Article: The dignity of the profession – what's wrong? A couple of current trends in the translation industry adversely impacting the dignity of the translator.
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:24
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Aug 10, 2013

This topic is for discussion of the ProZ.com translation article "The dignity of the profession – what's wrong? A couple of current trends in the translation industry adversely impacting the dignity of the translator.".

 

Maria Diehn  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Professional issues Sep 4, 2013

This article touches several key issues that affect the dignity of the translation profession. I would like to underline three key statements of your article, which describe familiar situations. I agree.

- "[...] being corrected by amateurs who are wrong does little either for the amateurs and for us."

- "Just like we don't want unqualified people (or not yet fully qualified ones) to take over the jobs that in our respective opinion should be reserved for qualified translators, qualified translators should not be 'stealing jobs' for which they are overqualified from office staff. And from copy shops."

- "The problem of the bad original connects with the denied right to be human and with the expectation to please. Nowadays, not only is a translator expected to domesticate the foreignness into oblivion (and has to be a native speaker of the target, while any benefits of native comprehension are officially banned from being thought about) and pretend that neither it nor he have ever existed, he is shot like the proverbial messenger when the quality of the document being translated is simply not as good as one would like it to be. Especially one who holds the purpose and perhaps wrote the source."


[Edited at 2013-09-04 09:37 GMT]


 

magdadh
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:24
Polish to English
+ ...
I love this Mar 14, 2015

I love all of it (or almost all of it), even though as someone with no degree in linguistics and very much a beginner in the field, albeit with an acute awareness of her shortcomings and limitations, tempered occasionally by the need to earn the crust, I have probably no actual right to love it, or even express agreement in public.

So I will just say that 'the bad original' and 'the cutting edge technology' cover some of my favourite points, and - as a lot of my previous professional experience was in the field of copy (report, article, content, etc) writing - some of my biggest dilemmas so far encountered include the degree of editing (sometimes pretty deep editing) that seems to be performed on the ST in some nebulous black box of the 'translation process' before it is even possible to produce translation that resembles a literate text.

The dilemma being that if the TT is met with disapproval of its intended recipient (and I don't mean the client but the target reader), the risk of it being "blamed on translation" is fairly high. Perhaps it's a good thing that many texts don't include the translator's byline, but I tend to forget this and work as if they did.


 


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