Poll: In how many fields do you specialize?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:12
Jan 9, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In how many fields do you specialize?".

View the poll results »


Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:12
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
More than 8-10... Jan 9, 2011

Naturally I (would) wish to specialize in 3-4 fields. But with new age of internet and under the information-knowledge bombardment what can I do... Therfore since many years I translate many fields tambien. I do my work good. First I see the file(s) and if I can translate it, i accept it...

Translating only 1-2 fields are not enough for me (both brain satisfaction & money)...

Anadolu'dan selamlar
Saludos desde Anatolia

[Edited at 2011-01-09 08:48 GMT]


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Have changed thru time Jan 9, 2011

Now I have to admit to 2 or 3 areas where, more by luck than judgement, I am concentrating more of my efforts than before.
I used to insist I didn't specialise, because I didn't deliberately do so, and still see it as somehow restrictive, a narrowing of options.
However, through the gradual accummulation of similar-ish clients, mostly by word of mouth, I now appear to specialise in:
1- "bio" areas (animal husbandry, veterinary, phytosanitary, agriculture ...).
2- By dint of a long standing relationship with an EDI service provider, first in EFL then later as outsourced translator/consultant, I am also apparently a bit of an expert (so they tell me) in their particular area and software, and am now used to the often frustrating lack of context or unforeseen polysemy issues in the strings.
3- I have also been doing translations of market research surveys for several years, for 4 different client agencies. This work is is collaboration with a Spanish colleague. We usually receive the work in English and have to translate the questionnaires and instructions into Spanish, then later we translate the resulting reports and verbatims back into English.
So there you go, 2 or 3 "specialist" areas, although my ongoing "restrictophobia" means that I am still willing to have a bash at most things I see as doable.
Plus ça change!


Interlangue (X)
Local time: 01:12
English to French
+ ...
Other Jan 9, 2011

Varies over the years: from technical (electricity, electric appliances, dozers, graders, loaders, forklifts, gearboxes, engines and other machines) in the early days, to human rights and development aid today, over finance, environment, tourism, food security and other EU texts, legal and even IT for a few years (vanished with the bubble) - I may forget some.

I still do concrete for one client when I am available, a few annual reports and housing projects, here and there, I also work for a beauty magazine (beautician products, nail care, jewelry), but over the past 4 years, most of my time and work have been devoted to ICCs (including demography and other academic research reports), human rights and development aid.

[Modifié le 2011-01-09 10:33 GMT]


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:12
Member (2007)
+ ...
Depends how you define "fields" Jan 9, 2011

My main specialisation is tourism, but tourism includes everything tourists want to do: sleep, travel, visit cities, museums, beauty spots and historical monuments, eat, drink, play ... then of course some of the texts are marketing or journalistic, others are informative or contractual, ...

That's quite a lot of specialisations in terms of the ProZ fields.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:12
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
2 - 3 + some Jan 9, 2011

When I started out it was economics and general business only.

Then I became a technical translator, "specializing" in all fields of Civil Engineering to incl. interior and runway lighting, A/C, construction, carpentry, facility management and maintenance, even human resources and housing... You name the field, I worked in it for about two decades.

After that I focused more on letters, may they be business correspondence, surveys or of a more general/private nature, with my main focus on literatur and poetry. I'd like to specialize in literature & poetry only, but.... that seems to be in my dreams only.icon_smile.gif

In reality I accept every assignment after having read the file and, of course, if it's within my range of "general" fields.icon_smile.gif


Patricia Charnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:12
English to French
+ ...
2-3 Jan 9, 2011

Law pharmaceutical/medical

and a little bit of insuranceicon_smile.gif


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:12
Member (2006)
German to English
2 - 3 Jan 9, 2011

How can you be "specialized" in so many fields - +8?


Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 18:12
German to English
8+ Jan 10, 2011

Someone asked how you can have so many specialisations. Here's how:

I "fell" into software translation when I got my first job, working as an in-house software translator for SAP. This job gave me my first specialisations (SAP Retail, BW, MM and Logistics), and, by extension, enables me to translate other software elements (online help documentation, user manuals, GUIs, etc).

My second job, at a web hosting company, gave me another specialisation - servers and IT. I also learned to write web content, press releases and marketing materials, and studied usability.

My love of video games gave me my fourth - and favourite! - specialisation, while my hobbies (cooking, aromatherapy, travel and soapmaking) and my pets have proved useful for many different kinds of texts.

Then of course, there are the "specialisations" you learn through your freelance clients. I have 2 clients I work for regularly (every month), translating texts on the same types of subjects. I know their glossaries more or less by heart, and I'm familiar with the style and tone required. This, in turn, enables me to translate similar texts for other clients in similar fields.

[Edited at 2011-01-10 02:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-10 02:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-10 02:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-10 02:37 GMT]


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