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Poll: Which of the following has helped you the most to become the translator you are?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:22
SITE STAFF
May 26, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of the following has helped you the most to become the translator you are?".

This poll was originally submitted by yam2u. View the poll results »





 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 26, 2012

Mainly linguistic talent/skill and a combination of luck and circumstances- in fact everything BUT a specific translation training certificate, course or degree.

I never really studied my main source language (Spanish) other than as a "filler" component in my final university year studying Russian and French. The only translation involved in my language course was short texts - both ways - and there was no consideration or mention of the art of translation per se. As a result, I don't really appreciate the value of specific translation courses, other than as a sort of boot camp for the clone army of tool-wielding techno drones, and certainly don't consider technical training in the use of MT/TM programs, etc a prerequisite for a translator. In my opinion, if the technology was made less complicated and more user-friendly, there would be little or no need for extensive training in the use of technical translation tools.

I am also very "anti" current translation courses in my own language pair, because I see that most of them are geared towards Spanish native speakers who aim to translate into my native English, which always irks me, since I don't try to steal their custom...


 

Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Combination of everything... May 26, 2012

It took me a long time to find out what I am really good at. This profession is my calling in a way. icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2012-05-27 02:08 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:22
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Professional experience May 26, 2012

I started out almost by accident "oh you're English, could you translate this for me?" and was lucky enough to land a job in an agency with a very demanding proofreader. Learning to stand up to her criticism really sharpened my thinking about what clients think they want and what they actually need, and together we would come up with solutions to satisfy them on all counts.

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:22
Member
English to French
Other May 26, 2012

Meeting the right people at the right time.

Philippe


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A combination of... May 26, 2012

...a certain amount of talent and a lot of hard work to develop it.

For me, the real turning point was reached when I began to translate quickly enough to earn decent money from the work that I do.

(It is too much to ask that someone proofread the questions of these polls?)


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:22
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
A combination of... May 26, 2012

...good old-fashioned hard work and dedication.

So, I answered "Other".

@Richard Forstag
Yess, eye ogree. Tha pole kood haf bean profred. icon_smile.gif


 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Combination of great number of factors May 26, 2012

Among which are luck, being in the right place at the right time (I didn't choose translating, it chose me, but now it seems so obvious that it was the right thing for me), linguistic skills of course, a magpie attitude to the world which leads me to collect little piece of "shining" knowledge which always seem to turn out useful in the end. Ah yes, and AGE!

 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
Italian to English
+ ...
combination minus... May 26, 2012

I answered a combination of the above, but I should really exclude the degree in translation. My language degree included some translation, both ways, as Neilmac says, but there was never any mention of the possibility of a career in translating.
Thinking back now, I don't really know what they expected us to do with our degrees, apart from teaching.
As far as I know, most of my fellow students went straight into teaching (one tried for the diplomatic service, but didn't get in, so chose teaching instead) and one I know is in publishing....
Of course, if I had chosen teaching I could probably have retired by now!


 

Filipa Plant dos Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 18:22
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
Other May 26, 2012

This is what I put - Other - because I realised, though only just recently, that my "unique" skills of being able to read very very fast, combined with being incredibly nosy, suited me perfectly to a life of translating! Who knew?icon_razz.gif

 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 19:22
English to French
+ ...
Other May 26, 2012

My eagerness to learn and several professors during my formal training (no "tools" in my typewriter's days), as well as my husband for the "translator" aspect.
Life experience and circumstances, my sister in law (also a colleague) and a few clients for the "freelance" bit, + hard work of course.

[Modifié le 2012-05-26 20:51 GMT]


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 19:22
English to French
+ ...
May 26, 2012



[Modifié le 2012-05-27 07:26 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
A combination of factors, of course May 26, 2012

Philippe Etienne wrote:

Meeting the right people at the right time.

Philippe


That thought is almost Zen-like, Philippe!

On top of my translation degrees, my years of experience and the knowledge accumulated by both passive and active means, I have to add the happy luck of having some mentors along the way (some weren't aware they were helping me as mentors).

I am sorry, Neilmac, I don't see a reason to begrudge non-native English speakers for becoming English translators. As for translation courses, there are many pluses and minuses to taking any of them, and there is always room for improvement. The problem with some of the translation training in some universities and colleges involves several aspects:

1) Translation teaching that is in the hands of people who are not career translators
2) Translation teaching that is based on language learning
3) Translation courses that ignore real-world training and/or development of business skills
4) Translation courses that tend to be too theoretical


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:22
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Linguistic talent/skill May 26, 2012

A natural talent for learning languages and the discovery of what I need to do to make rapid progress in a language.






[Edited at 2012-05-27 08:27 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Natural talent May 26, 2012

I discovered in eighth grade that I had a knack for translation. All my life I have been honing my skill and working toward the goal of being the translator I am today. Each translation brings more experience, and I learned a lot from my studies in linguistics, especially functional linguistics.

 
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