Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: What would be your main piece of advice to an unexperienced translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:35
SITE STAFF
Apr 20, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What would be your main piece of advice to an unexperienced translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Elodie Bonnafous. View the poll results »



 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
All of the above and more Apr 20, 2010

I'd add: make certain you're self-disciplined.

Other than emails screaming the word URGENT at you constantly, there really isn't anyone watching over you. You're the boss of how you organize your time, energy, work habits, etc. If you're not self-disciplined, you'll never survive as a freelance translator.


 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:35
English to Russian
+ ...
work Apr 20, 2010

Just work hard and everyhing will work out well!

 

Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Choose another job Apr 20, 2010

When hitting the button I thought I would be alone in my choice, as translators here usually profess their undying love for this profession. But surprisingly I'm not.

Personally, I get bored quite regularly and I usually work more than 8 hours a day. I would love to get myself out a bit more. I'm her indoors translating. Translating is bearable as a long term activity if you don't do too much of it. But of course if you want to make a living at it ... you can't have your cake and eat it.

Yep, definately give this one a wide berth just in case you don't manage to end up on one of the gravy trains.


 

Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 14:35
English to Czech
+ ...
Study translation... Apr 20, 2010

... no matter in what form: university degree is not necessary, however a grasp of what it all is about is, in my opinion.
Read some relevant books, attend seminars etc. - starting from scratch is very difficult and the result may be quite disappointing. Professional translation, in my opinion, requires some knowledge of how language systems and processes involved in translation work.


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:35
Member (2008)
English to Italian
all and... Apr 20, 2010

Study translation: University or working with someone experienced
Be proficient in your working languages: or you waste a lot of time
Have solid computing knowledge: or you'll be slow AND you will have no time for yourself
Be a good businessman. or you waste money
Specialize in some fields: cause nobody knows everything, and outsourcers do not trust "translators in every field"
Learn typing: or you waste time
Choose another job: IF
YOU THINK THIS CAN BE A HOBBY,
YOU DON'T LOVE TRANSLATING,
IT IS JUST A JOB,
YOU HAVE NO PLEASURE WHEN YOU READ AND SPEAK YOUR SOURCE LANGUAGE,
YOU THINK TRANSLATING IS JUST LOOKING UP WORDS IN THE DICTIONARY
YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN BE A TRANSLATOR BECAUSE YOU STUDIED YOUR SOURCE LANGUAGE AT SCHOOL....
YOU THINK "WELL IT IS AN EASY JOB"





[Edited at 2010-04-20 11:46 GMT]


 

Jon O (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:35
Dutch to English
+ ...
You are not alone Apr 20, 2010

[quote]Tatty wrote:

When hitting the button I thought I would be alone in my choice, as translators here usually profess their undying love for this profession. But surprisingly I'm not.

Personally, I get bored quite regularly...



Join the club. I too fail to empathise with those who 'just love' their job as a translator. Unfortunately, from my point of view, the money is really not bad for the amount of work involved so it makes me reluctant to take other less well-paid jobs which would probably interest me more. Having said that, I can't see myself doing this for much longer. My sanity must hopefully prevail.


 

MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 14:35
Italian to German
+ ...
You have to sell your quality product Apr 20, 2010

Hello,

translation is a quality product. You may be very proficient in what you are translating, but you must convince your clients.
Of course, you should specialize in some fields (second point most important), but the main point is: you must run an enterprise and so have good marketing and business knowledge.

Mike


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 14:35
English to French
+ ...
Other Apr 20, 2010

Excellence in your mother tongue (which should be your only target language), intellectual flexibility to adjust to the field you are translating (in order to address specialists in their specialist way) and a good deal of imagination/empathy to understand what the author may mean, however confused or confusing his/her discourse may be.

 

Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:35
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Other Apr 20, 2010

Acquire a chameleonic ability to adapt your 'voice' to suit the text. We must be the only professionals required to produce writing in so many different fields, sub-fields, tones, registers, genres etc etc.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same as Interlangue Apr 20, 2010

and I also agree with Simon.
Note to disgruntled or bored translators: I can probably take some work off your hands if you like, see my proz profile for contact details.
I get so angry when I see shoddy translation work paid for when I know good translators who don't have enough work (the same goes for TEFL, which is rife with people doing it simply because they are native speakers and can get the work).
If you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen...


 

Latin_Hellas (X)
United States
Local time: 14:35
Italian to English
+ ...
Proficiency, Specialization, Business Skills Apr 20, 2010

I am not surprised to see proficiency and specialization at the top of the list, but a bit surprising is to see business skills towards the bottom. If your objective is to be a professional and make a decent living, then the three go together.

To be sure, education and studying hold a very important place, but only in recent years has a translation degree been in vogue: translation can be a high margin business (though capacity utilization is capped) and the barriers to entry are low.

Besides achieving language proficiency by whatever means, achieving specialization through actual work/business experience in a particular field in a bilingual environment is more valuable than a translation degree.

Remember this formula: revenue - expenses = income

In other words, you pay for a translation degree, work/business experience pays you.


 

Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 07:35
English to Dutch
+ ...
indeed Apr 20, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

Excellence in your mother tongue (which should be your only target language),


Yes! So many translators and interpreters don't really master their mother tongue anymore...


 

Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:35
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
learn basic accounting Apr 20, 2010

All of the above makes sense; however, I selected 'other', since I'm not sure what being a 'good businessman' means. Is this marketing? accounting? developing a business strategy with charts?

My advice would be far more entry level:

Until you can pay your own accountant, you need to be able to generate invoices, track expenses and payments, and pay your taxes on time.


 
Be proficient in your working language Apr 20, 2010

All other qualities are also needed to any job nowadays.
But here we are talking about a profession called "translator".

Like anyone in any occupation, we must know what we are doing.
What else, besides all these requirements, needed most for translators? -- Languages we are dealing with.
Simple as that!


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: What would be your main piece of advice to an unexperienced translator?

Advanced search






SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features, ensures new

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search