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Poll: "Translators are naturally pedantic and obsessive."
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
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Apr 19, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question ""Translators are naturally pedantic and obsessive."".

This poll was originally submitted by Mark Nathan. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 19, 2016

What to some is nothing more than thoroughness, truth seeking and trying to do the right thing may be termed "pedantic" by the less diligent. Likewise, some equally snide commentators may wilfully construe thoroughness and accuracy as some sort of obsession. I suppose that's their prerogative. I prefer to try to cultivate a less negatively judgemental attitude.

PS: I had to really make an effort to edit out my more scathing/borderline offensive retort.


[Edited at 2016-04-19 08:29 GMT]


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 12:04
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
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certain extent of Apr 19, 2016

translators, maybe, yes. But generalize or state that - no. We are united in our differences.

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missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:04
Member (2010)
English to Italian
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I couldn't have said it better Apr 19, 2016

neilmac wrote:

What to some is nothing more than thoroughness, truth seeking and trying to do the right thing may be termed "pedantic" by the less diligent. Likewise, some equally snide commentators may wilfully construe thoroughness and accuracy as some sort of obsession. I suppose that's their prerogative. I prefer to try to cultivate a less negatively judgemental attitude.


[Edited at 2016-04-19 08:29 GMT]


Being neurodiverse, I am naturally pedantic and obsessive. In our profession, those are virtues, though. Let's hear it for us!


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:04
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
With Neilmac Apr 19, 2016

neilmac wrote:

I had to really make an effort to edit out my more scathing/borderline offensive retort.


[Edited at 2016-04-19 08:29 GMT]


Why edit it out?

In fact, I was going to suggest to the author of this poll that he steps outside and settle it like a gentleman with all the pollsters whose feathers will be ruffled by such a deliberately inflammatory assertion.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:04
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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Hear, hear! Apr 19, 2016

neilmac wrote:

What to some is nothing more than thoroughness, truth seeking and trying to do the right thing may be termed "pedantic" by the less diligent. Likewise, some equally snide commentators may wilfully construe thoroughness and accuracy as some sort of obsession. I suppose that's their prerogative. I prefer to try to cultivate a less negatively judgemental attitude.

PS: I had to really make an effort to edit out my more scathing/borderline offensive retort.


[Edited at 2016-04-19 08:29 GMT]


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:04
Member (2008)
English to Italian
I am Apr 19, 2016

and I don't know if I have always been or I have been since I started working as a translatoricon_biggrin.gif

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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:04
Member (2011)
Russian to English
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Obsessive Apr 19, 2016

Obsessive yes, but not necessarily pedantic. That's my view, but my family may disagreeicon_smile.gif Pedantic, to my mind, implies something rather forceful and overbearing, but many of the translators I know are quite timid and shy. We have to be obsessive though, if not geeky, to spend all our days examining the minutiae of every word in a lengthy text, drafting and redrafting, and then checking and rechecking.

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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:04
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
Apologies Apr 19, 2016

I too was slightly offended when I saw this poll.

I honestly don't remember suggesting it; if I did, it must have been many years ago!

I do remember reading an entertaining article, again several years ago, written by a French translator's partner, which described various aspects of their spouse's behaviour...

Perhaps having read this article, I was moved to suggest some sort of poll along these lines - i.e. poking gentle fun at translators' fascination with obscure points of terminology etc.

So, apologies to anyone who very reasonably resents the negative implications of the statement, if I am responsible for it, it was only meant in jest.


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Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:04
Spanish to English
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If I wasn't so pedantic and obsessive... Apr 19, 2016

...about getting it right, I wouldn't be half the translator I am. That touch of natural brilliance is the icing on the cake.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:04
Member
Spanish to English
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No Apr 19, 2016

I left off teaching because I wasn't. Yes, I'm naturally aware of mistakes (and this can hit me at unpredictable moments), but I don't let it spoil my life. I don't consider that pedantic/obsessive.

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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
I assume(d) this just a provocative question Apr 19, 2016

and not necessarily the opinion of the author at all.
Some of the answers do however back my own opinion that translators seem to have a strong tendency to take themselves far too seriously.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:04
French to English
Standards are slipping Apr 19, 2016

This poll's been up for 3 hours and no-one's pointed out this is a case where the unambiguous "partly" would probably have been a better option than "partially"....icon_smile.gif

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Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:04
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It has nothing to do with being a translator Apr 19, 2016

I was far more pedantic when I was younger than I am now as a translator.

Not much to do.

Ditto.


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