Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Why are you a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:25
SITE STAFF
Apr 10

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Why are you a translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Chris S. View the poll results »



Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 10

English was always my best subject at school. Then, when I began to study languages, (French from primary school, then German and Russian from secondary to university level) they were always the subjects I was best at, which is probably why I enjoyed them more than maths or science, which I was never very good at. I always enjoyed the exercise of translating into English, but found inverse translation into the other languages much more difficult. Later in life I ended up teaching English in Spain and eventually ended up in translation full time, so maybe it's my destiny.
Whatever the case, I'm currently happy with my lot, despite occasionally being shot down in flames by top earning self-styled highflying divas and accused of working for a pittance (although my rate is actually average for Spain).

[Edited at 2017-04-10 08:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-04-10 08:30 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Béatrice DEZERALD  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:25
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Other Apr 10

To contribute, with all due modesty, to a kind of universal understanding !

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Apr 10

I thought this would be where I could discover 'Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll.'

Obviously, I found out that this was the wrong milieu. But, I did find a different groove as it was a natural progression after 7 years of Latin, 4 years of Ancient Greek and 4 years of studying Japanese at Uni.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:25
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Other Apr 10

It's really one of the subjects I'm good at since school, at the Lycée Français in Madrid. My career was always language-oriented as an adult: I specialized at the university in Linguistics and the year after became a sworn translator. I'm very happy with my choice .

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Couldn't think of anything better to do (once I retired from special forces, left the circus etc) Apr 10

Sorry, this isn't a very good poll. I dashed it off a couple of days ago and there are some very obvious missing answers (like "It's what I'm good at").

What inspired it was seeing, in quick succession, forum posts from a former architect, a former financial markets trader and a qualified doctor. And it made me wonder what they were doing here.

Why would anyone go from a really well paid and respected job to this?

Were they just useless at their job and got kicked out? Or are they lying - did they really just make the tea?

Conceivably they always had a parallel burning passion for language. But my experience of people who come to translation from elsewhere doesn't support this.

And if you tired of medicine, why would you translate medical texts of all things?

This is what I was trying, and failing, to get at.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 17:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Failed in several previous careers. For the money. Apr 10

Honest!

I was going to get the Nobel Prize, no less, for Medicine. Well, maybe not, but you have to aim high if you want to go anywhere. Medical schools wouldn't let me in. Hospitals did quite well, but you don't win prizes for being a patient. I had to find something a teeny bit more realistic.

Dewey and co. had done all the brilliant work at library school. The Universal Decimal Classification system is a pain if you have trouble with figures as I do. And Google has taken over long ago.

Various other pot-boiler jobs paid the bills as long as they lasted, but I got fired with alarming frequency. I was getting desperate. Then the director of a translation agency took a liking to me. I was clearly nuts enough to have potential in his firm, and he offered me an in-house job. It saved what was left of my sanity.

Later, he almost succeeded in running the firm into the ground, and eventually most of the translators had to go. That translation agency was still a great client for several years when I went freelance - I would never have survived without it.

And finally, I had landed on the right shelf...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:25
Member
Italian to English
Fell into it Apr 10

I kind of just fell into it, like a pothole in the road. But I have always loved languages, my first degree was in German and Italian, and I love playing around with words. Being freelance is a bonus. I also love the fact that you never quite know what's going to land in your in-box, and I normally learn something new with each text I translate.

Sometimes I wish I'd chosen a different career. But those moments are rare.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Always wanted to Apr 10

From the time I started to learn Spanish in eighth grade. I've never wavered, never tried anything else but editing, when I couldn't get a translation job, and before that, secretarial work--all that time translating at home in the evening ("moonlighting").

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:25
Member (2006)
German to English
Did want to unite the world Apr 10

but seeing as that was not possible in the sewage and waste water industry, I just sort of fell into it.
But seriuosly Chris,comparing this with the numerous anonymous polls, this is quite intellectual!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:25
Member (2008)
English to Italian
always wanted to Apr 10

I was 14/15 and I had a picture of myself translating books... well I have translated only a few... but I have the job I have always wanted

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 17:25
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Failure, of sorts Apr 10

The rock star thing didn't quite pan out.
(I actually studied Electric Guitar in Los Angeles several years ago.)
In retrospect, I'm quite happy that it didn't...

[Edited at 2017-04-10 13:49 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 17:25
English to Italian
+ ...
Always wanted Apr 10

I was only a teenager when I decided my career and from that moment on I put all my efforts to get this result and I am very happy that all my hard work paid back:)
Also, I like to think that thanks to my work people can better understand each other and improve our world.
Last, but not least, I am a hopeless grammar nazi, so I think that this is my call;)

And what kind of job would give me the opportunity to listen to AC/DC while I am in the office?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:25
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Rat race... Apr 10

I did a lot of translating during my degree years and I enjoyed it... so, I thought... I'd like to do that as a job... then I was offered a post-graduate research job at my uni, but I decided to emigrate instead... Started working for a Wine Merchant to support myself whilst trying to get into the translating business... then I got a job as freelance editor in a publishing house, which was good, but I was still trapped in the rat race... finally, when I had enough clients, dropped the editor job, moved to the country and started my freelancing career... no more rat race!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Khanda
Poland
Local time: 17:25
Polish to English
+ ...
Addiction Apr 10

I used to be a full-time interpreter and translator for a few years. I was trained as an interpreter, I liked the job a lot and I felt good at it. However, my father and mother were translators in their time and had a lot of bad things to say about this choice of career, so in a way I became pre-programmed against seeing it as a long-term choice; I have always tried to get away from interpreting and translating, escaping to other professions. Once I got there, I found myself unable to let go of my former life, translating over weekends and subconsciously judging my current profession, whatever it was at the moment, from the point of view of gaining new specialization in translation. Every year I promised myself that next year I'll drop translating, I'm too tired and I can't focus on my career properly, etc.

So here I am now, a commodity trader and risk specialist in a big energy company. I'm just back from a week-long vacation which I spent in a stuffy interpreter's booth, while over the weekend I was catching up with my translation work, coming today to the office knackered and dozing off at the morning kick-off meeting. The only difference from the beginning of my career 15 years ago is that I stopped convincing myself that this is just a temporary arrangement and things will look differently in the future. Even my wife stopped urging me to attend the meetings of Interpretoholics Anonymous.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Why are you a translator?

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search