Poll: Has working as a translator affected your interest in reading for pleasure?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:49
Apr 25, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has working as a translator affected your interest in reading for pleasure?".

This poll was originally submitted by dasein_wm. View the poll results »

Direct link Reply with quote

neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 25, 2015

That's a toughie. Perhaps because translation involves rather a lot of reading, I probably read less than I would if I had a different job. One obstacle to reading as much as I would like is the cost of books in Spain, and the limited availability of books in English. A few years ago an expat couple open a second-hand bookshop in the city where you could take your old books and get a discount on new ones. However, the running costs eventually outweighed the benefits and they gave it up.

It's not that I'm no longer interested in reading for pleasure, just that the set of circumstances means that most of the books I have have been left behind by visitors. The only unread book (in English) I have at the moment is Keith Richards' autobiography...

PS: I do occasionally manage to read the odd book in Spanish, but I find it more of a chore.

[Edited at 2015-04-25 08:30 GMT]

Direct link Reply with quote

Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:49
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
Definitely not Apr 25, 2015

I think the interest to reading and the affection to a books (even to the smell if it!) was born in my childhood.

Direct link Reply with quote

Mrs. Chiltern
Local time: 19:49
Member (2014)
English to Russian
Me too Apr 25, 2015

Erzsébet Czopyk wrote:

I think the interest to reading and the affection to a books (even to the smell if it!) was born in my childhood.


Direct link Reply with quote

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:49
French to English
Affected Apr 25, 2015

Yes, it makes me want to read more for pleasure... working with words makes you an effective speed reader and when you want to keep your concentration and attentional levels up to scratch, reading for pleasure is a rest but still kinda keeps the brina ticking over.

I suspect the question meant "spoilt" for "affected" though. And the answer with me is a clear no, quite the opposite, which is why I answered yes.

Direct link Reply with quote

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:49
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No Apr 25, 2015

Sometimes I get enough reading from translating and just need to rest my eyes.

Direct link Reply with quote

Teresa Borges
Local time: 14:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Apr 25, 2015

I read a lot: books, magazines, newspapers… I don’t think translating has affected negatively my interest in reading, maybe quite the opposite, but I’m certainly more attentive to typos, errors, misspellings, bad choice of words, wrong translations: they seem to jump out at me!

Direct link Reply with quote
564354352  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:49
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes Apr 25, 2015

Funny, I hadn't thought of this, but yes, I read a lot LESS for pleasure now than I used to. And I just realised how much I miss getting completely absorbed in a good book. You know, the sort that makes you forget about the world around you for hours. Can't remember when I last did that. Nowadays, I spend so much time looking at and working with lots of different texts during my working hours, that I rarely feel inclined to read even more in my spare time.

Sad, really...

Having said that, I will make a cup of tea right now and pick up Maya Angelou's 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings', which I started on yesterday. I have the impression that this is exactly the kind of book I will find it hard to put down any time soon...

Direct link Reply with quote
Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 08:49
German to English
+ ...
Yes, to the negative Apr 25, 2015

When I spend every day reading and reading, then the last thing I want to do on my off time is read some more. Sometimes on sites for translators people give links to long-winded blogs, or worse, a "week-end reading list" and I'm thinking for heavens sake, get to the point, and have something to say. I read a lot for pleasure before becoming a translator. I still read a lot for information and in order to communicate with others.

Direct link Reply with quote

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
The verb 'affect' Apr 25, 2015

To American ears, the verb affect is often synonymous with impact, with quite negative connotations.

A better question: How has your work as a translator affected your interest in leisure reading?

I started reading at a very young age, developing interest in really complex subjects, from electronics to medicine. Reading texts for translation over 25 years has had a very fruitful effect on me, my interest in reading a greater variety of subjects and on what I consider leisure reading, or reading for pleasure.

Direct link Reply with quote

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:49
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes, to an extent. Apr 25, 2015

It's a good question and one that's been on my mind for a while because I thought it was something strange about me, not anyone else, since everyone else seems to enjoy reading books in abstract Tibetan or ancient Greek just for the technical pleasure out of it. Not me.

I simply do not enjoy reading literature for pleasure in foreign source languages. I spend more time looking things up and trying to work out what it really says/means than actually enjoying the material for pleasure. I find it impossible to be superficial and just let it flow.

For example; I gave up reading Game of Thrones in translated Portuguese and instead bought the imported English versions instead, for my reading PLEASURE. I have nothing against the translation - in fact, it's very good - but I don't enjoy skipping through literature this way.

Luckily for me, I'm still able to enjoy reading good books in English, but I just can't see the point in reading translated material when I have resource to the original English versions. It's the same with films. Why would anyone enjoy watching a dubbed film if they can understand the original, in any language?

I guess that's just my mindset these days. To me, Portuguese or Spanish text is work. This doesn't apply to the spoken language, however, which I probably enjoy speaking in Portuguese more than English, just for the pleasure of it.

Direct link Reply with quote

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, definitely Apr 25, 2015

It's hard to remember back to the time when I wasn't a translator, but I do recall that I used to average about a book a week even when I was studying full time. Now the only time I get to read a book is when I'm waiting for something, as in a doctor's office or getting my car fixed. I don't even have time to read my mail. I have an enormous pile that I haven't looked at.

Sometimes I do get hooked and "sneak" the time from my work.

I haven't gotten into reading books or magazines online or on a hand-held device because if I read, I want a break from looking at a screen.

Direct link Reply with quote

To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Has working as a translator affected your interest in reading for pleasure?

Advanced search

Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search