally affected was when asked to translate a medical report on a young Spanish girl suffering from skin cancer from US specialists. I took on the job at a very cheap rate as a favour to a colleague and couldn't help being upset by the negative outcomes in the content which my colleague then had to explain to the poor family, who had moved heaven and earth to find a cure for their daughter but to no avail...


Anna Katikhina  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:58
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
unfortunately yes Jun 20, 2009

I once agreed to translate (black) french rap songs. Even understanding the social aspect, I couldn't help feeling depressed after all. The texts were so brutal and angry. I literally felt like someone f***ed my brainicon_frown.gif


Ioanna Orfanoudaki  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
French to Greek
+ ...
Divorce papers... Jun 20, 2009

Though I've also translated some horrible medical texts, reports on pretty nasty or even terminal conditions, I found that translating legal documents, especially divorce-related ones, can be quite revealing of the human nature... and unfortunately divorce procedures can sometimes reveal the worst side of a person and how evil one can be (ok, I wasn't born yesterday, but there can always be new "tricks" out there...).
Try not to let it affect my mood though, being a freelancer takes up enough of my (private) time anyway, to let it affect me for the rest of the day...icon_biggrin.gif


David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Spanish to English
Yes, but in both directions Jun 20, 2009

As almost all of my work is medical translations, I can get both a bit low (patient medical reports) and high (reporting a succesful study of a new drug).
Although it sometimes depresses me when I translate a long-winding repetive report and I wish I could re-write it in plain English.


Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Usually not... Jun 20, 2009

...but occationaly there are texts that I even think about afterwards. Such as a text written by kidnappers about a boy who they held and they were threatening the parents with what would happen if they did not comply to the demands. I don´t know the source language, but it was translated via English - I guess those who translate from some languages come accross this more frequentlyicon_frown.gif

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