Poll: How long have you been working as a translator/interpreter?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:04
SITE STAFF
Sep 19, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long have you been working as a translator/interpreter?".

This poll was originally submitted by StephanieHarrod. View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
10-15 years Sep 19, 2010

Given the number of responders with less than 5 years experience, I now understand the plethora of sub-standard work I keep seeing out there... which comes as something of a relief.
Now getting older doesn't seem all that bad after all!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:04
Member (2006)
German to English
just started the 16th year Sep 19, 2010



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
39 years Sep 19, 2010

I'm afraid the range was set far too low.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 21:04
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
18 and counting Sep 19, 2010

Eighteen years since I started working as a translator/interpreter.
Eleven years since I became a been a full-time freelancer.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Globalization is driving that Sep 19, 2010

neilmac wrote:
Given the number of responders with less than 5 years experience, I now understand the plethora of sub-standard work I keep seeing out there... which comes as something of a relief.


That's about the time ubiquitous Internet took to globalize businesses everywhere, that hardly expected to sell their wares beyond, say, a 200-km radius. Now they are all selling worldwide, and this made the translation market mushroom.

A while ago, a friend of mine told me that his neighbor's 29-year-old son was piloting a transcontinental 767 jet. However that kid wouldn't be so likely to land it on the Hudson as skilfully as Sullenberger did, after 42 years' flying experience. The demand for aircraft pilots was so intense, that they had to push'em up the ranks as fast as possible.

Now the demand is intense for translators. As lives are not so much - especially not so often - at stake, these can be pushed up even faster.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:04
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
57 years Sep 19, 2010

The range is far too low for me too.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 02:04
English to French
+ ...
Translators = fine wines? Sep 19, 2010

neilmac wrote:

Now getting older doesn't seem all that bad after all!


Did you have doubts?
35 years - but only 11 years full time, for me!
Honnestly, I'd rather not have to go through one of my early productions


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I second that Sep 19, 2010

Interlangue wrote:

I'd rather not have to go through one of my early productions


... and thank God all that's been saved on diskettes that I can't read anymore


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
35 years Sep 20, 2010

At least that's what I'll admit to. It's actually more. Again, the ranges are way too low.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Brady
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translators = fine wines? Sep 20, 2010

I always have a brief look at the quick poll whenever I log in to Proz.com, but this is one of the first times I feel moved to comment. I fully appreciate that years of experience gained by a translator can have a significant influence on the quality of their translations, in the same way that there is nothing quite like a fine 40-year-old Graham’s Port. However, I think it is a valid point that only the highest quality, hand-picked grapes are used to make this wonderful drink, which from its very beginnings is destined to get better with age.

Technology has come on in leaps and bounds since our hypothetical Tawny was bottled way back in 1970. For example, Chile relies heavily on state of the art methods to produce ready-to-drink wines that are noted for their consistent high quality, and New World winemakers have developed methods to make the best out of bad vintages...

I think that you can see where I am going with this metaphor; it seems slightly unfair to arbitrarily rule out translators who have just a few years of experience. Sure, there are plenty of "cheap table wine" translators out there, but there also must be plenty who have a solid grounding in translation theory and a deep knowledge of their source and target languages. This, coupled with the opportunities offered by the internet, IT technology and plenty of hard work, means that "us young whippersnappers" have the opportunity to get ahead in the industry and provide a level of service to match those who cut their teeth with paper dictionaries and typewriters.

Neilmac: You and me both see sub-standard translations all over the place and any translator worth their salt becomes enraged about lack of quality, regardless of their experience.

José: I´ve read a number of your articles on translation with great interest. Thanks for posting them. We shouldn´t forget the highly skilled fresh-faced pilots who are put in charge of multi-million dollar fighter jets and sent off to far-flung places like Afghanistan, supposedly for the good of their countries. Their dedication means that they reach the top of their game at a very young age.

I hope you all have a great week!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:04
Member (2008)
English to Italian
15 years, but officially 8 Sep 20, 2010

I started working as a translator 15 years ago. Then I did a lot of other things, while still translating, and 8 years ago I became a full-time translator, which means I started issuing invoices with VAT and so on....

Direct link Reply with quote
 

María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 21:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
37 and counting Sep 20, 2010

But my full-time freelance career started in 1989.

Fortunately, my earliest translations were done as an extra service to my employers. I did not get paid for any of them, and people didn't expect much from a young bilingual secretary. Their reactions, however, were always gratifying and encouraging.

I know my work from the early '80s on is still in use, but I doubt those who read it on a regular basis would recognize my initials, so it is quite anonymous. That's a pity, because I know I did a great job (with more than a little help from my friends, though!)

Cheers


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:04
English to German
+ ...
28 years and counting Sep 20, 2010

15 on a free-lance basis

Direct link Reply with quote
 


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: How long have you been working as a translator/interpreter?

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



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