Poll: Has being a translator made you see things from a different point of view?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:41
Sep 14, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has being a translator made you see things from a different point of view?".

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Victoria Britten  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:41
Member (2012)
French to English
+ ...
Which things? Sep 14, 2014

I confess I don't understand the question. Of course, the work I have done as a translator has allowed me to deepen my knowledge of certain activities, and so enriched and coloured my understanding of the workings of society. However, none of these experiences has fundamentally changed my view of the world.

Likewise, my experiences as a freelancer have taught me all sorts of things about client/service provider relations, but nothing earth-shattering. I suppose, yes, that that has made me see things from a different point of view - that of the direct service provider, rather than that of the employee - but it is, as I said, being a freelancer rather than specifically a translator that has brought this about.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 11:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Sep 14, 2014

In comparison with whom? Can't understand the question either...

[Edited at 2014-09-14 09:39 GMT]


LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
Russian to English
+ ...
No, not really because I have seen too many things Sep 14, 2014

in my life and nothing will really surprise me, plus I have always been a translator as back far as I can remember.

It may, though, in my opinion, make many people look at things differently--especially if you work as an interpreter for the courts, the police, hospitals, during war negotiations--it will definitely give you a different perspective--show you the real life--without disguises.


Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:41
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
To me yes Sep 14, 2014

Hello all,

I would like to say that to me indeed it has changed my point of view on things. I have translated nice and nasty content, and above all this latter has shocked my greatly.

Actually if it didn't somehow changed our lives for the better, what would be the point?

Have a great Sunday.



Yvonne Gallagher
Local time: 11:41
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
No Sep 14, 2014

Don't understand why it should???


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:41
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Sep 14, 2014

Not any more than other sources of knowledge do

[Edited at 2014-09-14 14:18 GMT]


Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:41
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
What things? Sep 14, 2014

"Things" is way too vague, so I picked "Other" for "I have no idea what you're talking about."


Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:41
Member (2012)
French to English
Yes, definitely Sep 14, 2014

I see things differently, of course I do!

I look at text in all sorts of places with a new interest - on the backs of vans, in shops, on instructions leaflets. Who knows when these random phrases might prove to be useful? All those bits of the newspaper that I used to find boring, I now read avidly, taking note of the terminology and register.

I could go on, but I don't want to bore you all to death!


French to English
+ ...
I would say broader perspective, opening the mind, more so than different point of view Sep 14, 2014

A translator has much more knowledge of the scope of meaning and/or overlapping meaning and/or scope of ambiguity in written communication.

So you have to be very aware of how many audiences could possibly interpret these things in selecting the appropriate way to minimize the extent to which scope of meaning is transferred from one language to another in a culturally aware manner.

A translator will therefore become aware of many challenges in communication that a writer would not normally be aware of.

I'm not so convinced that it's only the matter of translation. I think a large amount of this can come from being very socially aware in the process of learning language. Many things to not translate directly. Enormous amounts of social knowledge and perspective are encoded into the structure of language and the ways in which meanings are combined and interact.

Learning foreign languages opens the mind. The work of a translator takes this to the next level, or at least it should. Perhaps this is less so in engineering or medicine than in fields like law, politics or the economy, but I think it holds in a fairly general sense.


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Poll: Has being a translator made you see things from a different point of view?

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