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Poll: How confident are you with your translation work?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:02
SITE STAFF
Feb 27, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How confident are you with your translation work?".

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Carla Catolino
Italy
Local time: 13:02
Member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Confidence Feb 27, 2014

I believe that it is important to be confident in translation work.
To be confident I believe that we need to "specialise" in subject matters and know exactly what we are doing. For example, asking our client to see the job and thoroughly analyse the document before accepting. There is nothing worse than translating a document with a subject matter that is "foreign" to our competences (there are times when I have had to proofread documents and it is quite clear that the translator did not know anything about this subject matter).
Being confident in our work also means proofreading (not just a simple spellcheck) and being sure of why we choose a certain word for this translation.
Being confident of the final product to be delivered to a client is a special weapon to be used when the client (there are some clients who think they know our target langauge better than we do...but then again they ask for translation services) comes back with questions regarding the quality of our work.

[Edited at 2014-02-27 09:07 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Totally Feb 27, 2014

Otherwise I shouldn't be doing it for a living

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:02
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other: a mixture of confidence and self-doubt... Feb 27, 2014

After 30 years working full-time, plus a few more part-time, I have to be very confident in myself, though from time to time when I’m in the middle of a long project I may have a self-doubt moment or two… But then I dust myself off, take a coffee and get right back into it!

 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 14:02
Turkish to English
+ ...
Absolutely Feb 27, 2014

Chris S wrote:

Otherwise I shouldn't be doing it for a living


Absolutely


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:02
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Ditto Feb 27, 2014

Chris S wrote:

Otherwise I shouldn't be doing it for a living


But I do try to remember that we are all infallible and do make unintenional mistakes, and try not to rest on my laurels.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:02
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
LOL for those unintenional mistakes! Feb 27, 2014

Julian Holmes wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Otherwise I shouldn't be doing it for a living


But I do try to remember that we are all infallible and do make unintenional mistakes, and try not to rest on my laurels.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:02
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
The prize goes to Teresa :D Feb 27, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Otherwise I shouldn't be doing it for a living


But I do try to remember that we are all infallible and do make unintenional mistakes, and try not to rest on my laurels.


I was super confident someone would spot it right away. icon_biggrin.gif


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pretty Feb 27, 2014

In fields where I feel I'm reasonably cognizant (one of the few words where I prefer "z" to "s") I might be tempted to say very confident, but pride (= over-confidence) comes before a fall, so... I'll go with the song: We're so pretty, oh so pretty....

PS: I don't agree that you need to know much about the subject matter. I've translated and revised texts whose content was totally alien to me (for example, "fuzzy logic"...) and which were subsequently published. Of course it's not something I'd recommend to everyone but that's the way I roll.



[Edited at 2014-02-27 11:27 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 13:02
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Confident enough to take it on and shaky enough to worry now and then... Feb 27, 2014

I strongly prefer to turn down work I am not reasonably confident about.

Clients have twisted my arm once or twice and persuaded me to take on jobs I was not entirely happy with. Usually I get away with it by plaguing them over the problems, but sometimes I have regretted it.

On several occasions I have decided to read up and learn more about the subject area, so that I can do better next time it comes up.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Extremely confident... Feb 27, 2014

... by boldly stating (on my web site and in correspondence) the subject areas where I wouldn't be, and usually referring such prospects to dependable colleagues that I know as acclaimed specialists in these specific matters.

It is not by chance that I happen to know these very specialists personally.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Pretty confident Feb 27, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

I strongly prefer to turn down work I am not reasonably confident about.

Clients have twisted my arm once or twice and persuaded me to take on jobs I was not entirely happy with. Usually I get away with it by plaguing them over the problems, but sometimes I have regretted it.

On several occasions I have decided to read up and learn more about the subject area, so that I can do better next time it comes up.


Like Christine, I had ended up accepting projects outside my comfort zone for a long-standing client. And once for a new (and one-time) client helping with a large project. Unfortunately, I received the section I am completely desintrested in and struggle to complete it. This reminded me to never leave my comfort zone again, but to only accept projects in which translation I can rely on my confidence and knockledge.


 

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Almost totally Feb 27, 2014

Tim Drayton wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Otherwise I shouldn't be doing it for a living


Absolutely


Only that, once in a blue moon, I have come across some term that I have not been able to find anywhere and for which I have not had a satisfactory answer from colleagues or the client. Only then I would say that my confidence is not 100%, but I have always found a way to solve the problem.


 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:02
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Confidence in me Feb 27, 2014

I have confidence in confidence alone, besides which you see, I have confidence in me!

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Acclaimed? Feb 27, 2014

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

... by boldly stating (on my web site and in correspondence) the subject areas where I wouldn't be, and usually referring such prospects to dependable colleagues that I know as acclaimed specialists in these specific matters.

It is not by chance that I happen to know these very specialists personally.


Not you, José Henrique! You're starting to sound like a marketing salesman!


 
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