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Poll: If you could do it all over again, would you still choose to be a translator/interpreter?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 16:15
Aug 31, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you could do it all over again, would you still choose to be a translator/interpreter?".

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Teresa Borges
Local time: 23:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Aug 31, 2014

As I entered the freelance translation world rather late in life, if I could do it all over again I would probably start at an younger age than I did but then again I wouldn’t have all the useful knowledge I had gleaned over the years…


LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:15
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, among other things Aug 31, 2014

like writing, which I also do now.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:15
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 31, 2014

I knew I wanted to be a translator when I started studying Spanish in the eighth grade. I never deviated from that intention, though I also worked as an editor when I finished school and was trying to get into the business.


Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
Νο, I would become a doctor. Aug 31, 2014

At least, working mainly on medical texts, I have the chance to learn a lot as well as make a small but essential contribution through good translations.


Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:15
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Aug 31, 2014

If I had gone into IT in the 1980's, I am pretty sure I would be retired by now.


564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Danish to English
+ ...
No, I would have become a landscape gardener Aug 31, 2014

Mind you, my lack of design talent might have put an end to that fantasy very quickly... icon_biggrin.gif


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Aug 31, 2014

I would have taken the same adventurous path as I did / am still doing


ventnai  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
German to English
+ ...
One option Aug 31, 2014

Translation was one of the careers that I thought about when I was younger, so I didn't become a singer, actor or author:-) if I had my time over again, I would still be a translator.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:15
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Aug 31, 2014

'Read and translate' is how I was taught Latin from the age of 11 and ancient Greek from the age of 14. It stood me in good stead, except that I don't read out aloud any more.

I just wish I could go back in time about 35 to 40 years ago with what's in my head still intact. I wonder what would happen, apart from Vesuvius all over again. What havoc I would wreak. icon_biggrin.gif


Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Italian to English
+ ...
Me too Aug 31, 2014

Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm wrote:

At least, working mainly on medical texts, I have the chance to learn a lot as well as make a small but essential contribution through good translations.

and by this time I could have retired with a good pension ....


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other = Not sure Aug 31, 2014

Yes - I love this job
No - If I see myself in 15/20 years, when I still cannot retire... I am a bit worried, will I be able to work and have a decent income? (I am 40 at the moment)
No - Italy is the wrong place to be a freelancer...


Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:15
Hebrew to English
Yes but.... Aug 31, 2014

I'd have stopped my German and/or Russian from fossilizing so I might have had them as additional source languages.


Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Absolutely no! Aug 31, 2014

The rates I see around are depressing and I think I would not be able to make a decent living if I started today. I would throw in the towel after two or three years at the latest.


Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
I do not regret any single moment Aug 31, 2014

Seeing this poll, I remembered myself as a 13-year old little girl who won a prize - a trip to Norway and Denmark to the C.I.S.V-camp for a whole moth. That time to have a passport on hand or to see any foreign currency was a wonder. A little countrygirl from a small parish travelled to Budapest - the capital itself (wooow!) and saw a real airplane first time in her life.

A month in Norway and a fascinating meeting with children from all over the world (there were children from more than 40 countries) and the experience of cultural exchange changed my life forever. And only the children from Poland and from Hungary did not spoke any foreign language - but it was only a week. (Each so-called "delegation consisted about 2 boys, 2 girls and a team leader. I suppose ours was a secret agent, haha) The children did not judge us, we taught each other, and I returned home with a lot of ideas, memories and a desire to return.

It took almost 6 years to travel again - this time by myself again. Two and half months of preparation in Kiev University, an emergency in Kiev Hospital, my falling hair after being radiated (it was a summer straight after Chernobyl - or own government lied us and our parents - there is no radiation at all!), a nightmare in Voronezh (I will never forget the circumstances and a broken heating pipes, the unbelievable cold winter of 1986 with -43 Celsius), my first marriage and a trip to "Minvuz" (Ministry of Higher Education of USSR) for a permission to be transferred to University of Latvia.

Allthese years, all these memories are a part of my life and experience and I do not regret any single moment of it.

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Poll: If you could do it all over again, would you still choose to be a translator/interpreter?

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