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Poll: If you could go back in time to before you became a translator and change something, would you?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:27
SITE STAFF
Mar 12

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you could go back in time to before you became a translator and change something, would you?".

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Texte Style
Local time: 04:27
French to English
yes Mar 12

I would have worked more on my other languages to have more than one pair.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 12

I've wanted to be a translator since I started learning Spanish in eighth grade, and from then on I majored in languages. So it would have been difficult to change any one thing.

Decades later I developed a keen interest in biology, especially botany, and wished I could have become a scientist. But given my inclination for languages throughout my younger years, there was little chance of that happening.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Mar 12

If I could go back in time, I’d learn more languages (German, for instance).

go_back


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Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:27
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Mar 12

If I could turn the clock back, I would still want to become a translator, but I would in addition study mechanical engineering for extra competence.

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dasein_wm  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:27
Member (2009)
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, I wouldn't have gone to university Mar 12

If I could go back 30 years, I wouldn't have wasted my time studying History and languages at university just because I love them (I do love them and have acquired most, if not all, of my actual knowledge of them through avid personal reading and immersion. I don't get translation work because I have a degree in History, I get it because of placement, experience and word of mouth.
In hindsight I think becoming a plumber would have been a better career choice (for the money and the ability to call it a day at the end of each and every day).


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 12

In hindsight, there are several things throughout my life that I might go back and change - but I really like translating, so that's one thing I probably wouldn't.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:27
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Probably, but who knows whether it would have helped? Mar 12

Looking back, there are several occasions when I said 'no way', but wonder now, what would have happened if I had said yes.
There are other times when I gritted my teeth and struggled on, but with hindsight can see that it might have been better to give up sooner or never to have started.

Life is a maze, and I knew where I wanted to go, but after kicking at a lot of doors and not getting in, I had to accept the paths that did open up. It all goes in the bag of experience - and the most surprising things are useful in translation!

Our headmistress at school firmly closed some doors for me... but gave us an excellent piece of advice the day we left: "You can't always do what you like. You have to like what you do."

If I could go back and change the past, I am not sure the results would be better than what actually happened.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:27
Member (2006)
German to English
Nope Mar 12

What is gone is gone.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:27
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Many things ... Mar 12

With hindsight, I'd do many things differently, all of an extremely personal nature, but being a translator is NOT one of them.
Becoming a freelance translator was the best decision I ever made.
Whether those different decisions in much younger years would have produced happier results, who can tell? And if those things had not happened, I would have missed much painful but useful experience, I guess.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 11:27
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Non, je ne regrette rien Mar 12

I might have done some things differently, but I would still be translating.

And now, the end of the file is near;
And so I face the final delivery.
My friend, I'll send it by courier (sort of rhymes )
I'll email the PM, who won't even be there

I've translated jobs that're full of gibberish
I've transliterated each 'n every highway;
And more, much more complete rubbish
I translated it my way.

Regrets, I've had a few crappy jobs;
But then again, too few for me to cry about
I've translated for Tony Soprano and the mob
And saw them through without a punch on the snout

I've crafted each turn of phrase
Each complex idiom along the Information Highway,
And more, much more than this,
I translated it my way.

Kudoz to Frank Sinatra

Sorry, this is best I could do in five minutes.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I'd have completed my studies in other languages Mar 12

As I began to translate professionally in 1973, decades before globalization, the Internet, etc., for no reason whatsoever I made up my mind that a translator working in a language pair should be equally competent to work in both directions. I was working EN > PT, however I made a deliberate effort to get myself prepared for PT >EN in spite of absolutely no demand for it at that time.

The preparation for EN > PT paid off in 1999, when I took the Brazilian government exam (Sao Paulo state) for sworn translators, and passed. About one out of five candidates passed among all 22 languages, and I guess that most who failed came short in the out-of-PT part of the exam.

I gave up on translating IT and FR, of which I reckoned that I'd have to study respectively 3 and 4 more years to start translating. I still speak them, however only for my personal use.

Nowadays I see translators working from and into EN with a much lesser command of it than I had of IT/FR at the time. No idea on whether I'd have the time - or the demand - to make it viable working with four languages, but I'd have given it a try.


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Laura Bissio CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:27
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same thought here Mar 12

neilmac wrote:

In hindsight, there are several things throughout my life that I might go back and change - but I really like translating, so that's one thing I probably wouldn't.


My thought exactly when I read the poll!


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Mónica Algazi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
Great translaptation, Julian! Mar 12

Julian Holmes wrote:

I might have done some things differently, but I would still be translating.

And now, the end of the file is near;
And so I face the final delivery.
My friend, I'll send it by courier (sort of rhymes )
I'll email the PM, who won't even be there

I've translated jobs that're full of gibberish
I've transliterated each 'n every highway;
And more, much more complete rubbish
I translated it my way.

Regrets, I've had a few crappy jobs;
But then again, too few for me to cry about
I've translated for Tony Soprano and the mob
And saw them through without a punch on the snout

I've crafted each turn of phrase
Each complex idiom along the Information Highway,
And more, much more than this,
I translated it my way.

Kudoz to Frank Sinatra


Sorry, this is best I could do in five minutes.


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Mónica Algazi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 23:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
I could not agree more Mar 12

Jenny Forbes wrote:

With hindsight, I'd do many things differently, all of an extremely personal nature, but being a translator is NOT one of them.
Becoming a freelance translator was the best decision I ever made.
Whether those different decisions in much younger years would have produced happier results, who can tell? And if those things had not happened, I would have missed much painful but useful experience, I guess.


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