Poll: Do you usually contact specialists when you have questions about your translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:24
SITE STAFF
Feb 16, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you usually contact specialists when you have questions about your translation?".

View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:24
Hebrew to English
Ich verstehe nicht Feb 16, 2016

Aren't we meant to be specialists in our specializations?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:24
Spanish to English
+ ...
What's a specialist? Feb 16, 2016

It all depends on the text in question and the specific query. I might ask the client or author directly if need be, either by a translator's note, or simply an email. I might also ask any colleagues, friends, acquaintances or even passers-by in the vicinity, and there is always the option of posting a kudoz query to see what comes up.
I remember one time I was translating a furniture catalogue and when I wasn't sure about a term, I went out to actual furniture shops and asked about the item in question. In fact, just the other day I asked my mechanic for help with term a term someone else had posted (about automobile parts) on kudoz. Because that's the way I roll

[Edited at 2016-02-16 08:47 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:24
Member (2008)
English to Italian
OTHER Feb 16, 2016

I voted other.

I translate patents and when I find something particularly difficult I have my "network".

Colleagues (including obviously all of you on Proz), people who work in that particular field (specialists), and obviously my clients.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:24
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 16, 2016

As Neil says it all depends on the text and on the query. I might ask some of my ex-colleagues or family members. The EU institution where I worked has an excellent Terminology Group and when needed I do contact them. There are fortunately many medical doctors in my family and my children are also a good port of call (a lawyer, an architect-restaurateur and a biotechnology translator). I think that over the years I have also contacted a few Embassies.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:24
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Sometimes ... Feb 16, 2016

I do, if there is time and opportunity.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes a specialst comes in handy Feb 16, 2016

Ty Kendall wrote:

Aren't we meant to be specialists in our specializations?


A) I am a medical translator, but I'm not a doctor
B) I know a cardiologist; I once asked him about some concepts I didn't readily understand.


That's how I understand the question.


Cheers


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:24
Italian to English
+ ...
occasionally Feb 16, 2016

Last year I certainly asked my dentist about a couple of terms.
For medical questions I first ask my daughter, who is a GP.
My son knows all about car parts and vintage vehicles.
Then I ask my husband about architecture, electrical systems and anything to do with computers.
I even consulted my cousin a few months ago about a musical question.
If the family can't help me out, I come here!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:24
Member (2006)
German to English
Ask the person contracting Feb 16, 2016

I am specialist in my field, but some of the off-branches have highly paid exective dr. profs who tend to live in a world of their own, and in German, you can write a sentence 5 lines long that would mean the same in one in English - those are the times I may have to ask, but otherwise, this does not happen very often.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Texte Style
Local time: 04:24
French to English
client first Feb 16, 2016

I work on the principle that my client know her line of business better than I do so I'll check with her first.

Just yesterday I was told that finding out what terms meant was "the translator's job", although they did send a link giving a definition.

I had already seen that definition but decided it couldn't be what the client meant because it didn't match the pictures (the term suggested blob shapes whereas the pictures showed lines).

So then I decided to just describe what I saw in the pictures since that's what the end reader will see.

Otherwise I do ask my son for help with texts on yachting and architecture, my daughter for art. I e-mailed a friend for help with a graphics charter recently, she couldn't help, turned out it was a mammoth typo.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:24
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes, the client knows best Feb 16, 2016

Texte Style wrote:

I work on the principle that my client know her line of business better than I do so I'll check with her first.

Just yesterday I was told that finding out what terms meant was "the translator's job", although they did send a link giving a definition.

I had already seen that definition but decided it couldn't be what the client meant because it didn't match the pictures (the term suggested blob shapes whereas the pictures showed lines).

So then I decided to just describe what I saw in the pictures since that's what the end reader will see.

Otherwise I do ask my son for help with texts on yachting and architecture, my daughter for art. I e-mailed a friend for help with a graphics charter recently, she couldn't help, turned out it was a mammoth typo.


This reminds me of a recent experience: I was translating a sootblower engineering manual for the user and for “engineers.” I know that the term engineer is used liberally in the United States to mean “technician” and not necessarily one holding an engineering (4-year) degree. But I asked the client for clarification. His reply: Yes, these are engineers with a degree who are supposed to be trained in the use of this sootblowing software. They're not simply technicians.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:24
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
It will depend on my NDA - how forthcoming the client is Feb 16, 2016

...and the time available.
With many of my clients I have to be very careful of what I disclose to outsiders as per our signed NDA.
Others have a hard time extracting answers from the end-client, at which point I usually ask permission to use my own sources/experts/friends.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Roni_S  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 04:24
Slovak to English
That's actually an interesting question Feb 16, 2016

I typically contact my client. But I have had a few instances where I was translating legislation for a law firm and the text became very technical, and on my query they just said we don't know what it means, just do the best you can. That's quite a difficult task, just do the best you can. If you don't know what it means in the source, how can you possibly translate into the target?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:24
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
For free? Paying for it? Feb 17, 2016

I used to when I worked in-house, since I was surrounded by them.
Now, working at home, what should I do? Contact the "specialists" and ask for their opinion for free? I would get help, but each time the person would likely feel more annoyed. Paying for it? Of course not!

If you learn how to do a good research in the Web, and go way beyond Google, you will be able to find practically anything by your own efforts. And you can post your question here in ProZ as well, and get a lot of good help.

If you still don't get a feasible answer, then it's time to START thinking about external help. I'll tell you this has only happened to me very few times over the years. I will not bother the "specialists".

[Edited at 2016-02-17 19:46 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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: Do you usually contact specialists when you have questions about your translation?

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 »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



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