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A Survey for Professional Translators (for MA Thesis purposes)
Thread poster: Iwona Piątkowska-Biarda
Iwona Piątkowska-Biarda
Local time: 21:37
Polish to English
+ ...
Jan 19, 2010

Dear All,

I am taking MA programme in Translation and Intepreting at Applied Linguistics Department, MCSU, Lublin, Poland.

Currently, I am carrying out research for the purposes of my MA Thesis on the work of professional translators and interpreters. Hence, I would like to kindly ask you for completing the questionnaire below:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFlWVGx3UXF1TExEdUJrdlJqZTYweFE6MA

I am interested in hearing from translators and interpreters working in all language pairs.

I much appreciate every single form submitted to me as it constitutes considerable help in my research.

Thank you very much in advance for your time and help!

Best,

Iwona.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:37
Italian to English
Options Jan 19, 2010

I completed your survey.
However, it is irritating to be forced to express a judgement on a subect on which I have no no experience or no opinion.


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Iwona Piątkowska-Biarda
Local time: 21:37
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What points exactly were irritating? Jan 19, 2010

Thank you very much for filling out the survey, Russell.

Could you please specify what questions made you feel forced to express opinion on the subject you are not familiar with? Some questions are optional, therefore, if someone does not have any experience in for example translation project management, he or she does not have to provide the answer for the question about particular stages of project management as I made it optional.

Nonetheless, I appreciate indeed your feedback about the questionnaire!


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Done Jan 19, 2010

Done

I also have one "complaint". I would like to find an option that would be neutral. For instance: 34, 35, 36.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (through my profile). Good luck with your thesis!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:37
English to German
+ ...
Freelancers vs. salaried employee Jan 19, 2010

A bit black and white. Which box are all the translators supposed to check who are not freelancers but have their own companies together with partners, have their own employees and operate solely through this legal entity? Technically they are employees of their own company but they are not nine-to-fivers at any other office.

How about an additional option "independent contractor", otherwise it would distort your statistics.

Thanks!


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Iwona Piątkowska-Biarda
Local time: 21:37
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Small amendment Jan 19, 2010

Thanks for these comments. I have decided to add a self-employed option to make this a more detailed question.
As far as neutral options are concerned, I had discussed this issue with my mentor prior to the creation of the survey. He suggested having specific options (as yes/no) without neutral ones (as I do not know). I realize that in case of questions 34, 35 and 36 a neutral option would be another possible opinion on the subject, but I also had to take into consideration the view of my mentor and he wanted to see all neutral options discarded.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cannot answer Jan 20, 2010

Since I have no formal studies in T&I, I cannot answer because questions about that subject are required. That should be the case for a significant number of people here, so I would submit that the survey need to be redesigned to avoid all traps, where answera are reqired to questions that are not pertinent.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:37
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Iwona! Jan 20, 2010

I just sent off your survey.



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Maria Mastruzzo  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Survey completed Jan 20, 2010

Hi Iwona

I've just completed and sent the survey and hope it helps you. Good luck!


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MartinHazelwood
United States
German to English
Nice survey :) Jan 20, 2010

Hi Iwona,

Interesting survey! Just a couple of tips which might help to increase your rate of replies:

1. Divide the questions up into pages on clearly defined topic groups. When faced with a long page of questions, a lot of people might be a bit daunted, and give up half way - perhaps you can check your dropout rate from your survey site - I bet you it would fall if you divided it up into say 10 pages.

2. These pages could logically link, so that if a person answers 'no' to one question, they will not be shown other questions that aren't relevant to them, or vice versa for 'yes'.

Apart from that it looks very interesting. Will you be publishing your results any time in the near future?

Cheers,

Martin


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The question I liked most Jan 20, 2010

39. Do you think using CAT-tools is ethical towards clients? *
I think it is ethical to use any tool that helps you be more efficient as long as the final product matches your best quality level. Is it possible that you meant to say "using machine-translation tools"?

I also want to comment on the following question:
If so, how do you feel about proofreading?
Options are missing to indicate whether you like this kind of work or not. I have heard many people say (very much in line with my own experience) that they don't find proofreading is difficult per se, but underpaid and stressing as you often have to correct so many things and feel that you are fixing the wrongdoings of other translators. Personally I dislike doing proofreading work for those reasons and only do when a good customer really needs it.

Good luck!


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Vivien Werner-P  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:37
English to German
+ ...
Survey completed! Jan 20, 2010

Dear Iwona,

A very interesting survey. Are you going to publish the results in this forum?

I would like to know why you decided to ask for the ethical background of CAT-tools.
I had problems answering this question and tried to leave it out; the system wouldn't let me though.

All the best for your survey,
Vivien


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Iwona Piątkowska-Biarda
Local time: 21:37
Polish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
more user-friendly survey Jan 20, 2010

Thank you for all the pieces of advice. I am really grateful as I can improve the survey almost instantly and make it more user-friendly - and this is what I have just done. There have been two minor changes introduced:

1) I made some "education and studies" questions not required, so that should work for people who have no formal training in T&I; in required questions on studies you can write N/A in the field Other - I added a remark there. Probably I should have indicated this in the survey earlier. I hope it will help with filling out the questionnaire. Please feel invited to do it, Henry

2) As Martin advised me, I divided the survey into 11 pages and made a remark about the total number of questions in the intro to the questionnaire.


Vivien and Tomás -> yes, I meant CAT-tools, not machine-translation tools or e-translators, whatsoever. I think any professional translator does not really use them, because there is too much to correct after the machine work and it is not worth your time. As to CATs, by ethical aspect I mean for instance the situation when you have quite a lot of exact matches in TM, but you charge the normal rate for that. I think this is still the thing in many countries. However, I am also aware of the fact that sometimes you might as well be paid only 30% rate for exact matches, depending on the company or the individual you work for.

As far as results are concerned, I will work them out thoroughly and include in the research chapter of my MA Thesis. This chapter is supposed to be finished by the end of May this year. But probably I will be able to publish some charts and general conclusions much earlier.

PS. It is the first time I use survey as a research tool and I must admit it is a very valuable experience for me. Last year, to achieve my BA Thesis objectives, I conducted the analysis of the localized websites of FMCG companies and the whole research strategy was totally different. This is great that I can try my hand at something I have never done before!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
CAT tools... customers also know how to use them! Jan 21, 2010

Iwona Piątkowska wrote:
As to CATs, by ethical aspect I mean for instance the situation when you have quite a lot of exact matches in TM, but you charge the normal rate for that.

Hm... I think that customers who know about CAT tools do have a license and analyse files themselves, so in the end the pay is adapted to the real effort. As for direct customers, it is perfectly ethical to use better means of production that, on the other hand, improve the consistency and overall quality of the piece you deliver.

Good luck!


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
Just completed it Jan 21, 2010

Good luck!



L


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