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Poll: Would you encourage your children to become translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:48
SITE STAFF
Jun 14, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you encourage your children to become translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Cécile Gaultier. View the poll results »



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Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 02:48
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
It's up to them Jun 14, 2014

Not really. But it will be totally up to them.
I believe that our profession comes with a lot of stress and a bundle of health issues, and my role will be to put the whole picture in front of them, if they didn't already know it from living with me!
It was the ideal job for me due to certain reasons and circumstances, so I'm happy with it for that. I hope that they will be in a better position to have plenty of good choices.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:48
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jun 14, 2014

My children are all grown-up now! I have three children: a lawyer, an interior architect turned restaurateur and... a translator. I strongly encouraged them to become whatever they were best inclined to be and, in doing it, to be the best they could possibly be.


[Edited at 2014-06-14 08:36 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Our children know about being translators Jun 14, 2014

Information is much more important than encouragement. Encouragement comes when they've made their choice. Encouragement without information about all other possibilities amounts pretty much to parents pushing for a particular choice, and kids will never thank their parents for that. Having translator parents means they know all too well what that entails so it doesn't even need to be discussed.

My daughter did a degree in Mech Eng with French; my son has a software company in France liaising with a big American IT company. So they both make use of their language skills though not as translators.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:48
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Jun 14, 2014

Because they're grown up and they've already made their own career choices. As parents we gave them all the love, support and encouragement they needed.

The result? My son is a bilingual engineer in charge of various projects, liaising between Japanese automobile manufacturers and head office of the parent company in the states. My daughter is serving her internship at Kyoto University Hospital.

Mum and dad are very happy with how their offspring turned out. It's Dad's Day tomorrow. Smiles all around


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:48
Member (2012)
French to English
Yes Jun 14, 2014

I would certainly encourage my son to pursue his interest in translation, although he's unlikely to take it up as a profession. He's studying Classics at University, and is currently having a go at translating the Aeneid in his spare time. He doesn't know what he'll do when he leaves University, but it's possible he'll go into teaching.

[Edited at 2014-06-14 19:50 GMT]


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:48
Member (2012)
French to English
That's interesting... Jun 14, 2014

Noura Tawil wrote:

Not really. But it will be totally up to them.
I believe that our profession comes with a lot of stress and a bundle of health issues, and my role will be to put the whole picture in front of them, if they didn't already know it from living with me!
It was the ideal job for me due to certain reasons and circumstances, so I'm happy with it for that. I hope that they will be in a better position to have plenty of good choices.



What are the health issues, if you don't mind my asking? Are they different to those of any other desk-based profession?


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:48
French to English
Actively discourage, more like :) Jun 14, 2014

If I had known back then what I know now, and all that...

(i.e. I probably wouldn't be one. So I won't be encouraging him, no.)


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Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:48
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
It depends Jun 14, 2014

My children are two little girls, so it's too soon to think about their career choices.

But if one of them, or both of them show interest in translation, I think I should encourage her/them.
But only if they want to become a translator.
And, of course, I'll encourage to chase their dreams.

At the moment, the youngest (3 years old) seems interested in learning languages and maybe sha has a flair for it.

[Edited at 2014-06-14 13:06 GMT]


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Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
They made their own choice Jun 14, 2014

As Sheila said: Information is much more important than encouragement. Encouragement comes when they've made their choice. Encouragement without information about all other possibilities amounts pretty much to parents pushing for a particular choice, and kids will never thank their parents for that.

We never pushed our children to study any particular profession, and we are very glad about that. I have seen pretty disastrous results not too distant from us. Our son is a gynaecologist and fertility doctor, the medical director of one of the top fertility clinics in the country; and our daughter is doing pretty well as an architect. Both graduated with honours in their respective fields and we could not be prouder.



[Edited at 2014-06-14 13:27 GMT]


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:48
Member (2006)
German to English
other Jun 14, 2014

My daughters are being brought up trilingual, what they do with it is up to them.

Will definately give them advice, but I m not going to "push" them in any direction.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 18:48
German to English
+ ...
No, because.... Jun 14, 2014

My children have their own abilities, which are not identical to mine. They are pursuing careers which are commensurate with their individual strengths.

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Carmen Grabs
Germany
Local time: 01:48
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, if I had children. Jun 14, 2014

But I don't think you can get someone to do a certain Profession - not an adult and not a child. My mom told me so many things but I would not listen.
Everybody is an individual and brings their own talents and interests with them.

What I would do though, if I had children: I would actively try to get them to live abroad for a while or at least encourage them to do so.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:48
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, not straight from school Jun 14, 2014

I have always encouraged my daughter to find and pursue whatever profession that interests her - and to see the world!

She grew up with English, French and Danish and commands all 3 languages at native level. Currently she works in Shanghai on a 1-year contract and is trying to pick up some Mandarin (strongly encouraged by yours truly).

So that is life of one translator's daughter, and you never know, maybe she'll become a translator herself some day, if that fits her life style. At least, and unlike her mother, she will be aware of the conditions, pros and cons from the beginning.


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:48
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No, I wouldn't positively encourage them. Jun 14, 2014

I think a decent living can be made by a determined, consistent and talented translator, but it's not a secure environment to establish the material ambitions of young people. I'd like my children to get conventional, salaried jobs and all the trappings that go with that - guaranteed income, holidays, pension, all the stresses and strains of working life, and then decide if they want to do something 'different' at a later date, but first get the standard education and college degree under their belt, if that's what they aspire to do.

I think that there's something better than the life of a translator for my kids, but I've definitely got an open mind about it and wouldn't object if any of them positively wanted to make a living that way, at least if they showed a genuine desire to make a living and not just sit in front of a computer all day to make a few extra $€.


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