Poll: Why did you become a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:37
Oct 16, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Why did you become a translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ramona Ali

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Karin Walker (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
German to English
+ ...
Why not multiple answers? Oct 16, 2005

Hi Ramona,

Nice idea for a poll. But there is usually more than one consideration involved in becoming a translator. Why not enable multiple answers?



Hester Eymers  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
+ ...
All of the above... Oct 16, 2005

The first four answers all apply. I love translating (though I love translating some texts more than others), I'm good at it (at least, that's what I think), it's lucrative (that is, I'm still not rich but I earn more than I used to when working in a bookshop) ánd I enjoy working from home (the freedom to take a break when I want one, never having to ask for a day off, never having to call in sick, working on Sundays...).


Robert Zawadzki (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
English to Polish
+ ...
All five... Oct 16, 2005



Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
My reason is not listed Oct 16, 2005

When I studied in Germany I needed a job to live. Translating / interpreting was something, what brought more money than any other job. After I finished I was allready in translating business, earning more than was offered to me as a young engineer, so that's why I kept on translating. In the meantime I love what I do, but I have chosen this profession more by accident.



tazdog (X)
Local time: 22:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
sort of backed into it... Oct 16, 2005

...when a translator acquaintance who knew I had translation experience in previous jobs asked me to take on some work. I had just come back to Spain at that time and was about to start looking for a job. I hadn't thought of freelancing, but when I looked at the pros and cons, I decided the former outweighed the latter so decided to take the plunge. I haven't regretted it.

I think I'm pretty good at it, too.icon_smile.gif


chopra_2002  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:07
Member (2008)
English to Hindi
+ ...
For my livelihood. Oct 16, 2005

This is the main reason why I have become a translator.

[Edited at 2005-10-16 14:58]


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Multiple Answers Also Oct 16, 2005

I would certainly choose more than one of the answers listed.


Joanna Krahelska
Local time: 22:37
Polish to English
+ ...
agree: multiple answers would be nice Oct 16, 2005

I had to choose between two... decided on the one that prevailed (just "loving it" would hardly help if I were not good at iticon_wink.gif )
but on the other hand, I would hardly be good at it if I hated it...
the best, jk


GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Multiple reasons Oct 16, 2005

1) I love it.
2) It's what I'm good at.
3) To work from home.
4*) Lucrative? Even better, the fact that I can get paid for doing what I most like to do.
5) Other - I fell into it without meaning to.

and... all of the above. It was a happy revelation when I discovered my true self as a translator; all of my prior 40 years had been spent---without my knowing it at the time---in preparation for this; namely, a bilingual childhood, love of reading, studying a field unrelated to language, moving to a country where a different language was spoken, and having bilingual children.

You must be sure of two things: you must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work, and think it would be more honourable to you to be doing something else.

---George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

[Edited at 2005-10-16 21:13]


Y champion
Local time: 22:37
English to French
+ ...
Multiple reasons... but definitely not lucrative Oct 16, 2005

1- It was what I was good at, so I chose this career
2- When I started to study translation, I realised I loved it
3- When I started to work at home, I realised I just loved that freedom. I think I'd be unable to work in an office for a boss, now.
4- I hope it was more lucrative. I think I would make more money translating financial or technical stuff, but I just prefer translating books and movies. Less money, more pleasure.

I just love this job.


Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:37
English to Romanian
No multiple reasons, just one Oct 17, 2005

I just love it, and that's iticon_smile.gif


skazakis  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:37
English to Greek
+ ...
I just love it! Oct 17, 2005

But what do I love about it?
- it is the triumph of communication, beating the Babel legacy
- getting the message through and allowing others to get their job done
- going through a bridge, a tunnel, a highway, watching a farmer use a tractor, knowing that people are using the software I have translated, simply give me the satisfaction of being a small part of it.

I just love it!


marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:37
English to French
+ ...
None of these reasons, but still... Oct 17, 2005

I studied to be a translator, then did all kind of jobs for many years... After managing a tour operator business sending schoolchildren to England during some 15 years, I decided it was time for a change and sort of naturally went into translating. It's been a while since then and I still love it (I think I'm quite good at it too), but I sometimes wish it would be more lucrative...


Sam Berner  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:37
Member (2003)
English to Arabic
+ ...
All of the above - disability pending :-) Oct 28, 2005

Hester Eymers wrote:

The first four answers all apply.

I fully agree. It has been with me for 22 years now, and although I did many other things in between (teaching, publishing, working with refugees, etc.) I keep coming back to it.

There is one collateral benefit from translating - you meet (often virtually) incredibly interesting and amazing people. The other benefit is that you learn so much about all kinds of things.


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