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Poll: How old were you when you did your first translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:00
SITE STAFF
Nov 28, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How old were you when you did your first translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Olga Prisekina-Olrichs

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


 

Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:00
Italian to English
+ ...
I assume 'professional translation'... Nov 28, 2009

...as most people will have done translations at school, with varying levels of success. I was 37 when I did my first paid translation.

 

Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:00
Russian to English
+ ...
Before the age of 1 year Nov 28, 2009

I remember it quite clearly: growring up in the multilingual environment, I was acquiring words in pairs and groups of three (consisting of the word in 2/3 languages) - of course, with some help from thouse lucky tall grow-ups who knew 'em.

It was fun to play like that!

And, you know, it still isicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2009-11-28 08:41 GMT]


 

Olga Prisekina-Olrichs  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:00
English to Russian
+ ...
impressive Nov 28, 2009

Alexader, it's really impressive. We are raising out children in the multilingual environment too. At the age of 4 my daughter speaks 3 languages and she did her first "non-professional" translation at the age of 2!icon_smile.gif

 

Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:00
German to English
+ ...
at A-level Nov 28, 2009

I assumed it didn't have to be a professional translation. As far as I remember, the first time I translated a text was in the Sixth Form at school when I was 16 or 17.

 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 16:00
Turkish to English
+ ...
Professional or not? Nov 28, 2009

Catherine Knight wrote:

I assumed it didn't have to be a professional translation. As far as I remember, the first time I translated a text was in the Sixth Form at school when I was 16 or 17.


Similarly assuming that we are not talking about professional translation, then I studied foreign languages at a Scottish high school in the 1970's, a time when the teaching of languages there revolved very much around translation, and examinations consisted mainly of translations.

I also did some translations in the 1980's as part of admission tests for employment in various government departments.

I think the first ever paid translation that I did was in 1996, when I was aged 40.


 

bookwormkt
Local time: 14:00
French to English
+ ...
In The Old Days we did prose and translation for O level (at age 16!). Nov 28, 2009

That means we started at age 14.

Prose was English (mother tongue) to French, translation French to English. Some of the proses, even at O Level, were fiendish and designed to be tricky!

I was 20 before I got paid for a translation.


 

Maria Luz Ochoa de Olza Velasco  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
What does this song say? Nov 28, 2009

Well, I didn't include the request for "being paid specifically to translate," just "being requested to translate outside of a class environment." I was 16 the first time someone asked me to translate something for him (the lyrics of a favourite song).

Most of my translation and interpretation work has taken place within other jobs, so I didn't specifically get paid for it: "I've got a Brazilian on the phone and can't understand him, bring the Spaniard over!"


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:00
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Professionally, 23 Nov 28, 2009

... and it seems I still have the contract.

I didn't include interpreting done for my father when we lived in Bonn. (My mother adapted to foreign languages well).


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Meaning that you could write before the age of 1? Nov 28, 2009

Alexander Kupriyanchuk wrote:


I remember it quite clearly: growring up in the multilingual environment, I was acquiring words in pairs and groups of three (consisting of the word in 2/3 languages) - of course, with some help from thouse lucky tall grow-ups who knew 'em.

It was fun to play like that!

And, you know, it still isicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2009-11-28 08:41 GMT]



Was your handwriting legible or did you type the translation? Was your spelling correct?

icon_razz.gif


 

Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My first professional translation... Nov 28, 2009

..for which I was paid, was at the age of 18. I was still a translation student at university, and a friend of my cousin came with this large document related to finance, more specifically about the coffee stock exchange for Lehman Brothers. I asked a friend to help me and so we split the job. Apparently we did a good job and they congratulated us.

I had this great feeling that with very little translation knowledge I could do a good job. Of course, we got paid peanuts, like US$50 in total each one of us, for a document I would be nowadays charging US$500!icon_smile.gif


 

amurati
Local time: 15:00
English to Albanian
+ ...
interpreting at 17 years old Nov 28, 2009

I use to learn French in my high school but my primary foreing language was English. At time in third year of school learning French, I posesed quite good knowledge of French.
There were two men from France that visited our school and then I was invited by school principal to attend a meeting between them. and then I had to interpret between Albanian French.

and my first time interpretation between two foreign languages English - Serbian occurred when I was 20 years old.


 

Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:00
Russian to English
+ ...
All documented Nov 28, 2009

writeaway wrote:

Alexander Kupriyanchuk wrote:


I remember it quite clearly: growring up in the multilingual environment, I was acquiring words in pairs and groups of three (consisting of the word in 2/3 languages) - of course, with some help from thouse lucky tall grow-ups who knew 'em.

It was fun to play like that!

And, you know, it still isicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2009-11-28 08:41 GMT]



Was your handwriting legible or did you type the translation? Was your spelling correct?

icon_razz.gif


A few episodes of those first interpreting sessions were recorded/written down by my first team - the kinsfolk.
Some of those transcripts and subtitles are still kept "for training purposes."

First attempts of typing on a typewriter were made a little later. With the two different alphabets on the same keyboard and some special buttons, inevitably, they turned MULTILINGUAL -- poking buttons with fingers allows any young child to master both Cyrillic and Latin keyboard in a month or so - and with much funicon_smile.gif. That is how a good number of today's kids start to write. But they do that on a computer (which now can even read what is typed! Oh, my boyhood dream...)

Thankfully, keyboards in both alphabets, as a rule, look the same after 40 years have pased. Well, except a few computer-specific buttons...

I just wonder: how did our ancestors type without any built-in spellchecker? (They seem to have died because of that!icon_smile.gif ).





[Edited at 2009-11-28 17:48 GMT]


 
Translation or Interpreting Nov 28, 2009

In my understanding, translation is done in writing form, interpreting is in speech form (latter may not be documented unless audio system involved).
I thought this discussion is about the former, not the latter.
Therefore Alexander's posting is quite interesting but appears to be a result of confusion due to the way he "interpreted" this poll question.

When you've grown up in more than one lingual environment (especially among new immigrants), of course many children are used for that purpose (as they learn much quicker than their adults). But UNbeknowst to some, it is interpreting, not translating.

Or am I missing something here? Otherwise, I firmly believe this question is about your first experience in "written" form.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
I was pretty young then) Nov 28, 2009

--- (Work Experience) --------------------------------------------
1) having learned to read at four-five I found the first wrong word - 'SPORT' and couldn't understand why there're so many mistakes - 'СРОЯТ')

2) at six I compiled my first verbs and nouns glossaries for my favorite text-based adventures)

--- (Professional Experience) -------------------------------------
3) at 15-16 I began to do a lot of translations for college entrants, extramural students and so on;

4) when I was a sophomore I got my first real project (300 pages manual; EN-US> RU-01) and it was the first time they wanted me to do the job via CAT;


 
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