Poll: How many language pairs do you work in?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:50
Jun 22, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many language pairs do you work in?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rudolf Frans Maulany. View the poll results »


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Jun 22, 2015

I upset some people last time this question was asked by suggesting that Swedish, Norwegian and Danish into English was one pair, so I've upped it to one and a half.

And that's quite enough for me. I don't know how all these "to/from eight languages" people do it. Badly, one assumes. But even so, it'd give me a headache trying to switch between so many.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 15:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
4 Jun 22, 2015

No change since the last time this question was asked (http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/273397-poll_how_many_language_pairs_do_you_work_in-page2.html):

English, French, Italian and Spanish to my native language: European Portuguese. The vast majority (+/- 80%) of my work is in one combination (EN-PT), though some years ago there was a kind of balance among language pairs...


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
1 Jun 22, 2015

My language pair J>E is enough to handle.

On the Japanese language, Wikipedia says:

"Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent."

If you think that's a delicious mouthful, then you should try Japanese. icon_smile.gif

Most of the 'seasoned' translators over here seem to concur on one thing - the more Japanese you learn, the less you seem to know. Very Zen and very inscrutable my L2 is. icon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2015-06-23 08:15 GMT]


Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:50
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
2 Jun 22, 2015

The vast majority of my work is in EN-NL, but I do enjoy the PT-NL jobs coming my way now and then.

[Edited at 2015-06-22 08:42 GMT]


Local time: 15:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
1 Jun 22, 2015

As Bernard Shaw said, those who speak many languages seldom have anything to say in any of them.

From a purely business point of view it seems to me that provided there is work it is much more efficient to build up expertise in one language than have a dispersed and lesser knowledge of many.

I am always highly suspicious of people who boast a string of languages. Having been a partner in a multi-language legal translation firm with over 50 lawyers I have only ever known 1 who could reliably translate one language pair in both directions.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:50
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I wavered between one and three Jun 22, 2015

Most of the time one - Danish to English.

Precisely because Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are closely related, I CAN work in all three to some extent. My knowledge of Swedish and Norwegian is not nearly as extensive as Danish, so I only do a small number of non-specialist jobs from those languages.

I have translated a very little French to English for a friend, and in theory I can translate from German to English, but it is so long since I actually did so that it is not one of my active languages any more.

I have to work hard enough keeping my two main languages up to standard, so that is enough for me!


Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:50
French to English
1 Jun 22, 2015

From French into (British) English and in a number of fields which function independently but where the mix of field knowledge and academic qualification can and does overlap, suddenly making me a specialist. I suppose that's the case for many translators.


Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:50
French to English
+ ...
2 Jun 22, 2015

French and Spanish into English. Really original! icon_biggrin.gif


Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
1.5? Jun 22, 2015

I primarily work in Spanish > English and my wife, Gaby, does English > Spanish.

I have been actively learning the Dragon Tongue from the Elder Scrolls seriesicon_wink.gif


Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 09:50
German to English
+ ...
2 - the ones i'm certified in Jun 22, 2015

German and French into English. My original mother tongue was German as I was German-born, but grew up/was educated in Canada, hence English "native". Being Canadian, the French was a logical "other" second language. Only into English because well, that's the native language of main environment, education etc.


Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:20
English to Hindi
+ ...
2 Jun 23, 2015

English to Hindi (the bulk of it) and Hindi to English (occasionally). These two account for 99% of my work. On very rare occasions (once or twice in several years), I also translate from Malayalam and Gujarati into Hindi and English. These occasions are so rare that I have not counted them here.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:50
Member (2007)
+ ...
One and a half Jun 23, 2015

I'm never very happy referring to EN>EN as a pair, although in my own case it's often American to British English or non-native to more natural English. So maybe it's close to two.


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