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Poll: Do you think the social prestige of translators is high?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
No, but ........ Mar 9, 2010

I am quite happy the way it is.
It is just another job that particularly demands or needs respect.

Those who said "no", are you disgruntled?


 

Emin Arı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 09:53
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
No, because a good translator is invisible Mar 9, 2010

I agree with other opinions. A good translation should never look like a "translated text". This is why I say that a good translator is invisible.

 

Anna Katikhina  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:53
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not in Russia, I guess Mar 9, 2010

The first thing we've been told at the university: people underestimate translators. For what I know, in Russia it is often true. Unfortunately.

 

Vladimir Dubisskiy
United States
Local time: 00:53
Member (2001)
English to Russian
+ ...
i said no because Mar 9, 2010

Our profession (or industry) if you like is not regulated as, say, the engineers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, plumbers, nurses many other professions.

It is a fact, we may like it or not but it is how it is now)

Say, you can not join any Bar assoc if you do not have special legal education. Same with engineers and many other professions. And no lawyer can, for example, become a dentist and sta
... See more
Our profession (or industry) if you like is not regulated as, say, the engineers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, plumbers, nurses many other professions.

It is a fact, we may like it or not but it is how it is now)

Say, you can not join any Bar assoc if you do not have special legal education. Same with engineers and many other professions. And no lawyer can, for example, become a dentist and start fixing people's teeth starting the next month instead of defending them in court.

On the other hand a dentist, teacher, lawyer, nurse can start doing translations (starting tonight), they can easily join the translators' assoc and even got some "professional" certificates from those translators' assoc).

However, practically all translators' associations are non-profit orgs which have. so to say, "grass-root origin".

For me this is my only profession and I love doing it (from 1978).
( - now i would love to have some really technical education as well - )

When I started there were no translators associations (i believe anywhere in the world) but the profession existed anyway and there was certain demand but one could hardly make a living based on translations only [well, if not full-time involved with some 'serious' organization, like a research institute, engineering agency, or military institution. But I lived in the USSR at that time) guys]

Another issue here: if the industry (translation industry) will become regulated - we may end up paying huge annual fees to the regulating bodies / unions etc. (like lawyers or architects or doctors do).

But there will be more "respect"

humbird wrote:

I am quite happy the way it is.
It is just another job that particularly demands or needs respect.

Those who said "no", are you disgruntled?
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Erik Matson  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 13:53
English to Norwegian
+ ...
No Mar 9, 2010

To answer the question, no. To elaborate, neither high nor low. I feel that this poll had a poor choice of multiple choice answer options because they are ambiguous.

I don't know why, but these polls often tend to annoy me. The results are usually so meaningless...and yet I can't help but submit my answer so I these results!


 

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:53
Spanish to English
Does it matter? Mar 9, 2010

Do we need social prestige?

 

Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:53
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Prestige Mar 9, 2010

Lesley Clarke wrote:

Do we need social prestige?


We need more self-respect.
That's what I think.


 

Iponce27
United States
Local time: 22:53
Spanish to English
No prestige...but, Mar 9, 2010

There is no prestige in it but I love my job, and I am proud of it, although many people act like this is the easiest job in the world and that everyone can do it. Fortunately (for us) this is not the case otherwise everyone would be doing it...because of this I say that social prestige of translators is not high. Prestige is not really a deal breaker with having this job, to me there are other needs that are not fulfilled and need more consideration than prestige.... See more
There is no prestige in it but I love my job, and I am proud of it, although many people act like this is the easiest job in the world and that everyone can do it. Fortunately (for us) this is not the case otherwise everyone would be doing it...because of this I say that social prestige of translators is not high. Prestige is not really a deal breaker with having this job, to me there are other needs that are not fulfilled and need more consideration than prestige.Collapse


 

lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:53
Portuguese to English
I don't care... Mar 9, 2010

...why should it matter? We are what we are, regardless of what other people think of our way of earning a living. Frankly, I don't care what people think of translation as a profession - the only thing that matters is what we are like as human beings.

 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:53
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Neither high nor low Mar 9, 2010

Ciarán Rooney wrote:

should go out and get a proper job.




I've met too many colleagues in real life to say "yes" or "no". There are translators who make it look prestigious and others who, well, hack (not to mention that both activities are not mutually exclusive). But I do agree it's got a lot of associated misconceptions.


 

Nelya Plakhota  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 08:53
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Neither high nor low Mar 9, 2010

I think we are missing one little point - the poll questions are about translators (in general), while it seems to me that most of the replies in this forum are related to freelance translators only (I am one myself, and previous opinions echo with my own situation ).
There is a difference between a schedule/earnings/status of freelance translators and those who work for certain organizations. If, say, you met an accountant,
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I think we are missing one little point - the poll questions are about translators (in general), while it seems to me that most of the replies in this forum are related to freelance translators only (I am one myself, and previous opinions echo with my own situation ).
There is a difference between a schedule/earnings/status of freelance translators and those who work for certain organizations. If, say, you met an accountant, what social prestige would that person have? It would mainly depend on the business he/she is working for, right? It is the same here. IMHO, the work you do and the way you feel about it determine your social prestige.
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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Interpreters and polyglots are admired Mar 9, 2010

but few people have respect for the complexity of the translator's job.

 

Elodie Bonnafous
France
Local time: 07:53
Member (2009)
German to French
+ ...
answers to several posters Mar 9, 2010

Someone here asked "do we need prestige, does it matter?"

No, it does not really matter. But having studied Specialized Translation 4 years long, I do not appreciate beeing considered as a "margin worker" who works as a translator because of beeing unable to find a proper job.

So my answer is: no we don't need specifically "prestige", but a bit of recognition and respect would be welcome.

Lexical wrote he doesn't care what people think about translators and
... See more
Someone here asked "do we need prestige, does it matter?"

No, it does not really matter. But having studied Specialized Translation 4 years long, I do not appreciate beeing considered as a "margin worker" who works as a translator because of beeing unable to find a proper job.

So my answer is: no we don't need specifically "prestige", but a bit of recognition and respect would be welcome.

Lexical wrote he doesn't care what people think about translators and our profession.
I do. I love my job and I always highly respected and admired translators (that's why I became one indeed), my job is my passion, I think every translator should be sincerely fond of his profession, and I am a bit shocked at this reaction. In a way, translation / my job is my baby, what people think about it does not affect me directly, but yes, it DOES matter. How can you work as a translator if you don't care about it? I honnestly think most translators really love their industry, and that's how it should be. Don't you love your profession? Are you just interested in money?

@ Vladimir: I so much agree with you on every single point!!!

[Modifié le 2010-03-09 23:34 GMT]
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Johan Jongman  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 07:53
English to Dutch
+ ...
Somewhat, but... Mar 9, 2010

not as much as linguists, language specialists, localization vendors, etc...

[Edited at 2010-03-10 00:02 GMT]


 

Dai Kodato
Japan
Local time: 15:53
Japanese to English
+ ...
Depends on contents Mar 10, 2010

In Japan, translators of book are quite respected and some books sell because they had been translated by a respected translator and this may even be used as a selling point. On the other hand, translators of easy contents are looked at as trying to make a quick and easy money regardless of whether the actual work is difficult or not.

Amusingly, because Google and other services started offering free translati
... See more
In Japan, translators of book are quite respected and some books sell because they had been translated by a respected translator and this may even be used as a selling point. On the other hand, translators of easy contents are looked at as trying to make a quick and easy money regardless of whether the actual work is difficult or not.

Amusingly, because Google and other services started offering free translation, translators became more respected. Even a simple Japanese sentence can become a total nonsense by using these machine translations so people become more aware that translators actually do something important.
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