Poll: Have you ever been overly confident of your translation abilities?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:59
Oct 27, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been overly confident of your translation abilities?".

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Teresa Borges
Local time: 01:59
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Overly? No! Oct 27, 2017

I have been translating full-time for over 30 years now and yet, before delivering a text, I always feel a slight apprehension: Have I done it right? Could I have done it better? I see this as a good thing as it keeps me on my toes. Overconfidence is a killer! The more translating I do, the more I realize just how much there is to learn...


Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
A question in return Oct 27, 2017

If you look back on several decades of translating (as I do), would you say that your translating skills have improved over time? I hope that you can say yes.

If so, might you have translated your very first translating jobs differently here or there if you had been able to draw on several decades of experience?

I think it is realistic to assume that translating abilities and translating confidence grow over the years and that the majority of translators may be unaware of the fact that they are overestimating their abilities at the outset of their career.

This does not only apply to translators, but to most people in most careers. I would be overestimating myself, if I pretended I had been perfect from the start.

To all of you who have grown in skills and experience, have a nice day!


[Bearbeitet am 2017-10-27 10:44 GMT]


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not sure Oct 27, 2017

But probably yes, at one time or another. I work in several fields and am usually willing to "have a bash" at most things. However, over the years I've come to realise that there are some areas which I don't know enough about, or I simply don't like. For example, I rarely accept financial texts nowadays, as I don't enjoy them.

And I've accepted a couple of literary things which I ended up passing on to someone else too; I could have done them myself, but it would have taken me too long, and my usual workload of more pressing deadlines was snapping at my heels.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not sure II Oct 27, 2017

If I'm not sure, that means I'm not confident, overly or otherwise.



Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
English to French
Not really, but I declined many jobs Oct 27, 2017

As I always check thoroughly before accepting, I've often declined what I felt was out of my usual scope and/or that I didn't feel confident translating


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:59
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Oct 28, 2017

I have, a few times, but sometimes I was right. Self-confidence is a positive thing most of the time. Of course being a megalomaniac is not advisable.


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Poll: Have you ever been overly confident of your translation abilities?

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