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Poll: Have you ever been ashamed of a translation you made?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:25
SITE STAFF
Apr 17, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been ashamed of a translation you made?".

This poll was originally submitted by Maria Tulbure. View the poll results »



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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Never, but... Apr 17, 2016

I would be ashamed to mention how much I actually earned per hour for some of the early ones. I remember thinking that the agency's offer of €0.06 per word was low but not quite in the scamming area back in 2007. What I didn't realise was how hard it would be to press the "send" button.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:25
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No, never. Apr 17, 2016

Why should I be?

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:25
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Not immediately Apr 17, 2016

but in hindsight, I realize how awful my work must have been in my beginnings.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not actually ashamed Apr 17, 2016

... but occasionally dissatisfied.

The English have a habit of saying 'sorry' all the time, often when they are not sorry at all, and it annoyed my new Danish boyfriend back in the 1970s.
He said 'Don't apologise. If you're going to be sorry about something, don't do it!'

I still say sorry like everyone else when in England, but I took that piece of advice to heart!

I always deliver the best I can, but over the years there have been some rushed jobs and a some where I was out of my depth, and they could have been done better.

Learn from your mistakes, and move on!


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 17, 2016

Not 'ashamed', but I'm sure there must have been more than a few occasions when the text I delivered could have been improved if the deadline hadn't been so tight.

On a couple of occasions, website texts which I had translated correctly and delivered in Word format later appeared in a deteriorated (with mistakes not of my making) or unrevised state on on the corresponding websites, which I subsequently removed from my CV.


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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:25
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, Apr 17, 2016

not a whole translation,

but I remember once, when I had just started out as a freelancer, I took on a job of translating some template insurancy policies for an insurance company.

After delivery I realized that a couple of techical terms I had looked up in a dictionary were wrong - I think they were pertaining to ships in stead of lorries (or vice versa, I forget).

The client had said nothing, and the 'revelation' came to me a couple of weeks after delivery, so I decided to forget about it.

But it did nag me a lot.

Well, noone is perfect and we all learn from our mistakes.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Apr 17, 2016

I’m kind of a perfectionist and I always deliver the best I can, after several revision stages, but as I have been translating for over 40 years I wonder what would be my reaction if I happen to see one of my very first translations...

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:25
English to Russian
+ ...
Naturally, yes Apr 17, 2016

We all had once been beginners

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TB CommuniCAT  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:25
Member (2014)
English to French
Same here Apr 17, 2016

[quote]Christine Andersen wrote:

... but occasionally dissatisfied.


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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:25
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Proud Apr 17, 2016

I am always proud of my translations! Otherwise I wouldn't send them. I guess occasionally a proofreader points out a mistake and and I feel ashamed I didn't spot it, but I think it is inevitable if you write thousands of words every week that a few mistakes will occur - that's why proofreading is so important.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:25
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Ashamed? No but... Apr 17, 2016

On occasion, when I read a past translation, I see things that I could have said better. Usually this is the result of tight deadlines. Whenever possible I like to set a translation aside at least overnight and then those improvements will occur to me the next day.

What has also happened to me occasionally, and what really bothers me, is that when I have decided to keep the language relatively simple and understandable (depending on the end client), I get it back from the reviewer with track changes full of jargon.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why ashamed? Apr 17, 2016

Shame involves a moral judgment from a group or society.

The word choice makes me wonder about the author's state of mind. Maybe he or she should be embarrassed to have made such a silly error!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I can feel shame without anyone else judging me Apr 17, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:
Shame involves a moral judgment from a group or society.

The word choice makes me wonder about the author's state of mind. Maybe he or she should be embarrassed to have made such a silly error!

That's not my understanding at all.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:25
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not mine, either Apr 17, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:
Shame involves a moral judgment from a group or society.

The word choice makes me wonder about the author's state of mind. Maybe he or she should be embarrassed to have made such a silly error!

That's not my understanding at all.


The way I see it, shame is a very personal feeling. If YOU feel ashamed of something you did, it's the worst type of shame. If someone else thinks what you did is a shame (or a group or whatever), it's also a shame, but if you don't feel ashamed, it's effectless.

Once, in one of my very first jobs, I translated "política" as "politics", and it should be "policy". I felt really ashamed of myself, because I had delivered the job. But I fixed it, and sent a new version to the client, asking them to please ignore the former one. It was a shame determined by myself, not by any group or anyone else at all. But I was very ashamed because I actually delivered the job that way in the beginning of my carreer.


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