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Poll: Was being a translator or interpreter your first choice for your career?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:03
SITE STAFF
Jan 25, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Was being a translator or interpreter your first choice for your career?".

This poll was originally submitted by Katja Schoone. View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Jan 25, 2015

It wasn't my first choice, but it will be my last for sure!

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jan 25, 2015

It might have been, but when I graduated with a degree in Russian and French, all the jobs available required signature of the UK's official secrets act, which I wasn't happy about. So, I took a few other jobs then got into TEFL... and after several years teaching in Spain I eventually ended up where I am today, working as a translator. It must have been my destiny.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:03
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No Jan 25, 2015

It wasn't my first choice, but it will be one of the two last career choices.icon_wink.gif

 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:03
French to English
+ ...
Yes but... Jan 25, 2015

I knew I wanted to translate when I left university having spent my work placement abroad working as a proofreader in a translation agency, but I couldn't find a job in translation immediately. I was offered a place on a graduate scheme for a major UK bank, so accepted that, but soon realised it wasn't for me and carried on writing to local companies in the hope that they might have a need for a translator. I was very lucky to be called for interview to a company 5 minutes walk from my house, got the job, resigned from the bank (after a year) and the rest is history...

 

Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:03
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jan 25, 2015

I knew I wanted to be a translator since I was eight, when I went camping with my parents and my siblings and met lots of foreigners.

Although my dream came true almost 30 years later.

Sometimes you just have a to wait a little bit. ;-(

Cheers!

N.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:03
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Probably Jan 25, 2015

Unconsciously since the age of 11

This is when I first started studying Latin. Greek followed later on when I was 14. Every lesson was along the following lines.

Teacher: "Holmes!"
Me: "Yes, sir."
Teacher: "Read the next few lines until I tell you to stop. Then, translate."
Me: "Yes, sir."

Read and translate. Read and translate. Read and translate. Ad nauseum.

I probably chose Japanese at uni to avoid Latin and Greek. icon_biggrin.gif


 

564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:03
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, but... Jan 25, 2015

I always thought I would work with languages, and everything I did before I actually commenced formal graduate studies was sort of leading up to this. However, my intention was to become an interpreter, but I have ended up as a translator. Quite a different lifestyle, I think.

Would I make the same choices again if I could? Probably...

Would I change my career for something else in the future, if the timing (and the money) was right? In a heatbeat!

It's not that I hate translating, but at times, I would just like to do something that doesn't feel like I'm sitting an exam every time I do a job, knowing that scoring an 'average' mark from the 'teacher' (client) is no longer an option. We always have to strive for top marks, which is a challenge that is only fun part of the time...


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:03
Member (2008)
English to Italian
yes Jan 25, 2015

I was 15 and I knew I wanted to be a translator.
I have always loved reading and I had the image of me translating those books.
Well, I have translated just a few books, I mainly work with technical stuff.
When I was 18/19 I started also to think about a career in Journalism, and I am lucky because I worked as a journalist for 2 years, and then I had a chance to start my career as a translator.


 

Yulia Tsybysheva BA MSc MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:03
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes and no Jan 25, 2015

When I left school I knew I wanted to study something languages-related, but I didn't really think about translation as a career path. However, by the end of my third year I was working for a translation agency.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:03
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, but it was the best. Jan 25, 2015

I tried other stuff (for just too long), and found out I was wasting my time, because we should do what we love, and what I love is translating.

[Edited at 2015-01-25 16:54 GMT]


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
No - Airline Pilot Jan 25, 2015

I was going to be a pilot. I graduated from high school at 15, started taking university courses at 16, and had my first degree at 17.5 (technically it was a professional certificate). When I was 18, Delta Airlines Academy called me and offered me a full scholarship. I ended up going to Argentina for a couple of years, which is where I met Gaby (my wife), and started interpreting and translating.

Being a pilot meant that I would be away from home a lot. My dad was in the army (we were stationed in Frankfurt Germany from '88 to '92), and was gone a lot. It was really hard on my mom, and I didn't want my family to go through the same thing. I did some soul searching and discovered that I really didn't want to work, I just wanted money. So I've been dedicating myself to becoming rich without working ever since. I bought stock in a couple of companies. I started a couple of my own, as well. I'm honestly really surprised how much I love the (small to medium sized) business world.

We're still not rich, but we're working on it. I think our app will do the trickicon_smile.gif


 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:03
Member
German to English
+ ...
Other Jan 25, 2015

It was on my list of possible careers but I didn't become a true, full-time freelance translator until a little later in life. Internet made it easier to become one.

 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Jan 25, 2015

It was an area I was very interested in trying, but when I was in college there were no courses in T&I and I knew of no employment opportunities in the field. Thus it was impossible to choose as a career because I could see no way I could ever make a living at it, and there was no road to even starting. My start came sometime later and on a part-time or moonlighting basis for many years on the US-Mexico border, a logical place for there to be a demand for such services. That demand eventually grew and enabled me to become independent after close to 15 years, a long road to be sure,

 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:03
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Jan 26, 2015

I studied electronic engineering.

 
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