Poll: Do you accept projects outside of your areas of specialization?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:34
SITE STAFF
Aug 31, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept projects outside of your areas of specialization?".

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:34
Member (2006)
German to English
No Aug 31, 2015

not any more. I did try a couple of other topics, but they went soooo wrong that I decided to stay in the very well occupied area I am and that I know.
I was just not worth the hassle, but happily this happened to a regular customer that knows my work so there were no adverse effects☺


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:34
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I am a generalist... Aug 31, 2015

Perhaps the definistions of my specialist subjects are a little hazy, and I have to admit that I don't always specialise THAT much.

I have simply dabbled in too many things along the way to take on the very highly specialised work, even in my specialist areas. But within my limits, there is plenty to do, and I take on things like knitting patterns or other occasional jobs because I know enough to do them properly.

The PM with the knitting jobs approached me very cautiously after several other translators had run away screaming! Either you know what all those abbreviations mean, and you can do the job - and thanks to my grandmother and mother-in-law, I knew them in both languages... Or it looks a real nightmare! It is not something you can find easily in dictionaries.
I did not actually knit the models from my translations, but I can promise it would be feasible.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:34
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I REJECT projects in the areas I've declared 'off-limits' Aug 31, 2015

While I specialize in a few areas, I have defined some - so far, five - broad areas of human knowledge where I systematically turn down any job offer, if the material is intended for professional practitioners. Whenever possible, I refer such requests to dependable colleagues that I know (personally) as translators who specialized in these areas.

If the material is aimed at the general public, including me, I have no objection.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:34
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Aug 31, 2015

especially if it is interesting and not too far from my experience

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Kristian Andersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:34
English to Swedish
Yes, frequently Aug 31, 2015

It's a specialisation of mine

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:34
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Sometimes Aug 31, 2015

If a good client asks me to, then I will do the translation, provided it's not in those fields that I never work in. The other option is when the subject is very interesting and/or something I might want to specialize in at some point in the near future.

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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:34
English to Polish
Yes, sometimes Aug 31, 2015

If I feel I can do it, then why not. If I feel I could mess it up, definitely no. Usually, though, I stay within my specialisations.

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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:34
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
me too Aug 31, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

While I specialize in a few areas, I have defined some - so far, five - broad areas of human knowledge where I systematically turn down any job offer, if the material is intended for professional practitioners. Whenever possible, I refer such requests to dependable colleagues that I know (personally) as translators who specialized in these areas.

If the material is aimed at the general public, including me, I have no objection.


But while I am specialized in "Legal translations" , I systematically reject marketing, I really cannot translate marketing material.

[Edited at 2015-08-31 16:08 GMT]


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Emin Arı  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 03:34
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
if ı do not have any work and plenty of time Sep 1, 2015

Working on out of specialization area means less outcome with high effort. This all adds up to loss of time, i.e money.

As an example, in a unit time, say 1 hour, I can translate 300 words in Techy doc but just 100 words of social sciences.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:34
Member (2008)
English to Italian
sometimes Sep 1, 2015

If I have time (more than needed for my usual projects) and the subject is interesting and if I have at least a minimum knowledge.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:34
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not the area, but the content Sep 1, 2015

I have accepted many documents in areas that are not my expertise. When you have a chance to see the document first, than you can check if it's actually too technical or not.

For example, a client recently offered me a job in the Medical area, which is not one of my pro areas. I told them it was not one of my specialties, and they sent the document for me to see it. It ended up being an operation manual for a medical device. Although it had many medical terms, it was a manual, not a surgery procedure. So I did the job, and I believe I did a good job, too.

So, it's actually not the area that matters, yet the content. I will not accept any job that could imply any harm to anyone if I translate something incorrectly (like a surgery procedure or phsychological report). But I often accept jobs of "other areas".


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:34
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, sometimes Sep 3, 2015

I sometimes work for a development bank that pays very well. Banking is outside my area of expertise, but if I think I can figure it out, I'll give it a try.

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