Poll: Does working as a translator affect your free time reading?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:35
SITE STAFF
Nov 21

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does working as a translator affect your free time reading?".

This poll was originally submitted by Bora Taşdemir. View the poll results »



 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:35
Member (2018)
French to English
Yes! Nov 21

I can't not look out for typos. I'll stop and mull over a sentence that I don't understand immediately, to try to think of a better way to express it. I might stop and make a note of a term that might come in handy. If I'm reading in French I wonder how I might translate a particular expression, if I'm reading in English I'll wonder how I'd get to that expression if translating from French. Drives me mad sometimes!

Catherine Brix
Teresa Borges
Philippe Etienne
Venkatesh Sundaram
Bora Taşdemir
Zibow Retailleau
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:35
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes! Nov 21

These last years I’ve been noticing that books don't keep me glued to them as they used to and I’m becoming less and less a heavy book reader though I still read a lot of magazines and newspapers. Like Kay typos, errors, misspellings, bad choice of words, wrong translations seem to jump out at me not only when reading but most annoyingly when watching TV!

Noni Gilbert
Ian Keith Jones Williams
Muriel Vasconcellos
TranslateWithMe
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:35
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not in the way proofreading used to! Nov 21

In a former life back in the 1970s I was a proofreader at a printer's for a couple of years, and I really could not read in my spare time - it was terrible!

After reading patents four days a week (we had a newspaper as light relief one day a week), I could not tell you what a book or an article was about, but I could tell you how many errors and typos there were…

I now look carefully at what a text actually means, and what the message is, and sometimes start translati
... See more
In a former life back in the 1970s I was a proofreader at a printer's for a couple of years, and I really could not read in my spare time - it was terrible!

After reading patents four days a week (we had a newspaper as light relief one day a week), I could not tell you what a book or an article was about, but I could tell you how many errors and typos there were…

I now look carefully at what a text actually means, and what the message is, and sometimes start translating in my head. I live immersed in my source language, so all newspapers, declarations on groceries, anything like that can potentially turn up as jobs! However, I read happily and fairly normally in both/all my languages.

The most important way translating affects my reading is that I read a lot of things that I would not spend time on if I had another job. From The Linguist to books and articles on translating, law or medical handbooks, to following blogs and websites … and a lot of other things as research for jobs I am doing, a very large proportion of my free-time reading is work-related.
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Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:35
English to German
+ ...
Absolutely Nov 21

To my own dismay, I only read books when I'm on vacation nowadays.

After a day of work, the last thing I want to do is focus my eyes on letters.


Sabine Braun
Angus Stewart
Anja Hajek
Teresa Borges
Josephine Cassar
Robert Rietvelt
Yetta J Bogarde
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 21

I'm lucky if I manage to read one two books a year for leisure. After spending so much time looking at screens and reading and translating texts, I have little time left to read for entertainment, other than newspapers, magazines and websites.

Josephine Cassar
Teresa Borges
Philip Lees
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:35
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Silly question Nov 21

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does working as a translator affect your free time reading?".

This poll was originally submitted by Bora Taşdemir. View the poll results »



It's blindingly obvious (surely?) that doing anything other than reading (which includes translating) means you're not reading.

Duh...

I actually read a lot. Just finished Sciascia's "Il Giorno della Civetta" and now reading John Hershey's "Hiroshima". I also have an enormous pile of half-read or yet-to-be read books on my table. I'm a bibliophile.

Sadly, these days I notice that many people, particularly younger people, don't have a single book anywhere in the house.

[Edited at 2019-11-21 14:18 GMT]


Michael Harris
 

Bora Taşdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:35
Member (2012)
English to Turkish
+ ...
I generally can't... Nov 21

Especially after a busy working day, I can't really read anything else... Nevertheless, I always have a book which I'm reading and try to read it on the weekends/before I go to sleep. It generally takes a couple of months to finish a single book.

 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 00:35
English to Russian
+ ...
I still read a lot but Nov 21

Since interpretation is the major source of my income, I am not that deterred by letters at the end of the day. Many years ago, over several trips, I brought lots of books from Russia with me - a great collection of mostly Russian, English and French classic collections acquired by my father in the last century. When I am really tired, be it from translation or otherwise, but must indulge an old habit of reading before falling asleep, I would read a few favorite pages. Last time it was a chapter... See more
Since interpretation is the major source of my income, I am not that deterred by letters at the end of the day. Many years ago, over several trips, I brought lots of books from Russia with me - a great collection of mostly Russian, English and French classic collections acquired by my father in the last century. When I am really tired, be it from translation or otherwise, but must indulge an old habit of reading before falling asleep, I would read a few favorite pages. Last time it was a chapter from The Forsyte Saga. BTW, there is no need to worry about the quality of translation. Soviet translation school and translators were incredible. For example, to this day I believe that their translations of O'Henry's works are better than some originals.

I am not a big reader of magazines and, especially, paper newspapers; for that I do indeed have Internet.

What I almost do not do these days is buy fiction books. I have limited space, and I am pretty sure that likely I shall not read it again. I use neighborhood book exchange, where my occasional paperbacks go too, a local library, and Kindle Unlimited for hard-core thrillers and detective stories for a vacation/beach reading only!. Sometimes I finish it on the next getaway. It helps to spend a so much needed vegetation day on the beach or I'll go crazy looking for something to do.

Still, that urge to buy and read paper books seems to be non-destructible. Last time I was in St. Petersburg, I went to the book store to fulfill my friend's request for children's books. Just the aura of the book store made it utterly impossible to leave empty-handed for myself. I bought a hardcover of Book 1 of Murakami's Killing Commendatore, not the lightest book in the store to carry on the plane:-). I read Book 2 online but the missing half will join us on the next trip. Some books are a pure joy just to look at and know that they are with you. I found Russian version to be very good in itself. Oh well, I couldn't miss on his Kafka on The Shore in Tokyo either, in English. Great book and a great memory of my assignments in Japan.
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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:35
Member (2012)
French to English
Yes Nov 21

I think freelance work in general can affect all aspects of life, particularly if the workload is unpredictable.

I'm currently reading Samuel Richardson's Pamela, which is ideal for reading in short bursts.


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:35
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Nov 21

But I can recommend using audio books

 

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:35
Member (2004)
English to French
I used to read for fun... not anymore Nov 21

I spend my days translating and reading, so the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is read some more. I haven't read a single book in 10 years. My bookcase is full of them, and sadly, I'm looking to rehouse them. For now, I'll just pack them in a box, which I will store in the basement. I see them as taking up valuable storage space I could use for something else, like my collection of vintage purses.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 22

I definitely have less time to read. The pile keeps growing. So time-wise, it has a big effect.

And yes, I'm very aware of writing style. In part, that's because I'm writing a book based on my graduate thesis. I collect examples of sentences, both effective and otherwise. It's easy to copy them into my collection when I'm reading online.

But I try not to be judgmental. It's all grist for my mill.


 

123Translations
Venezuela
Local time: 02:35
Member (2008)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not at all Nov 22

I read every night, since it's the best way to relax (at least for me).

I don't think reading a book has anything to do with translating or proofreading.

Sure, I may spot a mistake or a sentence that may have been written better, but it doesn't bother me.


 


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