Poll: Why can't people call translators "translators"? Which of these have you seen most frequently?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:49
SITE STAFF
Jul 9

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Why can't people call translators "translators"? Which of these have you seen most frequently?".

This poll was originally submitted by Roser Bosch Casademont. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
What's in a name? Jul 9

"That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet."
(Shakespeare)


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:49
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Usually just "translator" but ... Jul 9

... occasionally "resource", "supplier" or "vendor".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:49
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Translator Jul 9

Am I missing something in this poll?

However, I do object to it when I am addressed something like this:

Hi, Translator

in mails from complete strangers who want to build up their database and who then ask me for my CV (personal information) and my best rate. This last one is always the killer.

Another mail immediately finds its way to Trash.
(Imagine a big gurgling sound of yet another unwanted mail being flushed into oblivion.)


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:49
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Most frequently dear translator or dear linguist Jul 9

But also resource, supplier, vendor, talent, valued linguist and occasionally some other odd combination that makes me laugh…

It’s a telling sign of a mass e-mail, when instead of being politely addressed by my name in the greeting line, I'm addressed as “Dear Linguist” or “Dear Translator”.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:49
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Jul 9

Julian Holmes wrote:

Am I missing something in this poll?

However, I do object to it when I am addressed something like this:

Hi, Translator

in mails from complete strangers who want to build up their database and who then ask me for my CV (personal information) and my best rate. This last one is always the killer.

Another mail immediately finds its way to Trash.
(Imagine a big gurgling sound of yet another unwanted mail being flushed into oblivion.)


I am not sure what this poll is asking.
Does it have something to do with the addressing in a mail? If yes, then this get flushed in just the same way.


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 06:49
Member (2005)
English to German
Vendor or supplier Jul 9

... but I actually have a name, and any first email that does not use it, is in a 99 point something percent danger of becoming food for the electron sharks. 98 point something percent if it addresses me by my domain name instead of my personal name.

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Translator" Jul 9

Ricki Farn wrote:

... but I actually have a name, and any first email that does not use it, is in a 99 point something percent danger of becoming food for the electron sharks. 98 point something percent if it addresses me by my domain name instead of my personal name.


Unfortunately, use of a first name is also no guarantee that the message in question is not part of a mass mailing, given that there are programs that simply insert a name into the salutation line.

The worst cases of impersonal mails is when the sender cannot be bothered (or perhaps has forgotten) to insert a personal name or generic designation (i.e., those beginning, "Dear ").

This impersonal form of address is indicative of how many agencies see translators.

As to the substance of the poll, I find designations other than "translator" somewhat irritating. "Linguist" is inaccurate, "supplier" sounds like I am operating a warehouse, and "vendor" makes me feel like I am selling hot dogs at a baseball game.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:49
English to Polish
"People" who? Jul 9

People call translators "translators". They also often call interpreters "translators".

The poll answers would suggest the asker meant agencies and project managers, a very specific groups of people.


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Arthur Godinho  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:49
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
"Why can't people call translators 'translators'?" you ask..... Jul 9

Probably for the same reason we no longer have Doctors or Garbage men.
After all, why be a simple 'Doctor' when you can be a Health Service Provider?

Me? I'm old. I have just 'a Doctor' and I'm very happy with him!

[Edited at 2017-07-09 15:57 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:49
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Does not proceed Jul 9

"People" call translators "translators" most of the time. Many times, some of the suggested terms are used becuase they fit better into the context or to avoid being repetitive. But most of the time, translators are referred to or addressed as translators, not anything else, as far as I'm concerned.

P.S. - I have never seen or heard anyone call us a "business partner". That would be very undue, if you consider the actual meaning of this term. Those who hire us usually add several clauses to the agreements stating clearly that there are no business or labor bonds between the parties. It would be a serious commercial mistake to call a contractor a "business partner".


[Edited at 2017-07-09 18:33 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:49
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Indeed, Julian Jul 9

Julian Holmes wrote:
However, I do object to it when I am addressed something like this:
Hi, Translator


Indeed, but none of the alternatives suggested would be fit here. Only your name would be a feasible solution in this case.


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:49
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
valued linguist, but... Jul 9

There is a translation agency that is always calling me "valued linguist". I'm pretty sure that I'm very valuable for them as they are always offering me low rates!

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 23:49
German to English
+ ...
only in bid type situations - "linguist" Jul 10

My clients ask for a translator, which only makes sense. But when I am invited to bid or "submit an offer", for some reasons those persons think they are hiring "linguists", talk about "mother tongue" and other things that have nothing to do with the training of a professional in a professional field.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:49
Member (2008)
English to Italian
? Jul 10

when you say people, who are you referring to?

Not sure what this question mean, so no answer


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Poll: Why can't people call translators "translators"? Which of these have you seen most frequently?

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