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Poll: Do you usually read books about translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Oct 17, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you usually read books about translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by André Barros. View the poll results »



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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:06
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sometimes, but not voluntarily Oct 17, 2011

I have had to read a lot over the past year because of my studies. To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed less than 10% of those (or rather, felt I've actually benefited from them).
Most of it is so far removed from the reality of - even literary- translators. And most of them just repeat what previous theorists have said again and again, only using slightly different terminology and categorizations to give the academic world the impression that they're coming up with a brand new theory.

In my opinion, everything that's ever been said about translation theory can be summed up in one small volume (I don't want to be so cruel and say one lengthy article). But obviously acknowledging that would spell the death of the academic discipline, and nobody has an interest in that!
And then perhaps a second volume for translation practice and business. And some empirical studies here and there. And my PhD thesis, when it's ready. That's it.

[Bearbeitet am 2011-10-17 08:56 GMT]


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:06
German to English
+ ...
I said yes. Oct 17, 2011

The reading, however, is not in book form any longer. Occasionally one finds an interesting point of view, which, I guess is half the point of reading in the first place.

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Fabio Said  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:06
Member (2008)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Books about translation Oct 17, 2011

I enjoy books on the practical side of translating (the business of translation, handbook for patent translators, overview of court interpreting etc.), and I don't read translation theory anymore (I used to like Umberto Eco in the old days).

By the way, for anyone interested in reading about the business of translation I can recommend two books that are really, really worth reading:

- "The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation", by Judy & Dagmar Jenner
- "The Prosperous Translator", by Chris Durban (“Fire Ant”) and Eugene Seidel (“Worker Bee”)

See my reviews for both books here:

http://fidusinterpres.com/?tag=books


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#JuliaC#  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
German to Italian
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2011

The last one I read is "Is that a fish in your ear?" by David Bellos and I strongly recommend it!

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Madalena Ribeiro  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, but I have got some. Oct 17, 2011

No, but I have got some.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 17, 2011

I'm afraid the definition of "usually" is the stumbing block for me here.

I have been struggling with Umberto Eco's "Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation" for a few years now. I never seem to get to the end. I have read a couple of other books over the years but can't remember the names. My most usual translated-related reading fodder nowadays consists of blogs and articles from the ATA and similar journals.

Another book, but about English language, Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue, while not about translation per se, is very informative and entertaining.


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zadige
Local time: 20:06
French to Greek
+ ...
yes I do Oct 17, 2011

but I do not read the original I read the translation....

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Erika Pilar Pancella
Italy
Local time: 19:06
English to Italian
+ ...
I read blogs and articles about translation Oct 17, 2011

I read a couple of books... actually only the parts that interested me.

However I try to constantly read news and blogs about translation, to be informed about what happens in the market.


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Kimberlee Thorne-Harper
United States
Local time: 11:06
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I wish I could get my hands on some good translation books, but... Oct 17, 2011

Hi everyone,

Since I live in Argentina, it's very difficult and expensive to get my hands on good translation books.

Moreover, due to the lack of time and my usually heavy workload, all I'm really able to do is read some articles, blogs and participate in some linguist groups. There are really good materials on the web as well.

In summary, I'm having a hard time balancing the need for training and knowledge with my daily demands and lack of time.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:06
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Books about translation Oct 17, 2011

Yes, I have hundreds of books on translation (and I am expecting "Is That a Fish in Your Ear?" to arrive sometime this week). I also spent several days searching the internet and downloaded around a 1000 articles on translation and legal translation as well as a few blogs, assembled them together and loaded them onto my Kindle. Now, finding the time to actually read them all, well...

[Edited at 2011-10-17 13:10 GMT]


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:06
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Translation and Globalization Oct 17, 2011

I do like reading about translation theory and practice, although like some people, I tend to read more articles than books nowadays. One book that I read a few years ago now, for pleasure and not out of any compulsion, was "Translation and Globalization" by Michael Cronin. I have to admit that I like his other books that I have read and some of his articles, but this one really stands out. It gave me a lot of food for thought about the role translators play in the modern world, for better and for worse.
I'd definitely recommend it, Aisha


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Pierluigi Bernardini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:06
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, and I like it a lot Oct 17, 2011

To be honest, I have been quite surprised reading the percentages of this poll and seeing that the "yes" and "sometimes" are so low...

I have always read book on translation to complete my education in the field: translation theory, translator's guides and alike, firstly during my studies to better understand theory and methods of translation. Now I do it quite often or at least when I have time out of work because I think they are an invaluable source for training and in-depth knowledge of the matter.

I think besides the "mere" translation activity I am one that would have liked doing research on translation and topics related at university.

They can be also a precious reference during work if you need to review something or find tips connected with the text you are dealing with at the moment.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:06
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Articles and Blogs Oct 17, 2011

more than books. But this might be changing in the near future.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:06
Hebrew to English
Another good read... Oct 17, 2011

neilmac wrote:

I'm afraid the definition of "usually" is the stumbing block for me here.

I have been struggling with Umberto Eco's "Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation" for a few years now. I never seem to get to the end. I have read a couple of other books over the years but can't remember the names. My most usual translated-related reading fodder nowadays consists of blogs and articles from the ATA and similar journals.

Another book, but about English language, Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue, while not about translation per se, is very informative and entertaining.



Neil, you should read Robert Lane Greene's "You are what you speak". It's another book more about general linguistics than specifically on translation.

I wouldn't say he demolishes Bryson's mother tongue, but he illuminates the errors in the first few chapters. (But then he's rather nice about it, almost apologetic, rather than being smug and superior).

I'm still reading it - it's definitely unputdownable.

As far as translation books are concerned I agree with Nesrin when she said that after a while, they all start re-repeating themselves, re-telling the same stories, rephrasing the same theories etc.

Whilst the theories are definitely worth having at least a passive knowledge of, you really only need to read one or two good ones to get this.

My personal favourites are:

1. Mona Baker's "In other words"
I like this because it's more on the practical side, rather than more dry theory obsessed books.
2. Theo Herman's "The conference of the tongues".

I am still trying to make my way through Jeremy Munday's introductory texts, they are so dry, it's hard to want to continue reading on (and it's all regurgitated theory I've already read in other volumes).


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