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Poll: Do you think translation is a stressful job?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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Aug 24, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think translation is a stressful job?".

This poll was originally submitted by peter palladius. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Aug 24, 2011

Definitely. For reasons too numerous and varied for me to detail here, without getting stressed out by just thinking about it. Sometimes even the rates offered on proz are enough to send me into a tailspin of the screaming hab-dabs.

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Nathalie Bendavid  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:59
Member (2004)
English to French
+ ...
No, not at all............for me Aug 24, 2011

I work to relax, that is the beauty of loving what you do.
I am very fortunate, I thank G-D everyday for a job that I love and that brings me peace.
My work allows me to escape the stresses of home, kids and family responsibilities.......and I work from home, so that's quite a feat!
I pray that all of my colleagues find this must happiness in their work, Amen


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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
It has its stresses, like most jobs. Aug 24, 2011

Nice jobs with stupidly short deadlines; clients who suddenly start taking a lot longer to pay than they used to; an afternoon without work (which should be a chance to relax but turns out to be the opposite); computers that go wrong... all seem to go with the territory.

But the upside is: you choose your own work; if you don't like a client or the way they treat you, you stop working for them; no one can make you redundant; it's almost never boring (I stopped accepting the boring jobs long ago)...

I rather suspect most jobs are stressful in their own way.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:59
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It definitely can be Aug 24, 2011

A lot of the time, discipline and good planning can reduce the stress.
(I am not always good at that, but I have succeeded enough to know it is possible.)

But as others mention, you can't plan for everything.

There is an unexplained phenomenon I have noticed: the clients who forget a hundred words or so after deadline and need them 'yesterday'... usually come in threes when I am desperately trying to meet a fourth deadline.

Or the talkative type who will not put the phone down. That seems to be infectious too. I can work for a fortnight without the phone ringing while I am working, and then 'everyone but the butcher's dog' calls me just when I thought I had plenty of time for proofreading a tricky text. It gets rushed through and sent off two minutes before deadline.

That sort of thing cannot be planned for, and I have to admit it is stressful!

But if I take on a job with a tight deadline at all, I tell my husband, take a deep breath and get on with it. If I can't negotiate a better deadline, I take it as a challenge, or refuse the job, because it is impossible.

Happy translating!


[Edited at 2011-08-24 20:22 GMT]


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Kjersti Farrier  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:59
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
Not really Aug 24, 2011

I don't feel translation work in itself is stressful, but the freelancer part of it. For me it is difficult to organise work and life separately (especially when the kids are on holiday). But I love translating, I love the play with words and the challenge of demanding texts which require research.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:59
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Only the business aspects Aug 24, 2011

Translating itself is a form of meditation for me. It takes one out of oneself and into the mysterious and intoxicating realm that exists between two languages. No coincidence it was a favoured pursuit among medieval monks I dare say.

Once or twice I have become stressed when I have taken on a job beyond my expertise, but I have learned not to do this.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Right now, yes Aug 24, 2011

I have a job to deliver tomorrow, and it's already 4:00 a.m.

That's the part that I like the least - meeting tight deadlines when I once again overestimated my prowess and underestimated how challenging the job would be.


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:59
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Sometimes Aug 24, 2011

Translation can sometime be stressful, for instance when you're late with a job or when many of your favourite clients want you to work for them at the same time and you have to decline some...
But I think it's just as stressful as any other job, all jobs have their bad sides. And no matter which job, if you enjoy it in general, it will make the unavoidable occasional stress much more bearable.


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 09:59
English to French
+ ...
Not really Aug 24, 2011

It is a stimulating and exciting exercise, a source of positive stress that makes me feel alive. The lack/total absence of work, which I experienced this year (Q1) for the first time in 20 years, was stressful.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
At times Aug 24, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:

Translating itself is a form of meditation for me. It takes one out of oneself and into the mysterious and intoxicating realm that exists between two languages. No coincidence it was a favoured pursuit among medieval monks I dare say.




The "stressful" side of translating including: accounting, too low pay offered, extensive formatting, nearly impossible short deadlines, and last but not least, (fortunately this happened only once) a client who told me that I had the job, then waited several hours before he told me...."we haven't decided who gets the job yet"


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:59
Member (2006)
German to English
Sometimes Aug 24, 2011

but you are able to "control" the stress being freelancer, by simply turning down work when you already have enough

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Stress Aug 24, 2011

I am in control of my own destiny, so I can rule out the stress. I love my work, and if at times I have to work very hard, it is something I impose upon myself because it is what I choose to do.

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:59
German to English
+ ...
More sheer pleasure than anything else. Aug 24, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:

Translating itself is a form of meditation for me. It takes one out of oneself and into the mysterious and intoxicating realm that exists between two languages.


What a wonderful description, Simon!

I feel great when I am "in the zone" too. *Nothing* is better than this, for me.

Of course, the endless choices one makes in any translation can be stressful, but can be equally rewarding when the solutions are found.

I feel stress on tight deadlines when I spot a typo after I have done what I think is my final check. I feel stress when writing the covering e-mail. The rest of the time, *being* a translator beats being anything else, hands down.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What a thought! Aug 25, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:

No coincidence it was a favoured pursuit among medieval monks I dare say.


So when livelihood is sustained by a community, it naturally follows that some take this "path"? Don't mind me, I'm just digressing, as one of those few who said "no".

See, I find the stress involved rather artificially created and not having to do with translation as an activity in itself. And I would be stressed if I were told to stop translating. It's a mental function that comes quite as normally as I breathe.


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