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Poll: Do you consider your age an advantage as a freelance translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:29
SITE STAFF
Jun 7, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you consider your age an advantage as a freelance translator?".

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:29
English to Russian
+ ...
It dependson age Jun 7, 2015

For most professions age is an advantages if it is between 30 and 35.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Huh? Jun 7, 2015

I answered 'Other' because I've been a translator for more than 40 years and I can't remember when my age was a disadvantage. While I may have been more mentally agile when I was young, through experience I have "solved" most of the typical recurring issues, like differences between SVO and VSO structure and tough-to-translate words and phrases, so I can now draw on my reserves.

Potential clients like to see many years of experience, so in that sense advanced age is a benefit - assuming that one has been translating all along.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 7, 2015

I think I have the advantage of experience gained over the years. I've learned to set my sights low and never expect too much - whether from myself, clients, colleagues or the tax authorities. That way I know I won't be left disappointed if things don't work out quite the way I'd hoped.

I'm also lucky to be old enough to have received an education where good use of language and accurate spelling, etc, were valued goals. And I suppose I must have learnt a few "tricks of the trade" along the way too...


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 01:29
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Why? Jun 7, 2015

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

For most professions age is an advantages if it is between 30 and 35.


Doesn't 'age' equate with 'experience' in our profession?

@Coming from a long-in-the-tooth 58-year-old translator with 30+ years of translation experience under this belt.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:29
German to English
+ ...
I consider my *experience* and my training... Jun 7, 2015

.... to be an advantage. I share the "huh?" of my colleague here.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes! Jun 7, 2015

One big advantage of being a freelance translator is that our age makes no difference to our customers.

Nobody cares how old you are… unless you die before the current translation project is finished!

As Muriel, Julian and Neil said in this profession age equates with experience…

P.S. This being said, I’m well over retiring age and still going strong!


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:29
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Experience Jun 7, 2015

Age is not an advantage per se, but experience most definitely is. However, experience is acquired over time, and during that time I have grown older.

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:29
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, definitely Jun 7, 2015

Because of the learning and knowledge that accumulates during the years, and not only translation skills ..

Working in-house taught me how to run a business, living in different countries has given me insights into different cultures, and a pool of general knowledge always comes in handy when relating to/understanding source texts of all kinds.

However, all that has to make up for the fact that one does not stay fit like a 20-year old.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, absolutely Jun 7, 2015

Although I consider age to be nothing but a number, a riper age does help to accumulate knowledge and experience that a young colleague (or person, in general) simply cannot have.

Julian Holmes wrote:

Alexander Kondorsky wrote:

For most professions age is an advantages if it is between 30 and 35.


Doesn't 'age' equate with 'experience' in our profession?

@Coming from a long-in-the-tooth 58-year-old translator with 30+ years of translation experience under this belt.


And another "below the belt".


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Definitely Jun 7, 2015

Of course that age should relate to experience as well, for it is the experience that counts. After close to 44 years of experience, I can whiz right through almost anything and get it all right.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:29
French to English
I have to, really... Jun 7, 2015

... else I'd prob'ly have to think of doing something else.

I reckon there could well be a fairly wide age bracket where a translator has had a decent wedge of experience, of life, source culture(s), work and indeed translating, which is of some value, without being of an age where "I've always done it like that and I ain't changing now" becomes a potential issue. "It" could be anything from a translation of a word or phrase, to adapting to new technology (he says, being utterly resistant to anything with "cloud" in the name...!).

I do therefore suspect one can be too inexperienced to be decent at this lark (depending on your field, I suppose) and, probably, too "old" - in quotes as indicative of a state of mind rather than any particular number of years.

Naturally, I think I'm just about right, have been for a while, and will be for a while yet....


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Experience per se doesn't count for anything Jun 7, 2015

There are plenty out there who've been churning out **** for 40-odd years.

I think age means I have more in my head so I don't have to do as much research, but I'm not a better translator for that.


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Billh
Local time: 17:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation, I was Jun 7, 2015

told by a teacher at a translation/interpreting college in Madrid at age 40, is one of the few professions where age is an advantage.

Goodee I thought.


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 18:29
English to Polish
+ ...
... Jun 7, 2015

You could always make it your advantage, whether you're young or old. You just need to be yourself and confident and not apologetic about it.

I think it's possible that new translators who are good get some sort of a honeymoon period when they are the wunderkinds, before things get back to normal with a couple of years of experience.


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