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Poll: Do you think translators tend to be introverts?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:22
SITE STAFF
Nov 2, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think translators tend to be introverts?".

This poll was originally submitted by Helen Portefaix. View the poll results »



 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Don't know ... Nov 2, 2016

the translators I know personally have a whole gambit of personally traits. So I can't really say.
One shared characteristic I have observed is that we/they hate to be interrupted, by whatever disturbance, during tasks which require intense concentration.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:22
French to English
Other Nov 2, 2016

Being an introvert is not a sine qua non for being a translator. I know some who are extroverts and others who are introverts and a number who are pretty much inbetween. What is absolutely necessary however, is the ability to maintain a high level of concentration over sustained periods of time.

I'm chatty and I don't think that people who know me well would describe me as an introvert, although I do have my shy and/or silent moments. However, I have the ability to sustain my attention and remain focused and I put that skill to full use when I translate.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 03:22
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Nov 2, 2016

Not telling. Too shy to answer icon_smile.gif

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Nov 2, 2016

As I said before to exactly the same question: I hate generalizations and stereotypical thinking in general. I must say though that I changed with age: I was an extrovert and I'm rather an introvert person now...

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Some are introverts, some ambiverts and extroverts Nov 2, 2016

As Teresa said, we can't throw generalizations. That's like saying that politicians tend to be extroverts, tax accountants introverts, watchmakers introverts, etc. It shows a degree of lazy thinking.

I'm an introvert but you wouldn't guess by talking with me because (here's another generalization) some people assume introverts must be the quiet ones.

Introversion is often confused with shyness.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Nov 2, 2016

Mario Chavez wrote:

I'm an introvert but you wouldn't guess by talking with me because (here's another generalization) some people assume introverts must be the quiet ones.

Introversion is often confused with shyness.


Any given profession doesn't make the person an introvert or extrovert per se. Some, perhaps even many translators are, others aren't.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 2, 2016

I try to avoid sweeping generalisations. To me, the notion of the introvert translator cooped up in a garret belongs in the same anecdotal ragbag as he thrifty Scot, the gentleman farmer, etc. ... in many cases more suited to the world of popular fiction than current reality.

 

Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 01:22
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Don't know Nov 2, 2016

At least a lot of them are introverts, I think. I consider myself an introvert.

 

nathalia woglo  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:22
Portuguese to English
Don't know... Nov 2, 2016

...but I am.

 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:22
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes... Nov 2, 2016

... I definitely am. People say I don't come across that way, but I've never worked as an interpreter for example, to my detriment, because I don't feel comfortable that way.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:22
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not the right factor Nov 2, 2016

Being an introvert or otherwise does not depend on one's profession, yet on their personality. Although most freelance translators have a pretty lonely life and a not-so-intense social life, that doesn't mean one is introverted. You'll find out if the person is an introvert once you place them among other people and see how they behave. So, the shortage of opportunities does not define a personal trait like this, above all based on one's professional activity.

 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:22
Member (2008)
English to Italian
no Nov 2, 2016

Just independent.

 

Ahmad Hosseinzadeh  Identity Verified
Iran
Local time: 22:52
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Or ... Nov 2, 2016

Or the introvert linguists tend to become a translator among the professional options they have!

 

Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 15:22
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Good question Nov 2, 2016

Of course it depends on many factors and life styles, but I notice I got more introvert during these years as a freelance translator. Maybe an in-house translator does not feel the same, but this is basically a lonely job. In order to work, I need hours alone, seeing nobody and speaking to nobody, not a soul. Today, I feel streets too crowded, too noisy, and I didn't feel this way some years ago. I don't avoid parties, but I don't look for them either. Maybe being so much time on your own makes you feel you really can live and you're better on your own. Of course this is a serious mistake.

 
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