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Poll: Do you think translators in general dislike working in teams?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:03
SITE STAFF
May 19, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think translators in general dislike working in teams?".

This poll was originally submitted by Emin Arı. View the poll results »



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2011-05-19 11:24 GMT]


 

Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
English to French
yes May 19, 2011

that's a good question, sometimes I tend to think that it's yes.

Maybe it's a "déformation professionelle" either way that's a very good question


 

Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:03
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
No May 19, 2011

But this is my personal point of view:
I love to work in teams, though I know that many colleagues do not like it.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:03
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends May 19, 2011

is my answer.

On second thought, there seems to exist the tendency to prefer working alone in order to act out one's own ideas, develope one's own work schedule - depending, of course, on the deadlines.

No need to mention the independance working on one's own provides. This applies to bosses as well as to team-colleagues.


 

Ricardo Gouveia  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:03
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends May 19, 2011

Is also my answer. It strongly depends on the person, but I do not see Translation as a "group profession".

Myself, I hate working in teams or any kind of teamwork, either I do the whole or nothing at all.


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes May 19, 2011

I especially don't like working with others who already have a TM started and I don't like their choices of vocabulary.

Nuf said.


 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
An article on the subject May 19, 2011

Hi all,

This is indeed a good question. I'd like to share with you a link to an article on the same subject I came across on Twitter http://globaltolocallanguagesolutions.com/2011/05/18/why-do-translators-dislike-working-together/ .

Romina


 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:03
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
I haven't done it that often May 19, 2011

usually i work alone. I did have one team project and it was not a good experience, mostly due to screwups and delays further up in the chain of command...too many cooks basically. I can't say I'll ever be tempted to do that again.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:03
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It depends very much on how you define a team... May 19, 2011

If teamwork means getting someone else to do the jobs I dislike, then I am all in favour, but I prefer to translate on my own.

I am very happy to work with PMs and DTP experts who can sort out all the problems I don't understand. I even know a few translators I can work with on a large job with several sections. Some actually like the technical and financial sections, thank goodness! Teamwork is often a good idea with proofreading, too.

Occasionally I find it stimulatin
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If teamwork means getting someone else to do the jobs I dislike, then I am all in favour, but I prefer to translate on my own.

I am very happy to work with PMs and DTP experts who can sort out all the problems I don't understand. I even know a few translators I can work with on a large job with several sections. Some actually like the technical and financial sections, thank goodness! Teamwork is often a good idea with proofreading, too.

Occasionally I find it stimulating to take on a large job and coordinate with others, especially if the terminology is challenging, for instance. I helped with a big technical tender job like that last December. However, we were all pleased when it was finished and we could retreat to our normal splendid isolation again.

Apart from knowing what I think myself, I would be very cautious about making statements about 'translators in general'. It is almost like making statements about humans in general. My father almost always translated as one of a team, but that was a couple of generations ago, and they were translating very special texts.

On the whole I do not think translation lends itself to teamwork.
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Rocio Barrientos  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 17:03
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Personally.... May 19, 2011

I love working in teams!

Have a wonderful day everyone


 

Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
French to English
Team vs. Team May 19, 2011

If it's a team of translators stitched together to meet a ridiculous deadline and asked to produce as uniform a translation as possible, then phooey. Some poor editor has to work exponentially harder to smooth things out before delivery, and any residual inconsistencies will be picked up on by the client. This is cheap labor for an inferior product, and I've been through it.

If it's a team of translators who have gotten to know each other (ideally in person!) and have comparable edu
... See more
If it's a team of translators stitched together to meet a ridiculous deadline and asked to produce as uniform a translation as possible, then phooey. Some poor editor has to work exponentially harder to smooth things out before delivery, and any residual inconsistencies will be picked up on by the client. This is cheap labor for an inferior product, and I've been through it.

If it's a team of translators who have gotten to know each other (ideally in person!) and have comparable education, experience, and standards, then hurrah! It's a goldmine for them and they are prepared to handle jobs they couldn't take alone. It's also a great learning opportunity, for each of them brings some hard-earned knowledge about the process to the table to share.
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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 16:03
German to English
Love it May 19, 2011

Stephanie Mitchel wrote:

If it's a team of translators who have gotten to know each other (ideally in person!) and have comparable education, experience, and standards, then hurrah! It's a goldmine for them and they are prepared to handle jobs they couldn't take alone. It's also a great learning opportunity, for each of them brings some hard-earned knowledge about the process to the table to share.



I completely agree with this. I'm lucky enough to be/have been a member of a 4-person team which has worked together on several video games over the past few years. I found it a fun and stimulating experience and loved working that way. I would have hated to coordinate it, though!


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
In memoriam
Other May 19, 2011

I can only speak for myself, I am a solo act, not a teamworker. I cannot work in a team setting; I cannot and will not work with anyone else on any project. But I am capable of providing magnificent support to any team... just give me the task and leave me alone, that's all I ask!

It's hard for me to say how anyone else feels, although I would think that many colleagues might share my opinion to some degree. After all, if we loved teamwork, we would be working at a company, not free
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I can only speak for myself, I am a solo act, not a teamworker. I cannot work in a team setting; I cannot and will not work with anyone else on any project. But I am capable of providing magnificent support to any team... just give me the task and leave me alone, that's all I ask!

It's hard for me to say how anyone else feels, although I would think that many colleagues might share my opinion to some degree. After all, if we loved teamwork, we would be working at a company, not freelance as most of us are.
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Joy Gehner
United States
Local time: 14:03
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Depends on the team May 19, 2011

I think we freelancers generally choose that route so we don't have to work directly with others all day - I know I like that about it! But I've been lucky enough to collaborate with a couple of very talented translators on a couple of projects - we're on the same wavelength and I think have all learned from one another while we work. That is very satisfying in a usually isolating profession!

 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
It depends ... May 19, 2011

It certainly does for me, and I think probably in general too.

I think the right attitude is key.

There are a couple of recurring projects I work on every year with excellent teams, (hand-picked, well organised and co-ordinated, motivated, experienced people, with knowledge of the subject and principles of translation and a postive, cooperative attitude). Those are good experiences. But great as that maybe, even if it were possible, I can't see myself working like that
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It certainly does for me, and I think probably in general too.

I think the right attitude is key.

There are a couple of recurring projects I work on every year with excellent teams, (hand-picked, well organised and co-ordinated, motivated, experienced people, with knowledge of the subject and principles of translation and a postive, cooperative attitude). Those are good experiences. But great as that maybe, even if it were possible, I can't see myself working like that all the time.

In the past I've seen the 'dark side', when I have worked on other 'team' projects with shared on-line TMs, uknown translators, proof-readers playing 'clever', disorganisation, technical issues, ineffective project managers, etc., and inevitably, there were problems and it felt unsatisfying. Didn't repeat those.

I think translation is and can be a lonely profession, even more so in the past. Social networking and global communication are changing some things, but freelance translators do work mostly alone, and mostly like it that way.


[Edited at 2011-05-19 17:31 GMT]
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