The Power of Experience

The more one translates and learns about translation, the more one feels comfortable with the work one undertakes. However, one also faces the realisation that more needs to be undertaken to improve one’s knowledge and technique. One of the greatest problems for translators is the confidence to know what one is doing is correct. This, as we all know, is nigh on impossible. However, the problem becomes even more taxing when faced with the whole slew of poor translations that surround us all on a daily basis.

Do we sit up, take note and complain? The answer should, of course, be yes. However, most of us grit our teeth, curse under our breath or even simply laugh at the linguistic mishap. On the other hand, when we do muster up the courage to say something are we fully confident that we can offer something better? As we all know, translation is a subjective task and it requires both great courage and confidence to fight for our right to be acknowledged as professionals. Once safe in the knowledge that we are accepted professionals (can we ever be sure of this?) we must make sure that those who profess to be translators are translators not amateur linguists who, simply put, discredit our profession.

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4 Responses to “The Power of Experience”

  1. Agnieszka K.K. Says:

    so… if we cannot offer a better translation we shouldn’t criticise or we should?…

    constuctive critisism should always be welcomed, i suppose…

    the fact that i can’t sing myself doesn’t mean i can’t hear other people whine. The point is i do not aspire to be called a singer and i do not sing in public. Same with translation – if you see it’s crap, you shouldn’t public it, BUT if you do, you lay yourself open to criticism, simple as that. And finally, being acknowledged as professional does not condition good translation… sometimes amateurs win with routine and deadlines “mass produce translators” often deal with… perhaps the latter, as experts, bring more discredit on the proffesion.

  2. transubstantiation Says:

    There are no doubt problems in the way the status of #professional translator# is conferred on people. If this is improved then we might not have the current situation. Constructive and professional criticism #should# always be welcomed if we know that it is coming from the right source…

  3. Magda B. Says:

    the choices are always tough. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t run away from them or explain ourselves each time in front of the mirror. Translators ought to be sure of what they are doing. There will be bumps in the road, but life is harsh. If you want to suceed something you need to have a short and simple answer for everything. And, if one can’t bare the pressure one should think about jogging to clear his/her thoughts ;))

  4. transubstantiation Says:

    Interesting. However, we can’t fall into arrogance…


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