Poll: Does one "have to" be a bookworm to be a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:37
SITE STAFF
Apr 2, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does one "have to" be a bookworm to be a translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Satto (Roberto). View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Apr 2, 2011

... and I don't see why it should be a plus. I've never liked the term "bookworm", implying inferiority and perhaps an unhealthy obsession with reading. Being an avid reader is not necessarily a prerequisite to being a decent translator in my (ahem)book.
Having an open mind, a good level of education and being conversant in different language registers and knowledge areas are probably the first things I'd look for, coupled with an aptitude for language/s.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 18:37
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
Agree 100 % Apr 2, 2011

Agree 100 %

neilmac wrote:

... and I don't see why it should be a plus. I've never liked the term "bookworm", implying inferiority and perhaps an unhealthy obsession with reading. Being an avid reader is not necessarily a prerequisite to being a decent translator in my (ahem)book.
Having an open mind, a good level of education and being conversant in different language registers and knowledge areas are probably the first things I'd look for, coupled with an aptitude for language/s.



Anadolu'dan selamlar
Saludos desde Anatolia


Direct link Reply with quote
 

tradu-grace  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:37
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree 90% Apr 2, 2011

Agree 90%

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cecilia Rey  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 12:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
"No"... Apr 2, 2011

Regards!

[Edited at 2011-04-02 11:16 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

tradu-grace  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:37
English to Italian
+ ...
@neilmac Apr 2, 2011

Hi neilmac, my previous agree 90% was for your opionion (just forgot to point it out).

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:37
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
it helps to be a reader Apr 2, 2011

I also don't like 'bookworm' probably since i was labelled that as a kid. I would say it helps to be literary or a reader. Of course, these days, that would refer to anyone who reads a book a year.
I think having good writing skills is really a plus, especially when you translate into your native language. I came from a more literary and journalist background and I think that has really helped with the quality of translation and how I approach it. I'm a good researcher and can work under pressure, plus i have decent writing skills and language skills.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:37
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No, but it depends Apr 2, 2011

I think it helps to be well read in your native language.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:37
Member (2008)
English to Italian
exactly Apr 2, 2011

neilmac wrote:

... and I don't see why it should be a plus. I've never liked the term "bookworm", implying inferiority and perhaps an unhealthy obsession with reading. Being an avid reader is not necessarily a prerequisite to being a decent translator in my (ahem)book.
Having an open mind, a good level of education and being conversant in different language registers and knowledge areas are probably the first things I'd look for, coupled with an aptitude for language/s.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:37
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Apr 2, 2011

This greatly depends on one's understanding of the term "bookworm".

Personally, I associate the term "bookworm" with

a) a strong affinity, even love for the written (or the spoken) word
b) an instilled "crave" for knowledge
c) enjoy this particular kind of entertainment.

In this light, it does help to be a "bookworm" because a translator must (at least should) have a strong affinity for the written word as well as the desire to improve her or his knowledge, and, last but not least, enjoy anything that is word or language related.

Happy Weekend.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 16:37
English to French
+ ...
Agree 100% Apr 2, 2011

neilmac wrote:

Having an open mind, a good level of education and being conversant in different language registers and knowledge areas are probably the first things I'd look for, coupled with an aptitude for language/s.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 12:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
You may not "have to," but reading can make all the difference :) Apr 2, 2011

I am proud to say that I have NEVER taken a translation course. My mother tongue is Spanish, but English has been my chosen second language since I was thirteen years old.

I have a Bilingual Secretarial degree from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and studied English at the Chilean-British Institute. I did NOT attend a bilingual school before that.

My mom, whose parents were Italian immigrants, is a teacher of English, but she got married immediately after graduating and had four children in a row, so she never practiced. She did sing us some lullabies in English, but only one of her five children inherited her passion for languages AND her library.

I pride myself on having become an excellent translator thanks to my avid reading in English and Spanish. My college studies were a complement, of course, but I think the finishing touch was my 17-year career as a secretary to CEOs who depended on me to understand one language or the other.

Therefore, I beg to disagree with those who think that a passion for reading is not essential to become a good translator. By definition, a “bookworm” is a person who spends much time reading or studying. That's me!

Cheers!




[Edited at 2011-04-03 01:59 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 15:37
German to English
+ ...
No, but it is a plus. Apr 3, 2011

I don't think my clients care how many books I have read. Love of language(s), and how ideas are expressed is more important. Watching TV documentaries, listening to the radio, and how other people speak are equally important.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Reading certainly helps, but being a 'bookworm' is not mandatory Apr 3, 2011

The term 'bookworm' is very insulting and derogatory, as my jealous uncle-in-law used to call me. I take much pride to being an avid reader, regardless of what people think, and reading opens my mind to new cultures, e.g. English, American, French, German cultures, as well as gain an elevated educational level. It teaches me new terms required to be a translator and reading gems is so much joy, besides training to be a translator.

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: Does one "have to" be a bookworm to be a translator?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



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