Poll: Is there a frustrated writer inside of every translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:49
Dec 27, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is there a frustrated writer inside of every translator?".

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


Mustafa Er (BSc MA)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:49
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
probably Dec 27, 2009

Thank you for bringing up this subject. I am good in writing and this question makes me think that because I am good in writing I enjoy translating. But I never intended to be a writer, so no frustration there. Or maybe I should.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure Dec 27, 2009

Translating should help one take the plunge. It provides daily practice and hones one's writing skills. If one really wants to be a writer, one will write. No additional tools needed, just the motivation.

All translators must enjoy writing to some extent or they would be miserable and find another profession.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:49
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It all depends Dec 27, 2009

In some cases there might be a frustrated writer, but if someone really feels the call, then the Muse's kiss will be strong enough to bring forth the writer in the translator.

The best "solution" is, of course, to be both a translator and a successful writer. Even though this might create other problems, e. g. when the writing business is too demanding so that there's not sufficient time left in a day to translate. And this is exactly what I'm presently facing.icon_smile.gif


Ivette Camargo López  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another philosophical question for the poll Dec 27, 2009

I wonder who the mysterious poster of some of the latest poll questions is, but I guess it is not a bad idea to get into philosophical topics now that the end of the year is almost here, since it may be a time for reflection.

As far as I am concerned, I think that, even though I agree that knowing how to write is a must if you wish to be a translator, obviously the extra creativity for plot building required, for example, to be a fiction writer is not a must when it comes to translation.

I mean, you have to be creative to render some (or most) translations, and in this case you need to get into the same mind frame of the original writer to generate an acceptable target language version, but it is obviously not the same kind of creativity you need to build yourself the unique fantasy world you usually read in a novel.

I guess those who mostly translate literature/fiction are probably closer to being frustrated writers.



Fang Ke  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:49
English to Chinese
There are frustrated-writers-turned translators Dec 27, 2009

Writers could be cursed with so-called “writer’s block” - to translators something similar should be less of a concern.


Amy Duncan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:49
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I'm not a frustrated writer.... Dec 27, 2009

I am a published writer and an amateur poet, and was a journalist for 12 years. This is probably why I prefer literary translation, or at least translations where some literary expression is involved. I find it hard to imagine that translators who spend most of their time translating technical stuff with CAT tools (and enjoy it) would be particularly interested in writing.


Sundar Gopalakrishnan
Local time: 09:19
English to Tamil
+ ...
I wanted to be a writer! Dec 27, 2009

I have always wanted to be a writer but ended up a translator!


Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:49
Italian to English
+ ...
Not here Dec 27, 2009

I never had any ambitions to be a writer.

By the way, shouldn't the question read "inside every translator" and not "inside of"?

Maybe it's force of habit, I have to check the grammar of anything I read, even pencilling in corrections in novels ...


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:49
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
I've already been a writer Dec 28, 2009

I worked as a journalist for many years and co-authored a book (business). I really love translation but still sometimes think of writing another book...doesn't every journalist!


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Poll: Is there a frustrated writer inside of every translator?

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