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Poll: What do you think is the latest age one should stop freelance translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Dec 10, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you think is the latest age one should stop freelance translation?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:59
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Dec 10, 2016

Dopey question. There is no "should stop at age."
You stop when you want to or when your circumstances or health (faculties) demand it.

Another great poll from Anonymous Duh!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There's no "should" about it Dec 10, 2016

That's a totally ridiculous question. Individuals should do what they feel is right for them, subject to the laws of their area. Why should I or anyone else tell them what to do?

My father was still working occasionally as a consultant when he was 80, maybe more. I was expecting to go on but I'm not so sure now. Here in Spain they don't make it easy to work a little - it's all or nothing. So I might just switch to doing a little voluntary work for the community. We'll see. But I certainly shan't take any notice of people who tell me what I should or shouldn't do. Except maybe my immediate family.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:59
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another there’s no « should » about it! Dec 10, 2016

I’ll stop when my health fails. For starters, I’m well beyond retiring age, then if genes have to be blamed, my father worked as a consultant until the day he died (at 93) and my mother (she is 103) says that the worst decision she ever took was to stop working at 95 …

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:59
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Depends Dec 10, 2016

on each person's mental state. I have reached the age (mid-fifties) when I thought I would stop, and just cannot. But I have seen some 70+ people translating and even interpreting (!!! can you imagine listening to an 80-year old voice?) and decided this was a definite no-no. The quality does go down, and the person doesn't realize that.

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Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:59
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
... would instead of should... Dec 10, 2016

I would (will?) stop if and when I win the lottery. The odds are minute. So I think I will continue to work for as long as I am intelectually capable.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:59
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No upper limit Dec 10, 2016

While my father was not a full-time translator, he did translate among other things. He stopped actually translating the bible at a fairly early stage in his career, but went on working for many years after that on preparing course material for teaching languages. He was given his first computer at the age of 80, and complained jokingly for several years after that over the fact that it only had one alphabet, so it was not much use for Greek! He did use the computer for lots of other purposes, and went on writing Greek and occasionally Marathi by hand, as he always had, well into his 80s.

He was also a very active parish priest most of his life, and although he retired from his own parish at 65, he went on taking services and doing some pastoral work until he was past 90.

The beauty of freelancing is that it is not necessary to work full time, so it is possible to reduce the pace and the volume of work, and carry on part time. So as long as both translator and clients are satisfied, there is no upper limit.

Others do not enjoy such good health as my father, and simply cannot go on working, but it depends entirely on the individual.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The sky's the limit Dec 10, 2016

I intend to keep working as long as I feel like it. I will probably get pickier about the jobs I accept, as I want to focus on doing what I enjoy. If my faculties start to fail, my clients will let me know!

P.S. If I won the lottery, that might be another story.

[Edited at 2016-12-10 10:27 GMT]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:59
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
From an 85-year-old... Dec 10, 2016

No limit as long as I am capable.

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Oksana Pooley  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:59
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Clarity of mind is what matters, not age Dec 10, 2016

Translation, especially in specific areas, is something where life experience is of great benefit. Besides, translation keeps the mind clear, so I would put age prejudice aside here. As for mastering new technology, I have been surprised by some 70+ and 80+ relatives as to how quickly they grasp things.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:59
Member (2006)
German to English
Agree Dec 10, 2016

Julian Holmes wrote:

Dopey question. There is no "should stop at age."
You stop when you want to or when your circumstances or health (faculties) demand it.

Another great poll from Anonymous Duh!


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:59
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
From another dinosaur Dec 10, 2016

I find this poll question demeaning.
I intend to go on translating until I drop, as did both my parents. When the quality of my work declines, I'm sure my clients will let me know!
As to EvaVer's question about interpreters: "Can you imagine listening to an 80-year old voice?", I refer her to the voices of, for example, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi, all now in or near their 80s.
I'm not yet 80 but I invite EvaVer to telephone me without warning and tell me if my voice is acceptable to her!
We hear plenty of appalling young voices on TV, radio and film nowadays ...


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:59
Member (2012)
French to English
Oddest question yet Dec 10, 2016

Well done!

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:59
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Polls should exclude such questions Dec 10, 2016

It would make much more sense to retain a relevant poll question for a couple weeks than to post a new one every day for the mere sake of novelty. I am inclined to think that there simply are not that many relevant or interesting questions to ask in such a poll, and that this is what accounts for so many of the insipid, trivial, and downright stupid efforts that we continue to see in this space.

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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:59
Member (2012)
French to English
idea Dec 10, 2016

Robert Forstag wrote:

It would make much more sense to retain a relevant poll question for a couple weeks than to post a new one every day for the mere sake of novelty. I am inclined to think that there simply are not that many relevant or interesting questions to ask in such a poll, and that this is what accounts for so many of the insipid, trivial, and downright stupid efforts that we continue to see in this space.


Has anyone asked what we have for breakfast yet?


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