Poll: Has specializing in certain fields increased your productivity as a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:36
Apr 14, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has specializing in certain fields increased your productivity as a translator?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure Apr 14, 2010

I'm not always comfortable with the idea of specialisation per se, as I feel it is a bit of a cop-out, and try to keep my options as open as possible.
I am told that I am a specialist in certain types of text, and the more familiar I am with a subject, the faster and better I can process the texts, so maybe the answer shold be a yes. For example, today I'm working in a field (construction) that I haven't been for ages, so I am a bit rusty and going slowly, whereas yesterday I had a long text but in a field I am familiar with and I was going about 3 times a quickly. So the answer should probably be a yes...


Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 06:36
English to Russian
+ ...
serious issue Apr 14, 2010

Specialization for a translator is a serious issue because one can't be deeply specialized in a wide range of disciplines while deep specialization in a limited number of disciplines will shrink your scope of customers.


Interlangue (X)
Local time: 04:36
English to French
+ ...
Not in the long run Apr 14, 2010

Specialisations come and go and specific fields evolve.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:36
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
To some extent Apr 14, 2010

Outside translation I would not dare to call myself a specialist in any subject. I have dabbled in far too many to go really deeply into any of them.

But there are definitely fields I can work in quite happily, because I have read up on them, and others I turn down because I know they need real specialists. I think concentrating on a few specific areas improves quality at least as much as productivity.

Sometimes it annoys me that my knowledge is very wide, but also very superficial. That is just the hand life has dealt me. Maybe no trumps, but plenty of quite strong cards all the same.


[Edited at 2010-04-15 07:46 GMT]


Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
If you have a true specialisation Apr 14, 2010

how could it fail to increase your productivity? Even if it didn't increase your productivity in the short-term it should improve the quality of your translations. In time you would also improve your productivity.

I think a specialisation is something different from areas which you have worked in previously.


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:36
Dutch to English
+ ...
Precisely ... Apr 14, 2010

Tatty wrote:

I think a specialisation is something different from areas which you have worked in previously.

... it's something quite different!


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Absolutely! Apr 15, 2010

I'm probably three times faster--and better--in the fields in which I have specialized.


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Poll: Has specializing in certain fields increased your productivity as a translator?

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