Poll: Do you ever feel burned out from translating/interpreting?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:15
SITE STAFF
May 25, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever feel burned out from translating/interpreting?".

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Alexandranow  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 20:15
Romanian to English
+ ...
case May 25, 2013

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever feel burned out from translating/interpreting?".

View the poll results »


It never happens when interpreting, but rarely when translating if I have short deadlines.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Fridays... But it goes over May 25, 2013

... and Saturdays like today, when I'm working the second weekend in a row.

Trying desperately to keep up with clients who promise 3000 words on a particular date and send 5000, two days later, with the same deadline.

It's been a chaotic month... but wait til they get my invoices!

It is bank holiday weekend in the UK, where many of my clients come from. There was a holiday in Denmark last weekend, where I live, and one in France on a different day. (So I worked for the French client meanwhile...) Even the Swedes have holidays occasionally. They all seem to conspire to keep me busy.

At least I have received a couple of really nice thank-you mails and one client is paying a rush fee.

But next month I am going to take some time off, and a real holiday in July!


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes - but... May 25, 2013

I consider it part of the cost of doing business. Somehow I always manage to work through it and come out ready and willing to get back to work.

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Texte Style
Local time: 19:15
French to English
burnout May 25, 2013

It's not usually translation that burns me out but the customers: those who seem to think you can whip a translation up in no time whereas the source text took several people in several lines of business several weeks to craft, those who expect you to just put everything aside to deal with their emergency that's due their time-management failure etc etc. I had both this past week and am glad it is behind me.

Translation can burn me out when I'm not interested in the text, but fortunately that happens less and less as I weed out the clients in lines of business I find boring.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes May 25, 2013

Just occasionally. Not usually due to the translation per se, but the fact that most clients, especially agencies, usually seem to be in a dreadful hurry, at least here in Spain. When several clients pile up on me at once for whatever reason, I may end up feeling, sounding and looking like a wet dishrag.
For example, this week I was translating texts for a bi-monthly magazine. As I know this is coming up, I try to get my regular clients to bear in mind that for 5 days or so I will be busy meeting this publishing deadline. Fair enough, most of them do their best not to suddenly appear with things they desperately need translated ASAP.
However, this time around, the magazine's regular Franch translator had "a problem" so I was asked to translate 1500 words FR-ENG at the last minute. I haven't translated from French for rather a long time and I found the going was much slower and required more effort than when translating from Spanish (it took me about 4 times longer). I finished around 1 am and as a result felt a bit limp all day yesterday... But at least that's one nightmare, scatty ad hoc client I won't have to deal with again for another 8 weeks and he does pay on time, so as usual I'll just "put up and shut up".

Now if only there was somewhere I could have a no-holds-barred rant about low rates like those offered in one particular posting today, I could really let off steam...


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Sometimes May 25, 2013

It is rarely ever the process of translating that "bothers" me.

What comes close to a burnout is when the deadlines are so tight that it turns any translation into a rush job. But even that can be handled. Those changes at the very last moment are what really exhaust me once in a while. These moments of fatigue are, however, quickly forgotten when the client is happy and... when the next project arrives. It's all part of freelancing.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
I sense a movie title coming up... May 25, 2013

How about “Translators on the verge of a nervous breakdown”? What would Almodóvar say to that?

Personally, I don't feel burnout. If I haven't slept enough or if I have mental fatigue due to a convergence of factors, such as anxiety, a tight deadline, or taking care of a client's justified claim about a recent translation (that I have to fix in a jiffy), then I feel less mental energy to do translation and my mental performance suffers a dip.

I read between translation hours as a sort of brain gymnastics to look away from a translation project and, once the 10-20 minutes of reading are done, return with renewed vigor to the task.

I don't do rush translations and I only keep clients who have a reasonable and flexible perspective on deadlines.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:15
Member (2008)
English to Italian
sometimes May 25, 2013

after a period of intense work (like deliveries every day, when you have to plan every thing with extra care and you spend a month with not even a day off.... it happens once a year, but it is hard

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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
I just get tired May 25, 2013

I enjoy translation and I'm really excited about some of my upcoming projects. I wouldn't say I get burned out, but I do get tired. I promised myself for months that I would take a break after I finished out my semester (last week), but I had already lined up three projects before I had finished my last final which I'm working on right now.

I'm not sure which is worse, having too much work or having none.

[Edited at 2013-05-25 21:32 GMT]


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:15
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
sometimes May 25, 2013

After a very busy spell where I'm working almost non stop. A couple of weeks ago I had two large projects back to back.
After a period like that I will feel a bit burnt, but it passes and I get eager to work again. It's been a bit slower since then, but I've been very busy with real estate matters and so I haven't minded having the time to devote to it. The good thing is I got paid for those two large projects very quickly, so I had the money in the bank during this slower period! But now I'm eager to get working again.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, not any more... May 25, 2013

Some years ago, I had a full-time job, plus a part-time job and a family to take care of, needless to say that more than once I was completely burned out. Nowadays, my children are all grown-up and left the nest, I only (?) have a full-time job and most importantly I learned the hard way how to better manage my time.

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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:15
German to English
Shall we say a little challenged? May 25, 2013

Another weekend working for me, on one of those giant computer-speak, no context Excel files that just seem to go on and on! Not my favourite type of translation, but the Trados makes it more bearable and it will be off and invoiced in a day or so.. Bank Holidays, what are they?

Steve K.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:15
English to Polish
+ ...
All the time Jun 6, 2013

All the time, which you can probably sense from the kind of language I use on the forums. In such a state, I get a kick out of translating some heavy duty legalese or marketing talk or some other non-communication. Which is fine for the jobs I do. I don't exactly translate children's books.

[Edited at 2013-06-06 18:29 GMT]


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