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Poll: How often do you translate into one or more of your source (non-native) languages?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:45
SITE STAFF
Nov 23, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How often do you translate into one or more of your source (non-native) languages?".

This poll was originally submitted by Barbara Carrara. View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 23, 2015

They say "never say never", so almost never. But if I ever have to do so, a native speaker colleague then gives it a good going over afterwards. I don't recall the last time we did anything like that, though.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:45
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Never! Nov 23, 2015

I translate exclusively into my native language (European Portuguese), even if I am fluent in French after 30 years in Belgium...

 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:45
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Never professionally Nov 23, 2015

Only for friends, never for clients.

 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:45
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Never Nov 23, 2015

ProZ.com can be so "AmateurZ.com" it gets boring...

 

Augusta Habas
France
Local time: 06:45
Italian to French
+ ...
Never Nov 23, 2015

but I know many people do for some language combination like Polish-French, for which we are not many native speakers. Unfortunately, Polish clients often cannot afford real native services.

 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:45
English to German
+ ...
Very rarely Nov 23, 2015

Birth and marriage certificates and the like.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:45
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Seldom Nov 23, 2015

I do occasionally do one-liners or very small items, usually for free for good clients who send a lot of work or pay well the other way.

Typically they are very standard phrases such as Risk and Safety sentences, which I can look up, or that kind of thing.

I sometimes translate longer texts into Danish for a pro-bono client who can proofread it, but does not always have time to do the translation. I generally translate into English for them, but help out when I can.

My main source language is my language of habitual usage, so I do in fact write it as well as many natives.

I would never translate into any of my other languages, even though I do translate from Swedish and Norwegian.


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Never. And yes, AmateurZ.com on occasion Nov 23, 2015

Catherine De Crignis wrote:

ProZ.com can be so "AmateurZ.com" it gets boring...


AmateurZ.com a bit too often nowadays, as we see in Kudoz, which a colleague of mine often refers to as KiddoZ.

Sadly a lot of people circumvent the issue by simply lying about their native language on their profile page. That is not against the rules however. But pointing it out is.


 

Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:45
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Never Nov 23, 2015

I do it just for practice sometimes, but the results would not be fit for professional use. Although I'm comfortable reading in several languages, I only write in my native language.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:45
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never! Nov 23, 2015

I never translate into my non-native languages, though I have done informal consecutive interpretation for many years and have written and published technical articles of my own in both Portuguese and Spanish.

Some people manage to do it, but very few are truly successful.

[Edited at 2015-11-23 11:32 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never Nov 23, 2015

I didn't speak my native language at birth either, so conceivably others too could pick it up.

The trouble for them is that so many others think they can but actually can't.

writeaway wrote:

Kudoz, which a colleague of mine often refers to as KiddoZ.



I think I might have to adopt that.


 

Lyubov Tyurina  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:45
French to Russian
+ ...
Just the same for Russia Nov 23, 2015

Augusta Habas wrote:

but I know many people do for some language combination like Polish-French, for which we are not many native speakers. Unfortunately, Polish clients often cannot afford real native services.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:45
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Fairly often Nov 23, 2015

There is not much difference between the levels of my source language and target language,
and the source language (English) has always been our home language in the family.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
James Bond said… Nov 23, 2015

Never say never as he drove/rode/walked into the sunset/beach/hotel room with Domino.

I bet many of you Millenials are too young to recall that movie.

icon_smile.gif

I wonder if the Arabic-Spanish-Greek translators working in Cordoba or Toledo, Spain, centuries ago had answered so categorically as many of today's poll readers.

I get this sense of pride (professional or otherwise) from translators who claim they never translate into their source language(s). Pishposh. You have done it professionally or semi professionally, and I have too. That's nothing to be ashamed of.

There is this prejudice, this pseudo-rule whereby translators should not translate into their B or C languages (source languages). Worse yet, ATA's pamphlet “Translation: Getting it right” is notorious for enthroning this ridiculous idea as some sort of holy rule translators should not break:

“Professional translators work into their native language
If you want your catalog translated into German and Russian, the work will be done by a native German
speaker and a native Russian speaker. Native English speakers translate from foreign languages into English.
As a translation buyer, you may not be aware of this, but a translator who flouts this basic rule is likely to be
ignorant of other important quality issues as well. OK, there are exceptions. But not many.”

I translate into English certain technical texts by client request, and the client knows well that English is not my mother tongue. Some translators and academics consider this unethical. I say, that's a feeble attempt at claiming some moral superiority over others.


 
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Poll: How often do you translate into one or more of your source (non-native) languages?

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