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Poll: What is the golden rule of being a translator?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 12:37
May 17, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the golden rule of being a translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Edward Potter. View the poll results »


CristinaK  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Finnish to Swedish
+ ...
a combination of the above May 17, 2010

Never miss a deadline,
never accept a job you can´t do.

As from my experience, the reason for not making it until the deadline, may very well be that the job you accepted was a job you actually really could not do for various reasons.
The reasons could be that the language was too difficult or that you were too busy with other assignments or appointments.


Adam Jarczyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Same here. May 17, 2010

In complete agreement with CristinaK.


Jens Lober  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
English to Danish
To always deliver May 17, 2010

accurate, error-free translations in high quality, on time!


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 17, 2010

Never try translating into a language that is not your native tongue without the collaboration of at least one competent native-speaking proofreader/reviewer.
Know thyself.

[Edited at 2010-05-17 08:57 GMT]


Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:37
English to Russian
+ ...
Other May 17, 2010

Love your job.


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Member (2006)
German to English
combination May 17, 2010

with main focus, neveraccept a job you can´t do!!


Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:37
English to Japanese
+ ...
Combination, May 17, 2010

except that you should get angry when necessary.


R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:37
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
a combination May 17, 2010

CristinaK wrote:

Never miss a deadline.
Never accept a job you can't do.

Exactly. A combination of these two. We've all sat that there in the past and thought WHY did I accept this job and HOW am I going to get this done within the deadline.

[Edited at 2010-05-17 11:48 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Local time: 20:37
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A combination of the above... May 17, 2010

... and to work exclusively into my native language!


Ma.Elena Carrión de Medina  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes... May 17, 2010

I totally agree with Teresa Borges and neilmac!


Interlangue (X)
Local time: 21:37
English to French
+ ...
Combination May 17, 2010

Never accept a job you cannot do because the target language is not your mother tongue, because you are not familiar enough with the subject or the source language, because you will or may not be able to meet the deadline.
+ Have the right skills (and tools)
+ Resistance to stress + Good sense of diplomacy/negotiation (firmness without losing your temper)
+ Humility: accept criticism and make the best of it. Admit no one is perfect, not even you!

[Modifié le 2010-05-17 14:39 GMT]

[Modifié le 2010-05-17 14:54 GMT]


John Cutler  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
My take May 17, 2010

Do a translation as you would have a translation done for you.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
Member (2007)
+ ...
Never accept what you can't do May 17, 2010

For whatever reason:

text that's too technical
not proficient in language(s)
don't have the right tools
too many other commitments
don't like the subject matter, therefore no motivation


bandarra  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:37
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A rule of process May 17, 2010

My rule of thumb is simple: research. Being overconfident inevitably leads to sloppy translations down the line. Regardless of whether you are a native or not, I think the trick is to always second-guess yourself and look for reliable sources.

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Poll: What is the golden rule of being a translator?

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