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Poll: What motivates you the most as a translator?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 13:33
Dec 15, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What motivates you the most as a translator?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
In the majority Dec 15, 2009

this time, which is nice.
However, I do feel that the basis of this type of poll is rather spurious. When teaching EFL, I often had to ask things like "what is your favourite book"...etc and when I gave it a little thought, I realised that picking one thing (book, film, song, food... etc) as a favourite above all others is, if not stupid, just pointless. For example, I know which movies I like, and which I don't, while there are others that simply do nothing for me either way. I would be hard pushed to name a book or film that I rated above all others, and my opinions might also change through time... and the same goes for the poll options given here.

So, my point is that the motive behind this type of poll query appears frivolous, and if we are to indulge in frivolity, I would like to suggest, for example, that there could be some sort of "gloves off" forum on proz where "anything goes" where we could have verbal punchups and scathing comments traded off among the participants (a sort of official arena for the bickering and sniping that sometimes goes on in kudoz queries). I wonder what the response to that scenario would be like?


Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:33
English to Russian
+ ...
just love it Dec 15, 2009

Alas, translation does not pay well. Especially now in the time of crisis. But I just love it.


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting and challenging projects Dec 15, 2009

... but maybe that's a function of phase. I already know I can survive as a freelancer, I can command the pay, linguistic skills is something I pursue more extensively on the side, and I could wish for some recognition, but only in the academic sense (like, give me a hand in adjusting what translation courses should contain, after what I was spoon-fed so many years ago ... but that's another story). So, on the whole, it's the project content that now gives me the highest motivation. Needless to say, a lot has to do with specialisation, and being able to say I reserve the right to choose what I accept to do.


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Dec 15, 2009

well yes working on my own... but actually I don't know, I simply love this job, and any activity related to languages.... I knew I wanted to be a translator when I was 15...


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Eternal student Dec 15, 2009

My professional and personal activities have made it increasingly complicated to carry on studying in a formal way in the last ten years or so, so translating gives me the extra bonus of being able to carry on learning new things.


Laura Morwood  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:33
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
It doesn't get any better. Dec 15, 2009

As a mother of three, living in a fairly remote area, my options for a part time job are quite limited. I can work at M&S or get an administration job, but I would be bored very quickly. Translation gives me the intellectual challenge I need, the opportunity to keep learning about a multitude of subjects and a chance to earn a bit of money. All from the comfort of my own home, without the need for a child minder. And on top of that, I love translating!
How good is that?


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:33
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting projects, quotas Dec 15, 2009

I get excited when I'm working on a project that really interests me. When I'm not particularly interested, I drag my feet.

Oh the other hand, regardless of whether or not I'm interested in the text, I give myself a daily quota and I'm motivated to meet that quota. It's a game.


Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Italian to English
+ ...
Deadlines Dec 15, 2009

There are various things I enjoy about being a freelance translator, but what actually motivates me to pull my finger out and get working is a looming deadline.icon_smile.gif


Miranda Joubioux  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
French to English
All of these Dec 15, 2009

I can't say what motivates me most, because they're all important.
I wouldn't work for peanuts, I need interesting projects to sustain my brain, I like working freelance. They are all equally important!
It bothers me that some people might prefer interesting work to money. It's an open door to exploitation.


Abdulvahed  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
English to Farsi (Persian)
a tendency to thought Dec 15, 2009

The only time to enjoy thought is when I am translating a text and a chalenging one in particular.A sense of ability to understand other minds and ways of understanding and in this way to learn freethought as a result of comparing two languages


Claire Deschamps-Prüller  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
German to French
+ ...
let's face it Dec 15, 2009

I would have loved to answer Interesting and challenging projects

but I had to answer MONEY!!
as both don't seem to work together.
I love to be working as a freelancer as well.
As Miranda said it is a mix of all with the money as "Hintergedanken!"icon_wink.gif


Marina Menendez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:33
English to Spanish
+ ...
a "jobhobby" Dec 15, 2009

abdulvahed amooie Ojaki wrote:

The only time to enjoy thought is when I am translating a text and a chalenging one in particular.A sense of ability to understand other minds and ways of understanding and in this way to learn freethought as a result of comparing two languages

Completely agree!!!!

Translation is a wonderful mind-booster, it gives me the opportunity to learn how different languages (English and Spanish) codify reality in words, expressions and structures. ; )


John Cutler  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interesting project Dec 15, 2009

Putting food on the table and clothing 3 kids is a big motivator, but what motivates me most is an interesting project.

I recently took on a new client, who I normally wouldn't have given the time of day. (Their initial contact with me was a little too informal for my taste; you know, I'm always harping about how I hate it when someone contacts me for the first time and starts off the email with (in my opinion) an overly familiar "Hi John".)

Anyway, I let it slide because the subject matter was really to my liking. I'm a history buff and the text was all about an important event in Spanish history. I threw caution to the wind and decided that I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. It was a highly motivating job and the client seems to be professional and on the up and up, so it turned out to be motivating and a win-win.


Murad AWAD  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:33
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...

What motives you the most as a translator Dec 15, 2009

I admit that this question is one of the best ever been asked.


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