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Just thinking about our last days
Thread poster: Felipe Gútiez

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 10, 2011

Well,

I am not sure if this should be posted in "translator resources", but I have not found any other topic to introduce this issue. This post is directed specially for those of you who will retire soon for old-age or illness reasons.
In the last weeks I have suffered the loss of a couple of well-known persons. They died very quickly. I had no time to say good bye. This made me think about a project I had started some months ago.

Life is short. Sometimes we struggle for things that are absolutely unimportant. And death remember us that the only important thing is what we do with our life.

I would like that all the translation work of generations of dedicated and brave translators would pass over to the next generation.

As I said, some months ago I had an idea about joining Translation Memories but I was not able to push it forward. I just bought the domain : www.tminmemoriam.com
The death of these persons has made me remember again that this is absolutely true. Life is short.

If you are interested in the idea and would like to give suggestions you are invited to register in this website: www.tminmemoriam.com

The question is this sad: most probably your TM will be destroyed when you die.
Does anyone know what happens with the computers of old people? Do you have some experience? Does anyone care?

It is not imporant if I do this or any other person or company do this: for example Proz or the International Organization for Translators or the UN, I don´t know.
I think it is sad that the work of your life, your TM will disappear and do no good for the future generations.

My proposal is that every translator should think about this issue, especially the older ones (for example the older as 65 or 70).
I am sure that many translators would like to donate their TM to the humanity, but today there is no way to do it.

What do you think of all this?


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's a fact of life! Nov 10, 2011

Our lives occupy a very limited portion of time and space. We have to accept it. We are very important for ourselves for obvious reasons, but when we leave this valle lacrimarum, the memory of our person, our character, our deeds, and our small or big achievements is also very fragile and fades quickly.

Our descendants and loved ones will remember us, hopefully with a smile, and the time and effort we spend on them will be the only valuable present we will leave behind.

I think the younger generation of translators is entitled to learn and discover the best translation for the world they will live in, and that by sharing our old translation memories with them we would only be dumping our old bugger's pickiness unto them.

Let gone translators rest in peace, let's remember them with respect and admiration, and as for their translation memories... ashes to ashes, dust to dust, words to words.


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:58
Romanian to English
+ ...
Agree with Tomás Nov 10, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Let gone translators rest in peace, let's remember them with respect and admiration, and as for their translation memories... ashes to ashes, dust to dust, words to words.


I basically agree with Tomás's thoughts on the ephemeral nature of our (physical) lives. Indeed, we matter to our loved ones, as they matter to us and their (personal, not translation!) memories are cherished long after they are gone. An off-topic note: I firmly believe that each and every person is unique and unrepeatable as a person (i.e. a creature able to create and pass on something valuable - and sadly, also valueless things - to future generations, transcending the transitory nature of their physical lives).

Anyhow, I wouldn't worry that the departed translators' TMs would not be "remembered"... Those people were paid for their work, and they will definitely be remembered by what they did with that fruit of their work. I am sure that warm-hearted translators who would have liked to donate their TMs already made lots of donations and did other good things while they were here - that's what they will be remembered for.

Verba volant, scripta manent... I would add that in this digital world of ours sometimes even "scripta volant", and only the good things we did to others remain.


 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:58
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not everyone has TMs Nov 10, 2011

While I can appreciate your sentiment, not everyone has TMs. I do not have any TMs nor do I understand the recent obsession with collecting them. It seems like a lot of work on the off-chance that a small portion may be reusable in the future (you spend more time aligning and collecting TMs than any time saved by using them instead of copy and paste or re-translating.)

Secondly, the idea of someone using my work and charging .03 a word after I am gone is enough to make me roll over in my grave.

I thought Proz had an "in memoriam" page?



[Edited at 2011-11-10 21:12 GMT]


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:58
Italian to English
OK Nov 10, 2011

Hi Felipe

Having just reached the advanced age of 65 (I thought only old people were 65), I have registered on your site.

I would be interested to know, however, who is going to be the guardian of this resource and what guarantees there are that it is not going to be used for someone's profit.

Actually, most of my work is delivered to agencies in bilingual format, from which they create TMs for their own use, for example if I am not available to translate for a regular end-client.

So it is not lost with my hard drive.


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:58
Italian to English
Confirmation not working Nov 10, 2011

Hi Felipe

The URL in your e-mail acknowledgement is not working.

The requested URL /Confirmationpage was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/2.2.21 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 mod_fcgid/2.3.6 Phusion_Passenger/2.2.15 mod_bwlimited/1.4 Server at www.tminmemoriam.com Port 80


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lost in seconds Nov 11, 2011

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
Does anyone know what happens with the computers of old people? Do you have some experience? Does anyone care?

What I find particularly puzzling is the fact that an increasing share of our communications with the outside world happens via social media where we are even more ephemeral. As soon as we cease posting things all the time (be it because we die or for other reasons) in Twitter or Facebook, we are pretty much gone.

Furthermore, computers these days are increasingly empty. Everything, including all our work, is gradually moving to the cloud, where our existence is even more fragile. If our loved ones lose access to our email and/or don't know where we stored everything... all our stuff is definitely lost, even if still stored in some data centre up there in Iceland.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:58
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Confidentiality Nov 11, 2011

While the idea is quite appealing, most of the work in my TMs is bound by confidentiality agreements and so I would be unable to transfer, donate or sell them in any form before or after my death.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let them sue you! Nov 11, 2011

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
While the idea is quite appealing, most of the work in my TMs is bound by confidentiality agreements and so I would be unable to transfer, donate or sell them in any form before or after my death.

Well, I reckon your customers might find it a bit tricky to sue you for breaching their privacy, right? icon_wink.gif

(Just joking. I completely agree with you.)


 

Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Let it go Nov 11, 2011

I totally agree with Tomás, especially about the "old bugger's pickiness" (nice turn of phrase Tomás!)...

And as someone who is currently sorting through the property, physical and intellectual, left behind by my recently deceased mother, I am firmly against the cluttering up of the next generation's lives with even more "stuff", however useful it may have been at the time. I will value a lot of things: photos, memories, a magical chair she bought at the 1951 Festival of Britain... but I am having to be very selective, for the sake of my sanity.

I hope some of my translations live on as useful texts in the places where they have been published, but my glossaries and notes on how I got there can rest in peace with me.


 

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Russell, sorry for this Nov 11, 2011

Russell Jones wrote:

Hi Felipe

The URL in your e-mail acknowledgement is not working.

The requested URL /Confirmationpage was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/2.2.21 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.21 OpenSSL/0.9.8e-fips-rhel5 mod_fcgid/2.3.6 Phusion_Passenger/2.2.15 mod_bwlimited/1.4 Server at www.tminmemoriam.com Port 80


I will be working on it and thank you very much for your interest.


Sorry again, unfortunately I am not yet very good in web programming.

But I will.


I promise.

Thanks again, Russell,

Felipe


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:58
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not exactly a cherished bequest... Nov 11, 2011

...to future generations, for the reasons Jeff has cited. To really be useful, such TMs, as well as glossaries and, for that matter, completed translations, would have to be thoroughly vetted and purged of all errors. Who exactly would do this?

As far as I know, proz.com does not have an "In Memoriam" page, but I think this would be a good idea. What the site does do (when it becomes aware of a translator's death) is place an "In Memoriam" notice on that translator's profile page and retain whatever contributions he or she has made to Kudoz and the forums.

[Edited at 2011-11-11 10:26 GMT]


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:58
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Mentoring Nov 11, 2011

To make a real difference for someone, I would definitely choose another path: mentoring a translator who starts out in similar fields, and for whom such resources can make a real difference. Then introducing this translator to my clients, and getting their approval for sharing all the confidential information that I have been working on for years – which is a prerequisite of TM sharing. Even in the absence of an explicit confidentiality agreement these data must be considered as confidential.

To this person it could be a treasure trove. Launched into the cloud, it will just mingle with the gigantic quantities of data already available there, and is unlikely to make any real difference for anyone.

Best,
Attila


 

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course, it is not compulsory Nov 11, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
Does anyone know what happens with the computers of old people? Do you have some experience? Does anyone care?

What I find particularly puzzling is the fact that an increasing share of our communications with the outside world happens via social media where we are even more ephemeral. As soon as we cease posting things all the time (be it because we die or for other reasons) in Twitter or Facebook, we are pretty much gone.

Furthermore, computers these days are increasingly empty. Everything, including all our work, is gradually moving to the cloud, where our existence is even more fragile. If our loved ones lose access to our email and/or don't know where we stored everything... all our stuff is definitely lost, even if still stored in some data centre up there in Iceland.


My point is that if we forget money, social position, even intelligence and knowledge, and also experience, and nothing of this will remain when we are gone, then the most precious thing we can leave to the next generation is our TMs.

Who should take care of these TMs? I don´t have a magic solution for this. Everything made by humans can change and corrupt. And each and every institution, party, organisation, etc ist just a group of people, not more.
There is maybe one exception, for religious people. For example catholics think that God is behind the Catholic Church always (but just for a couple of important questions like faith content preservation and just for this).
The rest of institutions depend on the people who rule them and this can change incredibly quick.

If you think of Greece, the cradle of West culture, the cradle of democracy (by de way compatible with slavery, of course, then and now too), the great philosophers Socrates (not the football player or the politician, please), Plato, Aristotle, the historians, the doctors (think of the Hippocratic Oath)
Today, Greece, the scapegoat of banking madness, the debt country, the bad people. It is so sad to hear this.

I have another input for you to think about. I went to Frankfurt am Main, in Germany, for some issues. Not important.
I went to Galerie Kaufhof and the signboards for the different floors was in German, English and , guess what, yes, in Chinese.
I also see some of the heads in the floors were asían, I assume probably Chinese.
When I went down, I saw a group of very well dressed Asian people outside the building, I assume the new bosses of Galerie Kaufhof or very important people.

Then I went to my hotel, and guess who was the person in charge of the reception? A Chinese. I spoke a little with him and he was very nice and explain to me that he had estudiad in London and now was in charge of the hotel.

When I left Frankfurt I had the impression that I was in China.

Basically I have nothing against China. They are not perfect. I am not perfect.

Maybe they are better than the US, I don´t know.
For me it was like an eye-opener.




China is not the future.
China is the present.


Sorry for being so erratic in this post, but it was like a disclosure for me.
I am considering seriously to learn Chinese.


 

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Attila, nice to talk to you again Nov 11, 2011

Attila Piróth wrote:

To make a real difference for someone, I would definitely choose another path: mentoring a translator who starts out in similar fields, and for whom such resources can make a real difference. Then introducing this translator to my clients, and getting their approval for sharing all the confidential information that I have been working on for years – which is a prerequisite of TM sharing. Even in the absence of an explicit confidentiality agreement these data must be considered as confidential.

To this person it could be a treasure trove. Launched into the cloud, it will just mingle with the gigantic quantities of data already available there, and is unlikely to make any real difference for anyone.

Best,
Attila


This is a good point. And a good solution. But people change, the people you mentored too, and you never know if what you did will be useful for humanity.
Remember that the nazis built the atomic bomb ....for the Americans.
But also with the V1 and V2 knowledge the man flew to the moon.
So you never know....


I recommend to make a query in google.

Select google images.

Then type: computer cemetery.

Well, if you don´t donate your TMs to the next generation, this is the alternative.

Your decision.


 
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