Poll: How important is it for a translator to have the trait of curiosity?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:30
SITE STAFF
Apr 9, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How important is it for a translator to have the trait of curiosity?".

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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:30
English to French
+ ...
very important Apr 9, 2011

sometimes you think a new term can be something and it's not plus you need to understand new technology, and latest developments so curiosity helps you to keep up with all the recent research going on in your fields of specialisations that's my 2 penneth!

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:30
German to English
+ ...
We are a curious lot! Apr 9, 2011

St. Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Jesuits - Wikipaedia has plenty of info on him!) has a prayer which includes the words, "grant us the true love of knowledge which makes all study a discovery and a joy".
I suspect we were made to recite that at school just to encourage us all to behave. The tactic did not work (;)), however, but that phrase stuck with me.

Sometimes, of course, our curiosity has limits. I am no fan of things aeronautical, and anything more detailed than a TV documentary would serve as a good substitute for a sleeping pill!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 9, 2011

Because I don't really understand the motivation for the question, which to me seems a no-brainer. I believe curiosity is a prerequisite to intelligence, which in turn is a prerequisite for the profession. But maybe that's just my opinion.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:30
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Very important Apr 9, 2011

Curiosity is what has brough everything and everybody to where we are right now. Consequently, it's the driving force of life.

As translators, we must keep up with new developments, be prepared to accept new (source) words and varying ways to translate a particular word. Language is constantly changing. While old terminologies seldom cease to exist completely, new terms sore up at each and every corner (e. g. LOL having been entered into the Oxford Dictionary just recently).

Even here at ProZ new terms have been created (whether they were accepted by the community or not shall not matter here). For a translator, any linguist, curiosity is what keeps him/her up-to-date and ready to take on new challenges, e. g. be savy when it comes to translating a project dealing with new, thus far unknown plants to one day be cultivated on Mars.

This might seem a little far-fetched, but... everything's possible. A curious translator is one step ahead.

Enjoy your weekend.


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Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 08:30
Member (2010)
Greek to English
very, very, VERY important! Apr 9, 2011

I'm stopping short of saying 'vital', because I can imagine that some translators only work in a very limited field with a vocabulary that barely changes.

Most of us, however, deal with new terms all the time, or old terms used in a new context. Even familiar terms in a familar context need to be double-checked from time-to-time. To me, my natural curiosity is a) vital to me providing good (great!!) translations and b) the factor which allows me to love doing what I do, rather than simply working to earn a few Euros.


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MedTrans&More  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Hmmm... Apr 9, 2011

curiosity killed the cat! ;P

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Rocio Barrientos  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 01:30
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree 100% Apr 9, 2011

Dave Bindon wrote:

I'm stopping short of saying 'vital', because I can imagine that some translators only work in a very limited field with a vocabulary that barely changes.

Most of us, however, deal with new terms all the time, or old terms used in a new context. Even familiar terms in a familar context need to be double-checked from time-to-time. To me, my natural curiosity is a) vital to me providing good (great!!) translations and b) the factor which allows me to love doing what I do, rather than simply working to earn a few Euros.


Well said Dave!

Curiosity is the key to loving our work


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Multitran
Argentina
Local time: 02:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Curiosity? Apr 9, 2011

It does not seem to be the right word here, professionalism is not the same as 'curiosity'. Maybe you meant 'research' or an interest in research? ??

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:30
German to English
+ ...
and OMG, FYI Apr 9, 2011

Thayenga wrote:

Curiosity is what has brought everything and everybody to where we are right now.
... new terms shore up at each and every corner (e. g. LOL having been entered into the Oxford Dictionary just recently).

Even here at ProZ new terms have been created...


which Thayenga already knew, I am sure.

A quick whizz through the articles on the Internet did not reveal, in Oxford fashion, when the first recorded usage of LOL was. OMG, how exciting!

FYI, I still feel uncomfortable using emoticons - perhaps because of the apparent lack of rules for surrounding punctuation?


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