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Real-world acquisition of a specialization
Thread poster: Mario Chavez

Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 18:26
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Not really Nov 23, 2017

Sumit1970 wrote:
Engineers don't translate technical texts.


I'm an engineer (six year university degree) and I translate. I also know at least two architects who translate, a nurse who translates... You get the idea.

I do agree that there are not many of us.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
French to English
Comments Nov 23, 2017


Sumit1970 wrote:
Generally speaking, Doctors don't translate medical texts.
Engineers don't translate technical texts.
Advocates don't translate legal texts.


Actually, some do.


We are not true specialists in any field apart from languages. No client will pay you for or give enough time for becoming a specialist in metallurgy while you translate metallurgy texts.


Exactly, which is why if that client can find a translator who already has knowledge of metallurgy, he will be very happy.

[Edited at 2017-11-23 19:26 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Different realities Nov 23, 2017

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:


Sumit1970 wrote:
Generally speaking, Doctors don't translate medical texts.
Engineers don't translate technical texts.
Advocates don't translate legal texts.


Actually, some do.


We are not true specialists in any field apart from languages. No client will pay you for or give enough time for becoming a specialist in metallurgy while you translate metallurgy texts.


Exactly, which is why if that client can find a translator who already has knowledge of metallurgy, he will be very happy.

[Edited at 2017-11-23 19:26 GMT]


It is interesting how some love to infer some universal rules or truisms from their own slice of reality. In my experience, some clients use their go-to (i.e. highly reliable) translator to tackle a new specialization based on the solid relationship they have and on the research skills of said translator.

In an ideal world, clients will go to strict specialists for the translation of their industry-specific texts. But we do not live in an ideal world. Clients make do. I cannot judge how good is a colleague's specialization (how expert he or she is in that field), unless I'm given the privilege to read his/her translations in that specialization.

Sumit's second paragraph points to a narrower understanding in my view. There are clients who pay for the research. Why wouldn't they? There are many kinds of clients.


 

Carlos Morales  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 16:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 23



[Edited at 2018-02-23 17:27 GMT]


 

Tania123
Argentina
Local time: 18:26
Member (2017)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nuclear medicine physicist Feb 24



There's something a bit suspect about a doctor or financial analyst or lawyer who turns translator, given that this means a major cut in pay and prestige. Yes, there may be a sound reason in some cases, but my instinct is that very often they will have failed in that career. And, of course, not having specialised in languages, they may also make very poor translators.



I worked as a nuclear medicine physicist for many years before I started translating. I did take a pay cut, and I must say that translators work a lot longer hours than physicists. However, I didn't change careers because I failed at my previous job. Some of us just want a change and that does not mean that we are suspect.

[Edited at 2018-02-24 01:45 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Nor did I Feb 24

Tania123 wrote:
However, I didn't change careers because I failed at my previous job. Some of us just want a change and that does not mean that we are suspect.

I too raised an eyebrow at "suspect". For many of those who have worked successfully in demanding, cross-border roles in large multi-national companies, there comes a point when negatives such as stress and long hours more than offset the excellent remuneration and the excitement of working in (in my case) an industry that apparently only knows how to run, not walk.

More prosaically, even if the individual does not change, most industries evolve and grow over decades in ways that are not welcomed by everybody involved. For example, if one became a GP in the UK 25 years ago, one might well be dismayed by the way things have changed. Ditto finance. Ditto, of course, translation...

Dan


 
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