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Poll: Do you think that being a translator changes your perception of life and society?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:22
SITE STAFF
Dec 12, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think that being a translator changes your perception of life and society?".

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Max Nuijens  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 02:22
Member
English to Dutch
Yes, Dec 12, 2015

but being a garbage collector would also change my perception of life and society, and probably to a greater extent.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 12, 2015

And I agree with Max. I think that the job or profession that someone has must inevitably affect the way they see the world.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, I do... Dec 12, 2015

... and I'm wondering what profession does not!

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dasein_wm  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:22
Member (2009)
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, indeed Dec 12, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

... and I'm wondering what profession does not!


Spin Doctor?


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Perception and propioception Dec 12, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

... and I'm wondering what profession does not!


True, any activity (like a hobby or profession) would change anyone's perception of life and society. Imagine nurses tending to terminally ill patients or being part of a crime cleaning crew.

There was a popular American TV show here, Dirty Jobs, which takes Mike Rowe (a former opera singer) to odd and not-so-odd jobs throughout the country to experience a day doing an out-of-the-ordinary job. I'm sure he has many perceptions of life now.

I wonder what the pollster has in mind when he/she proposed this question. But apart from a yes or no, what else can be said? That's the problem with yes and no questions…they don't invite or evince wisdom or new knowledge.

[Edited at 2015-12-12 11:12 GMT]


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:22
Member (2012)
English to Danish
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Other Dec 12, 2015

Same answer as my colleagues above:

Of course, any profession gives you their own perspective and view into society. That's life.

And let me add, I prefer our somewhat objective and passive vantage point to that of a coroner's.

[Edited at 2015-12-12 11:32 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Well, well! Dec 12, 2015

dasein_wm wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

... and I'm wondering what profession does not!


Spin Doctor?


Maybe a spin-doctor so talented that he/she manages to distort his/hers own reality…


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:22
Danish to English
+ ...
No Dec 12, 2015

I don't define myself as a translator. Translation is what I do for a living, but my outlook on life is governed by other things: faith, ethics, integrity etc.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:22
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 12, 2015

Specifically, I translate a lot of court pleadings and judgements in appeal cases. This has made it abundantly clear to me that courts generally are much more concerned with the intricacies of (often conflicting) legal texts and which court is competent in the case in point than they are with actual justice.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translator by definition Dec 12, 2015

Gitte Hovedskov, MCIL wrote:

I don't define myself as a translator. Translation is what I do for a living, but my outlook on life is governed by other things: faith, ethics, integrity etc.


That's a refreshing take (although different from mine). I suppose a secondary topic of discussion would be How do you think your career choice defines you? or words to that effect.

I've often read that most men define themselves by what they do for a living. I don't know how true that is.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Garbage collector Dec 12, 2015

Max Nuijens wrote:

but being a garbage collector would also change my perception of life and society, and probably to a greater extent.


You could say that, in some cases, a garbage collector's perception of life stinks.




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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:22
French to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 12, 2015

I think translation, in particular, makes you consider things from another person's perspective, which is a really useful skill to have in life (and one that a surprising number of people lack!).

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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:22
English to German
+ ...
Maybe my perception of life and society Dec 12, 2015

has made me become a translator - and vice versa.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
We're continually building on our knowledge base Dec 12, 2015

We're exposed to all sorts of information in our texts, and our research expands our general knowledge constantly. I'm often made aware of that in general conversation with friends. Of course, we don't necessarily make much use of it, but it can't be a bad thing. Difficult to be s translator and still have your head stuck firmly in the sand, I'd think.

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