Poll: Do you prefer working as a translator or an interpreter?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:20
SITE STAFF
Mar 17, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you prefer working as a translator or an interpreter?".

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:20
Russian to English
+ ...
Both. Mar 17, 2015

One only would be too limiting for me, especially translation. You would never get to see the real world, and many problems that it has, some of which many may not even dream about in the wildest dreams.

Interpreting is also good for your health. It makes you use the upright position and walk, some characteristic features of Homo sapiens that are being endangered.

I love writing and languages, this is why I enjoy translation, too, especially on a rainy day.

[Edited at 2015-03-17 08:46 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't offer both services! Mar 17, 2015

I have been working as a full-time translator for over 30 years and I have never even thought of being an interpreter. I lack the interpersonal skills and quick tongue needed to be an interpreter. I’m kind of a perfectionist by nature and I like having the time to pay attention to all the details and the style of the source documents, as well as the accuracy and significance of the terms used. Immediacy is not my specialty!

http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/259042_poll_do_you_prefer_translating_or_interpreting.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/243898-poll_if_you_offer_both_interpreting_and_translation_services_which_do_you_enjoy_more.html


[Edited at 2015-03-17 16:07 GMT]


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Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Cuba
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Translation Mar 17, 2015

I offer both, but I must confess I am a better translator than interpreter, or at least I feel better translating.
Interpreting makes me kill the routine and many times it helps me understand some matters that sometimes one misses when translating.
Many of my projects include both translation and interpretation, so they both contribute to one another.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:20
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Same as before Mar 17, 2015

As I stated in a previous poll, I don't offer both services, thus I prefer to work as a translator.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes it's a matter of skill, not preference Mar 17, 2015

I enjoyed reading the four previous answers. I found Lilian's comments entertaining (no, I'm not mocking her) and informative.

I used to offer interpreting services when I was living in New York City. After I moved, interpreting opportunities of my liking, such as business meetings, trade shows and the like, withered and disappeared. Only clinical interpreting assignments were available, and I was not interested.

I did take up clinical interpreting when I was in Indianapolis, IN, during the 2001 recession.

I gradually realized that I didn't have the primary skills required to be an interpreter: quick thinking, very good at bilingual conversations, gregarious and enjoying working with people on a daily basis. That's a job for extroverts, or midly introverted people. I'm an extremely introverted person, and I excel at writing.

But even extroverted and gregarious people may not be good interpreters. Well, it happens in most professions.

The problem I often see is very good interpreters doing so-so translations. Some interpreters are not very good at writing. I suspect they think talking and writing share the same rules. They don't.


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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 06:20
French to English
+ ...
Mainly translating Mar 17, 2015

But I don't mind a bit of consecutive interpreting once in a while. It's a nice change and you get to spend a few days away, live in a hotel and eat out at somebody else's expense. Takes me back to my road warrior days

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 23:20
German to English
+ ...
given my training... Mar 17, 2015

... as a translator, I work as a translator. Some years back I did work occasionally as an interpreter at the insistence of some regular clients, and did a good job in the work that I accepted. But I always felt uncomfortable with the fact that I had not received training as an interpreter, and they are in fact two different fields.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Two different fields Mar 17, 2015

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

... as a translator, I work as a translator. Some years back I did work occasionally as an interpreter at the insistence of some regular clients, and did a good job in the work that I accepted. But I always felt uncomfortable with the fact that I had not received training as an interpreter, and they are in fact two different fields.


That is a point to ponder, Maxi. American universities offering translation education, they usually commingle both tracks, as if they were a matter of individual preference. Worse yet, I get the impression that this commingling of professions is based more on marketing efforts to show translation and interpreting as interchangeable occupations.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 06:20
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
both, but... Mar 18, 2015

Long time ago my work was almost 50/50 translating and interpreting. I loved the travel and enjoyed the companion of interesting people, the busy and vibrant atmosphere while at work and a quick turnover of money. After I had children, I slowly quit the travels and nowaday I became almost a full-time 95/5 translator. It was a strange 3-months break in this activity when I moved to Kazakhstan where the main part of my work was interpreting and I used actively both English, Hungarian and Russian. But I can confess, I do not enjoy social life as much. I love my quiet room full of books and dictionaries (and owls, of course), I love the quiet music in the background, especially if it is Chopin, Rod Stewart or Robin Gibb (sometimes a random of all three). Sometimes I miss the past but the reality is I can work and have more stable income as a translator. Last year I worked 4 or 5 day as simultaneous interpreter and it was a mix of refreshing and being exhausted. If I could change something I would change my desk. The main reason I type too slow and talk very fast


[Módosítva: 2015-03-18 01:43 GMT]


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:20
English to Polish
+ ...
Translator only Mar 22, 2015

No interpreting if I can help it.

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