Poll: How often do you read books/articles related to translation/language?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:20
SITE STAFF
Nov 16, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you read books/articles related to translation/language?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anne-Sophie Cardinal. View the poll results »



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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Reading for the purpose of translation Nov 16, 2012

I read news articles for the translations but I don't read anything actually about the art of translating.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:20
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Reading about writing Nov 16, 2012

I read books/articles on how to improve my writing skills or reference materials to fill in any gaps about what I'm translating or to gain extra background knowledge. So, I'm a "Rarely".

Also how about an "Occasionally" option for all the occasional readers out there?


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 22:20
Turkish to English
+ ...
Rarely Nov 16, 2012

I would have to say rarely, because, in the ongoing process to enhance my skills as a legal translator, almost all of the professional development reading I do is about law as I attempt to acquire an ever-deeper knowledge of the civil-law jurisdiction that my source texts derive from (Turkey) and a better understanding of the differences between such a jurisdiction and the common law jurisdictions of most parts of the English-speaking world. This is knowledge that I feel is crucial to raising my game.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not sure what 'somewhat frequently' means... Nov 16, 2012

But maybe it fits my habits of picking up books when I travel and then reading them in binges...

Occasionally would be better.

This year's absolute gem for me is David Bellos' Is that a Fish in Your Ear?
Maybe you knew some of the things he says, but there were some eye-openers for me. Apart from that, it is very readable and really funny in parts as well as deeply serious underneath.

There are some very good answers to myths and misunderstandings about translation. All English speakers should read it IMHO. Many others would undoubtedly enjoy it.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Frequently Nov 16, 2012

I have a fatal attraction to all things related to translation. I just can’t escape from it!

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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:20
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Frequently Nov 16, 2012

Frequently at the moment - but that might have something to do with the MA I am just finishing. I do find reading about translation interesting, but this will probably become more 'occasional' once the studies are over.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:20
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I used to . . . Nov 16, 2012

but I don't any more. Now, when I have to time to read, I read for recreation.

P.S. I think it's a sign of aging.

[Edited at 2012-11-16 12:05 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Maybe not Nov 16, 2012

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

P.S. I think it's a sign of aging.

[Edited at 2012-11-16 12:05 GMT]


As I guess our ages are not that apart...


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:20
Member (2005)
French to English
I am a sucker for books about words Nov 16, 2012

Among the titles I have enjoyed is Kingsley Amis's quirky commentary, "The King's English", Quiller-Couch on the Art of Writing, and Eric Partridge and C.T. Onions' "Usage and Abusage", which includes such recondite items as lists of adjectives that can't be used in the comparative or superlative...

On the art of translation proper, an article on discourse analysis in Terminolgie et Traduction led me to Mona Baker's "In Other Words" (Routledge), which is well-written, containing some good advice and a fair amount of densely technical linguistics.

By contrast, I was disappointed with Douglas Robinson's "On becoming a translator", which an academic had obviously compiled from lecture notes without bothering to edit them. I couldn't get very far with this work because of the style, or absence of attention to the same. While the advice was sound, the drafting was littered with solecisms, and entirely negated the purpose of such a book, to prevent neophytes from being dragged into pitfalls or sucked down into maelstroms! This author would be well-advised to cleanse his next edition so as not to lead his weaker brethren astray!

The latter example carries a word of caution to everyone. It does not suffice to jam words into a computer in order to produce a publication: a critical eye and a top-down view are necessary to make sure the work is well-compiled, readable and interesting.

I have a "hornbook" suggesting a number of works to fuel a translator's know-how. One of the ones I get a lot of mileage out of is Glanville Williams's elegantly-written "Learning the Law" - get the latest edition, recently published, because it includes all the recent changes in the administration of justice in Britain, as well as de-mystifying some points of legal usage.

I read and re-read The Economist Style Guide not because I agree with every syllable, but because it addresses the problems of drafting and editing hands-on, and has many constructive suggestions to which it would be wise to pay heed ("Data are plural").

And to conclude, a book on usage and style that is a good basic is Sir Ernest Gowers' "Complete Plain Words", which belies its bread-and-butter title by both sound advice and a wry sense of humour in dealing with misuses.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
From time to time Nov 16, 2012

I occasionally read some of the translation related articles here on proz.com.

If I'm going to read for professional purposes, I'm more likely to read an article from a scientific journal or EU publication to keep up to date with scientific terms and vocabulary.


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Milena Taylor  Identity Verified
Serbia
English to Serbian
+ ...
Occasionally - depends on the specific topic Nov 16, 2012

John Cutler wrote:

I occasionally read some of the translation related articles here on proz.com.

If I'm going to read for professional purposes, I'm more likely to read an article from a scientific journal or EU publication to keep up to date with scientific terms and vocabulary.


I completely agree with the previous comment.


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