Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Would you say that you are a good translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:44
SITE STAFF
Dec 24, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you say that you are a good translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Tomás Cano Binder, CT. View the poll results »



 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:44
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Keeping our feet on the ground Dec 24, 2015

"Fairly good" is what I replied.
I know that some of my clients find me wonderful, but I still remember to this day (and I doubt I can ever forget) what my teacher said: "beware the big head syndrome". So I'm very critical of my own work, especially when I feel happy with the result, then a little voice says "are you sure there isn't still a small detail that could be improved somewhere?", or "what this really the best way to put it after all?".


 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:44
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Personality thing Dec 24, 2015

Having said what I said above, it seems to me that how we answer this poll tells more about our personality than about our skills or work ethic.
Still, I feel that we shouldn't get confused between the healthy amount of self-confidence which is absolutely crucial for succeeding as a freelancer, and the "compulsory" caution which we must apply when translating.


 

Laura van Staveren  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:44
Member (2015)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Keep growing Dec 24, 2015

No matter how good we think we are, I believe we all learn new things every day and there is always room for improvement.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I would say that I'm fairly good Dec 24, 2015

as some of my customers have been with me for over 25 years...

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you for participating! Dec 24, 2015

Catherine De Crignis wrote:
Having said what I said above, it seems to me that how we answer this poll tells more about our personality than about our skills or work ethic.

Exactly. When I posted this poll a very long time ago, my idea was to learn more about what translators think of themselves.

In my opinion, it takes a fair amount of confidence to begin working as a freelance translator and to justify and defend your translations in a market where many customers think they know enough of the languages to question your work and/or make informed questions.

However, too much confidence can put you in a risky situation: you might cease to improve your technical skills in a fast-paced world, or might experience frustration if you do not get much work and cannot understand why.

Thank you very much for your votes and insights!


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
After 144 votes Dec 24, 2015

So after 144 votes, only 1 or 2 people think they are not quite there yet and are still learning?

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Well... Dec 24, 2015

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

So after 144 votes, only 1 or 2 people think they are not quite there yet and are still learning?


I consider myself fairly good and I’m still learning… That's the beauty of translation: you learn something new every single day!


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Fairly good Dec 24, 2015

I believe so, because some of my customers have been with me for years.

To me the translation business like life itself: the learning process is neverending.

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2015-12-24 12:15 GMT]


 

Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:44
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I ROCK this job! Dec 24, 2015

My comprehension of my source languages is excellent;
my righting in inglesh (my targit langwedge) is practicly purfict;
my research and tech skills (I also develop websites and software, and I've studied library/info science) are well beyond average;
my formatting/DTP and other pertinent software skills are quite honed.
My work ethic is strong (up at 4am for tea+breakfast/walk the dog, and "in the office" by 6am most days, and working as much as 10 to 15 hrs/day on a fairly regular basis, when there's sufficient work available to keep me that busy).

I'd say I'm doing pretty well.
Where I need the most work is in sales/marketing and business admin areas (esp. organizational and accounting/finance/tax areas).

All of these matters are relevant to success as a freelance translator;
I'm sure nobody here would argue otherwise.

[Edited at 2015-12-24 12:19 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Different views from different stances Dec 24, 2015

I must say that I am a wonderful translator. If I don't, my prospects will continue their search for someone who is.

Nevertheless I uphold the caveat that though I may be wonderful in my specialty areas, I'm just average in others, and there are some specific subject areas where I ask them NOT to consider me as a possible translator.

The most important for me is that my clients often say I deliver wonderful work. I feel accountable for never giving any of them any reason whatsoever to recant this statement.

Yet I must see myself as "fairly good". Fairly good to do the jobs they assign to me, otherwise I should ethically turn them down, as well as fairly good to keep improving every day and in every way I can.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Subjective vs. objective assessment Dec 24, 2015

Catherine De Crignis wrote:

Having said what I said above, it seems to me that how we answer this poll tells more about our personality than about our skills or work ethic.
Still, I feel that we shouldn't get confused between the healthy amount of self-confidence which is absolutely crucial for succeeding as a freelancer, and the "compulsory" caution which we must apply when translating.


Agree on principle. The poll question seems to ask Would you say that you are a good person?

Pretty off center, if you ask me.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why the focus on technical skills when excellent writing is paramount? Dec 24, 2015

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

In my opinion, it takes a fair amount of confidence to begin working as a freelance translator and to justify and defend your translations in a market where many customers think they know enough of the languages to question your work and/or make informed questions.

However, too much confidence can put you in a risky situation: you might cease to improve your technical skills in a fast-paced world, or might experience frustration if you do not get much work and cannot understand why.


I agree on the amount of confidence, but isn't that true of any other profession or occupation?

It's not exactly the customers who think they know enough of the languages. It's their employees, project managers and/or reviewers who think they have a say on a translator's writing just because they speak two or more languages (being bilingual or polyglot).

Too much confidence equals arrogance, and that has little to do with how well you translate. Technical skills are nothing compared to the actual writing skills any translator worth her salt should have, neophyte and seasoned alike.


 

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

MODERATOR
Couldn't get any better... Dec 24, 2015

I'm good looking, charming, fun and I have a kick-butt personality.
I mean, what else can you ask from life?icon_biggrin.gif
This is quite the peculiar poll...


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Ditto Dec 24, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
though I may be wonderful in my specialty areas, I'm just average in others, and there are some specific subject areas where I ask them NOT to consider me as a possible translator.

The most important for me is that my clients often say I deliver wonderful work. I feel accountable for never giving any of them any reason whatsoever to recant this statement.

We talk more about strengths here, but we also need to accept our limitations, though they can and will be pushed back over time, of course.

Thankfully, there are new things to learn every day in this job - just as a top surgeon will be learning new techniques every day. But that doesn't make me feel I need to answer that I'm still learning how to be a translator.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Would you say that you are a good translator?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search