Poll: Have you ever seen one of your old translations and been shocked at how bad it was?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:11
SITE STAFF
Nov 11, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever seen one of your old translations and been shocked at how bad it was?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 11, 2017

One time I remember being surprised when a text of mine was uploaded to a regional government website with the word "international" rendered as "intentional" (not my fault). When I informed the client, I was told that they couldn't modify it because it was already on the "official website".
Having said that, I'm sure that if I revisited some of my old translations, I could probably polish them up quite a bit, and some of my vocabulary choices may be different in hindsight, but at the end of the day all of them seem to have passed muster, so I'm not really all that concerned.

PS: On the other hand, I occasionally come across texts that I've translated in the past and been impressed bytheir quality. I mean, to the extent of thinking "did I really do that"...

[Edited at 2017-11-11 18:51 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Nov 11, 2017

Occasionally I end up translating the same text twice, and I have found that my style is identical even years later.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Nov 11, 2017

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

Occasionally I end up translating the same text twice, and I have found that my style is identical even years later.


I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised when I happen to see one of my old translations into Portuguese. I must add though that I’m sure I wouldn’t say the same thing if I happen to see one of my old translations into French and English. Fortunately, for the last 30 years I have adhered to the native speaker principle…


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Nov 11, 2017

But 32 plus long years have passed under the bridge. In your position, wouldn't anybody want to go over what you did years ago - in my case, in my profligate youth - and try to iron out a few wrinkles?
I'm sure a few horrors await me in the wings.


 

Melissa McMahon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:11
Member (2006)
French to English
"Shocked" at "how bad" too strong... Nov 12, 2017

I've looked at past translations and questioned some of my choices, but that's a long way from being "shocked" at "how bad" it is.

I think systematic self-questioning is part of the translation process and it doesn't stop once you finish a job.

Melissa


 

George Kihanda
Tanzania
Local time: 14:11
Swahili to English
+ ...
Translating with reference Nov 12, 2017

I translate with reference not with imagination. How can it bad? Dictionaries never lose meanings.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not really Nov 13, 2017

When I look at my old jobs, I realize I have improved considerably, but "being shocked at how bad it was" has never happened to me. I never delivered a lousy job.

 


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Poll: Have you ever seen one of your old translations and been shocked at how bad it was?

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