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Translating into a non-native language – survey
Thread poster: Attila Piróth

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:38
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Feb 28, 2014

Dear colleagues,

Maria Karra and I prepared a survey on translating into a non-native language. We expect the results to reveal interesting patterns and best practices. They may serve as a basis for recommendations as well as various presentations. Some of the questions were inspired by Daniel Sebesta’s book, ‘Native-speaker status in the translation services market’ (2013, Lambert Academic Publishing).

Most questions are in multiple-choice format with predefined answers that will help us establish some useful statistics. Text boxes are added for comments after each question, and we expect to gain insight from the added comments. We plan to compile a short summary of the results and make it available to anyone interested.

The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Non-native . Thank you for taking the time to complete it. Please share the link with anyone who may be interested.

Best regards,
Attila


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 01:38
Chinese to English
Great survey, thank you Mar 1, 2014

I hope you get plenty of responses. I'd like to see this issue addressed properly.

 

Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:38
Italian to English
Suggestion Mar 1, 2014

It mght be interesting to know how important working PMs think nativeness is and then compare the results.

G.


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:38
Russian to English
+ ...
You woud have to specify first Mar 1, 2014

what you mean by a non-native language, non-L1, non-mother tongue, non-dominant, a language other than the language of the country where you live, the language you don't speak at home. There has been more and more problems with the term "native'--"non-native" in the modern world, and with English becoming more of a lingua franca.

[Edited at 2014-03-01 10:30 GMT]


 

Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:38
Dutch to English
+ ...
There is enough room Mar 1, 2014

in that survey to say why you think your have a 2nd native language (and even a third for that matter).

I hope you can do something with my vast amount of comments. I tried to explain things in as detailed and pragmatic a manner as possible, although I haven't provided any personal details. But you're always welcome to contact me for info.

[Edited at 2014-03-01 12:02 GMT]


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:38
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Definition provided in survey Mar 1, 2014

LilianBNekipelo wrote:

what you mean by a non-native language, non-L1, non-mother tongue, non-dominant, a language other than the language of the country where you live, the language you don't speak at home. There has been more and more problems with the term "native'--"non-native" in the modern world, and with English becoming more of a lingua franca.

[Edited at 2014-03-01 10:30 GMT]


"For people who were born and raised in a monolingual environment until the end of their studies, the concept of native language is straightforward. For the purposes of this survey, any other person who can justifiably claim to possess indistinguishable language skills from such educated native speakers are also considered native speakers. "


 

Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:38
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Questions 20/21 Mar 3, 2014

Hi guys,

Thanks for a nice survey.

I felt there was some ambiguity where question 21 referred to question 20 (or did it?).


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:38
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Q 20/21 Mar 3, 2014

Hi Mikhail,
Yes, Q21 refers back to Q20.
Best,
Attila


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:38
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Mar 10, 2014

Dear colleagues,

During the 10 days of data collection, over 780 people completed the survey. This will allow us to derive some useful statistical data. The added comments contain a wealth of interesting opinions and observations.

The survey is closed now. Creating the report may take a few weeks. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Best,
Attila


 

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 01:38
Chinese to English
Looking forward to your results being published. Mar 11, 2014

I am looking forward to your results being published. Please keep us all updated.

 

traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 13:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Results of the survey Jan 4, 2015

I’d like to know what happened with sending a copy of the survey results to those participants who signed up with their name and email to get such copy. As a summary was delivered to the IAPTI Conference in Greece during September 2014 I can suppose this copy has been available for quite some time now but I have not received it as promised.

 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:38
English to German
+ ...
a claim is a claim is a claim Jan 4, 2015

Michele Fauble wrote:

LilianBNekipelo wrote:

what you mean by a non-native language, non-L1, non-mother tongue, non-dominant, a language other than the language of the country where you live, the language you don't speak at home. There has been more and more problems with the term "native'--"non-native" in the modern world, and with English becoming more of a lingua franca.

[Edited at 2014-03-01 10:30 GMT]


"For people who were born and raised in a monolingual environment until the end of their studies, the concept of native language is straightforward. For the purposes of this survey, any other person who can justifiably claim to possess indistinguishable language skills from such educated native speakers are also considered native speakers. "



You're trying to say that one who is not a native speaker can be indistinguishable from a native speaker? And there are people who can justifiably claim that? How?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:38
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Bernhard Jan 5, 2015

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
Definition provided in survey:
"For people who were born and raised in a monolingual environment until the end of their studies, the concept of native language is straightforward. For the purposes of this survey, any other person who can justifiably claim to possess indistinguishable language skills from such educated native speakers are also considered native speakers."

[The survey is] trying to say that one who is not a native speaker can be indistinguishable from a native speaker?

No, read it again: the survey definition tries to say that one who is a native speaker who didn't grown up in a monolingual environment until after his studies can be indistinguishable from a native speaker who did.


[Edited at 2015-01-05 10:06 GMT]


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:38
English to German
+ ...
Who can justifiably claim to be a native speaker? Jan 6, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:

No, read it again: the survey definition tries to say that one who is a native speaker who didn't grown up in a monolingual environment until after his studies can be indistinguishable from a native speaker who did.


I'm not sure if that's what the survey was trying to say:
Working from Michele's explanation:

"For people who were born and raised in a monolingual environment until the end of their studies, the concept of native language is straightforward. For the purposes of this survey, any other person who can justifiably claim to possess indistinguishable language skills from such educated native speakers are also considered native speakers. "

Native speaker:

Option 1: a person who was born and raised in a monolingual environment until the end of their studies.
Example: German person, born and raised in Germany, went to school and university in Germany (or any other German speaking country) yes, I agree

Option2 - for the purpose of the survey:

any other person who can justifiably claim to possess indistinguishable language skills from such educated native speakers are also considered native speakers. " not possible says (only) I


It doesn't say anything about how these skills are supposed to come about.

Yes, one can deduce that this would be a person who acquired a/their native language after they finished their studies. Who is it that can claim that? Who verifies it? Only a person whose concept of native language does not include being raised from childhood or early teenage years in one language that they also spoke in school and mostly in their social environment - meaning in a region or country or any kind of circumstance where a particular language was the main language of communication - can possibly claim there are some ways to become a native speaker after they're done studying.
Well, I can't subscribe to that kind of interpretation or acquisition of native language.

So, I should have said: for me who holds that the concept of native language includes the aforementioned conditions, I don't subscribe to that theory.
In my opinion, you cannot be or become a native speaker of language X when you learned it after your university studies, or for that matter, after high school. So some might claim to be indistinguishable from a native speaker, but according to my concept, that will never be possible, ergo it remains a claim. Such a person remains a non-native speaker of language X and no claim will ever change that. In my book.

It's different I suppose with regard to that survey. But I can't subscribe to the definition given - option 2.

And how are people who learned a language after their studies different from anyone else who learned a second language after their study years? How can you "justifiably" claim to be a native speaker if you learned the language after your study years - according to the variables of this survey?

I am not familiar with all the facts and purposes of the survey so please excuse my ranting here. I just thought I answer.


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:38
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Survey report published Jan 6, 2015

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that IAPTI’s Ethics Committee has published its survey report on translation into a non-native language. Many thanks to the 780 participants who had completed the survey, offering a multitude of different viewpoints and sharing deep insights. The full 77-page report is available at https://www.iapti.org/files/iaptimes/17/IAPTI_non-native_report.pdf . It is a long read and I hope you’ll find it worthwhile. Your feedback is welcome. IAPTI will soon publish an overview of the policies that translator associations have adapted on translation into a non-native language.

Kind regards,
Attila

[Edited at 2015-01-07 09:08 GMT]


 
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