Poll: Have you worked on a translation that required no research (online searches, dictionaries, etc)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:32
SITE STAFF
Jul 30, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you worked on a translation that required no research (online searches, dictionaries, etc)?".

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:32
Member
German to English
+ ...
Possibly Jul 30, 2015

I answered no although I may have done, but it would have been short. My work generally involves technical terms, sometimes highly specialised or even with invented terminology. I need to do research.

 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Regular clients Jul 30, 2015

It happens, especially when you have done many previous translations for the same client, although I do tend to double check, especially with my bête noire vocabulary items -- but those would be another thread.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:32
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 30, 2015

I voted 'Other' because I couldn't remember, but then I did remember. In pre-Internet days I used to work at conferences for international organizations and more than once the dictionaries that were supposed to be provided got lost in transit. I remember feeling that I did just fine and thinking that I tend to look things up when I really don't need to.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 30, 2015

Often. I am so familiar with the contents of the material from my best client that I can cruise through many of their texts without blinking, never mind researching terms.

On the other hand, they also send me software strings to translate through an online system, and the lack of context often creates serious issues of comprehension/translation. So, it's a case of swings and roundabouts.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:32
French to English
Yes Jul 30, 2015

Noni Gilbert wrote:

It happens, especially when you have done many previous translations for the same client, although I do tend to double check, especially with my bête noire vocabulary items -- but those would be another thread.


Same here. Those bêtes noire ones and then I think that as professionals we get twitchy and tend to double-check a number of things. Sometimes if only to reassure us that our first instinctive choice was in fact the best one.


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes and no Jul 30, 2015

I work on translations now that I don't have to do any research on, but that's because I did the research in previous years. It's one more benefit of specializing in certain subject areas.

 

Henry Schroeder  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:32
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, regular clients, especially in finance Jul 30, 2015

The terminology in finance, especially annual reports, financial statements, etc. is standardized due to IFRS, IAS, etc. After 10 years or so, you know every term.

 

Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:32
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
Other Jul 30, 2015

I agree with John, it happens I don't need any research, but of course the first time I translated something similar I did the research.

 

Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 00:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Of course Jul 30, 2015

I have done quite a few translations of simple letters, or documents of a kind I have done may times before. Sometimes they are a "piece of cake". That is not to say that I do not research anything about which I might have the slightest doubt.

 

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

MODERATOR
Yep Jul 30, 2015

I'm so familiar and immersed in my biggest direct client's work (translating and interpreting for them) that most days I can do the work with no research whatsoever. I already did a lot of research when I started working for them.
For the rest, well... some research I have to do, of course.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 04:32
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Of course we all have, Jul 30, 2015

All of us have translated letters, abstracts, small text or simple text.

It's not a "translation" that requires reference, it's a term or expression. You may well have to check the references 100 times in one page or 3 times in 100 pages.

This question is statistically null.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation and research Jul 30, 2015

Well, let's define research in translation.

I can't recall a single instance when I did not need to use a printed or online dictionary or at least read a similar document or blurb in the target language for guidance.

While I have a great memory for words, expressions, collocations and such, human memory is, by nature, not 100% reliable for evolutionary reasons. That's why we keep notes and print what we know as a species.

Just the mechanical habit of researching an expression, acronym or slang term just to check it is the correct one develops a certain kind of discipline, critical in our job as translators and writers.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:32
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Possibly Jul 30, 2015

But I'm a compulsive researcher and checker. I am simply not happy if i don't check something, look in the thesaurus for the fun of it - there just might be a better word, or the monolingual dictionary to be sure terms REALLY mean what I think they mean.

However, there are things I simply know from working with the same client many times before, or from browsing through dictionaries for KudoZ point-grabbing or even bedtime reading. Some are fascinating, but the plot won't keep you awake all night icon_biggrin.gif Some of the specialist dictionaries I have collected - art and architecture, classic furniture, 'New Words 1955 - 1998' in Danish, the family medical guide... are great to fall asleep over!

Like others, I have checked and looked most things up at some stage.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 15:32
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, of course Jul 31, 2015

In the good old days before the advent of the Internet.

Also, as others have pointed out, in areas that I am very familiar with. Even with industrial automation projects, especially, PID control, there is still a lot that is not online, so I might have to resort to reference books - quite expensive, I must add - that I have here in hard copy. But, then again, this is very rare icon_smile.gif since all of the required information is already in front of me in the source document.


 


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