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Poll: Do you turn down projects that contain or express hate in any form?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:13
SITE STAFF
Feb 27

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you turn down projects that contain or express hate in any form?".

This poll was originally submitted by Oriol Vives. View the poll results »



João Riveres
Yewoinshet Hailu
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends on... Feb 27

I suppose it would depend on the definition of "hate". I like to keep an open mind until I see the specifics. However, I don't recall ever being asked to translate anything so controversial.
Moreover, the expression "in any form" is subject to a very broad range of subjective interpretations. For example, the recent MSM demonising of the Labour candidate in the recent UK elections meant that any criticism of a certain government was deemed to be anti-Semitic hate speech by a large and voci
... See more
I suppose it would depend on the definition of "hate". I like to keep an open mind until I see the specifics. However, I don't recall ever being asked to translate anything so controversial.
Moreover, the expression "in any form" is subject to a very broad range of subjective interpretations. For example, the recent MSM demonising of the Labour candidate in the recent UK elections meant that any criticism of a certain government was deemed to be anti-Semitic hate speech by a large and vociferous section of said media, a premise with which I strongly disagree.

[Edited at 2020-02-27 08:40 GMT]
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Agneta Pallinder
João Riveres
Inga Petkelyte
Philip Lees
 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 04:13
Member (2016)
German to French
Usually not Feb 27

Working for the court, I had to process texts that I would not wish on my worse ennemy (once I had as a mother the pictural description of the rape of a toddler with a cucumber to translate and I was not in a position to say no). I got the habbit of detaching myself as much as possible from any judgement on the content of the text.
What an agency call hate from a text issued from an agency is quite a lullaby compared with the deposition of a criminal or a victim.
I might however ask
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Working for the court, I had to process texts that I would not wish on my worse ennemy (once I had as a mother the pictural description of the rape of a toddler with a cucumber to translate and I was not in a position to say no). I got the habbit of detaching myself as much as possible from any judgement on the content of the text.
What an agency call hate from a text issued from an agency is quite a lullaby compared with the deposition of a criminal or a victim.
I might however ask to turn down texts where the hate would call me on a personnal issue because of a similar experience I might have experienced and might me cause me to be biased into the translation, but the topic is not about the hate, it is about being biased on the topic.
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Mario Freitas
Liviu-Lee Roth
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Kathy Saranpa
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Feb 27

It hasn’t happened often. I have refused jobs on gambling, obscene or pornographic material, weapons, racism, violence, far-right politics… At the very beginning of my career I was contacted by the Embassy of Portugal in Brussels to translate a few divorce papers. I was very happy to get the job until I realized that it dealt with a case of incest. I learned a very useful lesson: never accept a job without being sure of its content.

Gibril Koroma
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Bruno Veilleux
Sabrina Bruna
 

Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:13
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
Never happened, but... Feb 27

I have translated for slaughterhouses, which is ... distasteful.

But I'm no vegetarian, so refusing would be a bit hypocritical.


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:13
Member (2012)
French to English
Depends Feb 27

It has never happened to me, but it would depend on various factors, e.g. the purpose of the text. If it is intended to stir up hatred, then I would refuse. If the purpose of the text is to inform people of the existence of such hatred, then I might accept, even if it expresses distasteful views. Knowledge is power, and it is good to be aware of the bad things that are happening.

However, if the subject matter contains graphic descriptions of violence or cruelty, I would have to ref
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It has never happened to me, but it would depend on various factors, e.g. the purpose of the text. If it is intended to stir up hatred, then I would refuse. If the purpose of the text is to inform people of the existence of such hatred, then I might accept, even if it expresses distasteful views. Knowledge is power, and it is good to be aware of the bad things that are happening.

However, if the subject matter contains graphic descriptions of violence or cruelty, I would have to refuse, as it would affect my mental health to read such stuff.
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Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Teresa Borges
Giuliana Maltempo
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Krypton factor Feb 27

neilmac wrote:
a certain government ... anti-Semitic


Oooh, so cryptic! 😂😂😂


Joe France
neilmac
 

Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:13
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Never happened Feb 27

It has never happened to me that I have had to turn down a project, because they source text expressed hate. However, I have done a translation for a political party with whose views I vehemently disagreed. As someone who believes in democracy I would have been a hypocrite if I turned the project down on that basis.

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
 

Laura Nagle  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:13
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
It depends on... Feb 27

It depends on the reason why the document is being translated. In the course of translating documents for political asylum cases, I have translated anti-LGBT manifestos, death threats, and graphic accounts of violence. The purpose of the translation is to provide evidence in support of the asylum seeker's case, which I'm happy to do. I wouldn't translate materials of that nature if they were intended to be shared publicly, spread a message of hate, etc.

Christine Andersen
Giuliana Maltempo
 

Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 04:13
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
You are not your work. Feb 27

Granted, as freelancers we have the option to accept or decline any work we want, but accepting a translation job does not mean we personally associate with any of the opinions expressed. I have translated plenty of things with which I personally disagree. But so what? To me, it would be like being a restaurant chef asked to cook a dish that he personally does not like. The chef might still do a great job.

The only time I would refuse such a job is if it there were a conflict of int
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Granted, as freelancers we have the option to accept or decline any work we want, but accepting a translation job does not mean we personally associate with any of the opinions expressed. I have translated plenty of things with which I personally disagree. But so what? To me, it would be like being a restaurant chef asked to cook a dish that he personally does not like. The chef might still do a great job.

The only time I would refuse such a job is if it there were a conflict of interest or if I found that I was so opinionated in the topic at hand that I would be afraid I would not be objective enough to do a good job.

I am a bit dismayed at the wording of this question, because it is just too topical. "Express hate in any form" is a trap. Literally speaking, I would translate a text that read "I hate Brussels sprouts". So then does that trigger some academic busy-body to start a boycott of my translation business because I use my business to express hate?

Personally, I hate evil. I hate it when people get hurt. I hate rain at a picnic. Does that put me beyond the moral pale?

What is the motive of the person asking the question (and don't just say "just saying")?

[Edited at 2020-02-27 17:43 GMT]
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Mario Freitas
Dan Lucas
Muriel Vasconcellos
Philip Lees
 

Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 04:13
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
That's the question though... Feb 27

Teresa Borges wrote:

It hasn’t happened often. I have refused jobs on gambling, obscene or pornographic material, weapons, racism, violence, far-right politics… At the very beginning of my career I was contacted by the Embassy of Portugal in Brussels to translate a few divorce papers. I was very happy to get the job until I realized that it dealt with a case of incest. I learned a very useful lesson: never accept a job without being sure of its content.


There may be translation jobs you don't want to do. That is not the same as texts containing hate in any form. The examples you list do not necessarily involve hate whatsoever. They just happen to be topics you find unpleasant. You are entitled to that.

On the other hand, a refusal to do projects could be interpreted as hate too. If you, for example, refused to translate a text that was favourable to homosexuality, because you disapproved of that behaviour, you might well find yourself accused of hate simply for saying, "no thank you".

You see how loaded this question can become.


Giuliana Maltempo
IrinaN
Lydia De Jorge
 

Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 04:13
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Oh yeah, those that the ridiculous people among us dare not name. Feb 27

Chris S wrote:

neilmac wrote:
a certain government ... anti-Semitic


Oooh, so cryptic! 😂😂😂


Clearly, we're talking about Mongolia, right?


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:13
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Feb 27

This discussion comes up regularly.
It is highly unprofessional to turn down a job due to personal preferences. Unless the text promotes an illegal act, it makes no sense to turn it down.


neilmac
Muriel Vasconcellos
 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:13
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
No Feb 27

No, it's not up to me to educate my clients on their views. On the other hand, every hate has its reasons and... lifetime. In most cases, hate passes with time.
And thirdly, hate has been an object of speculation so many times, so often it is blamed on other in order to pursue own "purity" that I don't buy it anymore.
From my observations, all this hate topic escalation has a very adverse effect.


Paul Lambert
IrinaN
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not Hungary Feb 27

Paul Lambert wrote:

Chris S wrote:

neilmac wrote:
a certain government ... anti-Semitic


Oooh, so cryptic! 😂😂😂


Clearly, we're talking about Mongolia, right?


Well well, it seems my half-hearted attempt at discretion did the trick. I didn't like to point the finger directly, but well done, you sussed me out.
PS: "Ridiculous people" yourself, my good man.


 
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