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Poll: Has the content of a text you translated changed you in any way?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 07:56
Oct 9, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has the content of a text you translated changed you in any way?".

This poll was originally submitted by Sheila Wilson. View the poll results »


Olga D.
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:56
Russian to English
+ ...
eating habits Oct 9, 2010

I translated a book about eating habits and food which is good for you and now notice that I unconsciously started following advice of the author:)


Anna Skirdenko  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:56
English to Russian
+ ...
self-education Oct 9, 2010

I noticed that the more I translate, the more I'm interesting to talk to.


Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
+ ...
Can I change my vote? Oct 9, 2010

I voted "no," but Anna's comment that she's more interesting to talk to, titled "self education,"made me slap my silly forehead and say "duh." What was I thinking?

Of course! I learn something new with every editing or translating project. I even quote Danilo Nogueira on my profile: "Translating should be an enriching intellectual experience and you should end a job as a different person."


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Definitely! Oct 9, 2010

Having translated some 500-600 traning programs, about 50% of them in management skills, plus maybe 40% in sales, as I had to internalize the ideas before expressing them in a way that would be appealing to trainees, I acquired a considerable theoretical[/b] background in these. Nevertheless, this took place mostly [i]after I had left my management career to become a freelance translator, so I haven't had so much chance to put all that in practice. Nevertheless, my customer service skills all came from these.

One specific book I translated on self-esteem gave me the answers to questions relative to why people are the way they are? that I previously thought that defied explanation.


keelin feeney  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Education and more Oct 9, 2010

I definitely agree with the idea that you learn more.

What really came to mind though when I read this question was a series of adoption papers that I translated for various couples. I remember being brought to tears by each case, coz you see at first hand the amount of emotions that goes into these cases.

Obviously, adoption is an emotional process but when translating the cases, you can nearly feel the emotions yourself.


Charlie Bavington (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
French to English
Sustainable Oct 9, 2010

I have erased the word from my vocabulary, other than when working, i.e. when a translation requires it. And it seems that every translation I get does. The word has effectively lost its meaning. So, well done all you corporate marketing double-speak bandwaggon-jumping halfwits, that's another perfectly reasonable word that's been abused to death and, unfortunately, the concept no longer means anything either. When every single product and service in the world is described as sustainable, even when it patently isn't, what's the point?


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
Member (2008)
English to Italian
yes Oct 9, 2010

awareness of a lot of things I ignored


Meritxell Asensio  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
yes Oct 9, 2010

Each document ( small or large) I translate or proofread gives me a bit extra knowledge or maybe refreshes any information I had about the subject.

At the same time I expand my vocabulary as I discover not only new words, sayings in the source language but also in my target language as well.

For me working in translation always leaves room for improvement and new Knowledge and I keep expanding my reference library with subjects I would (possibly) never had an interest in.

[Edited at 2010-10-09 14:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-10-09 14:45 GMT]


Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
How come you all learn so much? Oct 9, 2010

I don't. I learn and relearn vocabulary and may pick up the odd titbit of information here and there, but no true learning goes on. What's more, the more I translate the more I become withdrawn, which is something I try to avoid.


Local time: 16:56
English to Swedish
Learned? Yes. Changed? No. Oct 9, 2010

I have definitely learned something from translations I have done, but I hesitate to label it as if they have "changed" me in any substantial way. We all learn every day, more or less, whether it's hard data and facts or a more subtle form of knowledge. I suppose in a poetic kind of way you could say that every piece of new knowledge we acquire "changes" us in some way, but then the poll question would be pretty irrelevant.

To me, the question referred to some major, life-changing insight or radical change. Like, translating about the cattle industry made someone become a vegetarian over night, or you stopped buying a certain type of product after translating about their production methods or corporate structure, that sort of thing. And with that interpretation, no, I can't say any translation I have made has changed me or informed me of something I wasn't already aware of.

Nevertheless, I have turned jobs down based on knowledge I already had; specifically sales material for "multi-level marketing" schemes/pyramid sales-like companies and a pamphlet for a fundamentalist Christian group.


Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Oct 9, 2010

I believe, any new information learnt changes one in a certain way, to a smaller or bigger extent.


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 08:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Learned a lot Oct 9, 2010

I wouldn't say that any translation has actually changed my outlook or lifestyle but I have learned a lot. I learn something new from every medical or legal translation. I once translated an asylum application and it opened my eyes to the plight of refugees and to what is going on in some countries, prompting me to join Amnesty International - that could maybe be considered a change.

[Edited at 2010-10-09 15:42 GMT]


JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 10:56
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Gave me my specialization Oct 9, 2010

The first really big translation job I did was in Caribbean history. I knew virtually nothing, and had to do tons of research. The publication of that book led to other offers in the field and here I am. I still don't know a lot about Caribbean history, but I've learned how to research it!



Paula González Fernández  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
learned and changed Oct 9, 2010

I agree with you that I learn from every single project. Unfortunately, my neuron is not good enough and I tend to forget much of what I've translated and read. But I do collaborate with a conservation organization and, although I used to consider myself "green" before doing that work, now I am even more concerned about environmental issues.

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Poll: Has the content of a text you translated changed you in any way?

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