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Poll: Has your age ever helped or hurt you in any way as a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:32
SITE STAFF
Mar 25, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has your age ever helped or hurt you in any way as a translator?".

View the poll results »



 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:32
Member (2006)
German to English
Oh? Mar 25, 2013

Oh again?

 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:32
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I have absolutely no idea Mar 25, 2013

icon_smile.gif

SC


 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:32
German to English
How would I know? Mar 25, 2013

We can only speculate on the reasons why we are, or are not, selected for a particular project. It is possible that age is a factor, particularly with regard to experience, but the agency isn't going to tell you that!

Steve K.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 25, 2013

My clients don't know how old I am.

[Edited at 2013-03-25 09:33 GMT]


 

Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:32
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Other Mar 25, 2013

I have no idea...

 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Age does help Mar 25, 2013

My take on the question has to do with the idea that if you're older, you have more life experience and I've found that, that can help in practice.

I'm a living, walking, breathing "wikipedia article" on all sorts of subjects.icon_smile.gif


 

Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, indeed Mar 25, 2013

John Cutler wrote:

My take on the question has to do with the idea that if you're older, you have more life experience and I've found that, that can help in practice.



Absolutely!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:32
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Mar 25, 2013

My clients don't know how old I'm (at least most of them), but as age and experience go hand in hand...

 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Age = know more Mar 25, 2013

As simple as that: I couldn't possibly have known this much twenty years ago!

So, although my clients don't have to know my age, they benefit from it, and presumably come back for more as a result of it.

So, like John, I'm a walking talking living reference resource! Not completely reliable, I do like to double check, but then, neither is Wiki!


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:32
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No idea ... Mar 25, 2013

But, as others said, I guess experience doesn't or couldn't hurt

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Readership age Mar 25, 2013

There's been at least one case of agreement between potential client and myself that perhaps a younger person might be more suitable. This was for some sort of smartphone app aimed at adolescent users. Best done by someone not in their fifties!

But it didn't exactly hurt - I don't bank on getting every job I apply for anyway. And I'm sure my age counts for me more often than against me, if it counts at all.


 

Tomasz Szymenderski  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:32
English to Polish
+ ...
Obviously, I may only speak for myself but... Mar 25, 2013

I would say that age may indeed help or hinder a translator, especially one that seeks to enter the business and is yet to establish his or her own base of clients.

I was still a student when I started. I was (and perhaps still am – not for me to decide) inexperienced albeit immensely determined to become a translator. More often than not I had to prove to my clients that, despite my age, I am professional and capable of delivering high quality translation. However, it wasn’t always all that easy. I remember being told by one of my first clients (whom I met in person): “Well, I expected you to be somewhat, I don’t know, older?”. Thankfully, he gave me a chance and we have cooperated ever since. Thing is, he didn’t have to.

But, hey, translation does calls for a great deal of meta knowledge that comes in time and if a client has at least a vague idea of what it takes to translate a text, he or she will favour mature and presumably more experienced translators. I would, anyway. In other words, yes, age is a factor to be taken into consideration.


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 14:32
German to English
+ ...
Maturity is an advantage Mar 25, 2013

I have never been discounted from any job because of my age, either when I was younger, or now, when I am full of life!

I do think that with experience and maturity, we are better able to handle the subject matter of certain texts, because with the passing of the years, we acquire a greater degree of perspicacity - and, possibly, find it easier to be in touch with and dissociate from the text at the same time.

In other words, a translator with experience is less likely to faint at the description of the sight of blood than an inexperienced translator.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:32
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Wouldn't know Mar 25, 2013

As others have stated before, experience is always a plus.

Other than that, I have no idea. Age once helped me when I started out, because my then supervisor though I was easily to be molded into what he/the company needs.
Well... no comment.icon_biggrin.gif


 
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