The Internet for translators: a blessing or a curse?
Thread poster: Andrew Morris

Andrew Morris
ProZ.com team
May 30

I think this is the right place for this question: it's not always obvious (to a forum newcomer)

Very interesting article here: https://medium.com/swlh/anthrolinguists-ee8698189210?sk=0b06c204728d4e6d136fbbefe8df2843&fbclid=
... See more
I think this is the right place for this question: it's not always obvious (to a forum newcomer)

Very interesting article here: https://medium.com/swlh/anthrolinguists-ee8698189210?sk=0b06c204728d4e6d136fbbefe8df2843&fbclid=IwAR3bQCdHVMUmFb3VqIyV-MoeE4qTpEM-6CjAt9ipKOv3yMFubCvwUqvrt_0

For those of you (many of you, it seems) who have extensive pre-Internet experience, do you think that one day we will look back at the arrival of the Internet as both a blessing and a curse?

In the brief period between 2000 (say) and 2025, it will have given us access to infinite resources, dictionaries, fact-checking capacity, boosted our productivity no end, and even (whisper it) given us access to sites such as deepl.com before the public has woken up to it...

But at the same time it has come to constitute a threat to the very existence of the profession. Yes, learned articles will point out how computers will never catch this or that nuance, and thereby prove that the very best translators are safe. But what about the rest, those who, as the trope goes, translate like machines?

Maybe this 25-year bubble constitutes a real turning point...
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
A threat of misunderstanding May 30

Such absurdity as a "pure translator" is among many things that should NOT be/have been, only specialists (engineers, doctors, workers, lawyers, programmers...) with decent foreign language skills.

While this globalization does stir and blur the terms, the market still puts its price and value.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A blessing May 30

Half of my translator career went by with no access to the Internet and to all today’s online resources. I still remember those long solitary days spent in libraries poring over books, dictionaries and encyclopedias I couldn’t afford buying. So, I still see it as a blessing…

Andrew Morris
missdutch
Mauro Sobhie
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:20
Member
Italian to English
The world will always seek a balance May 30

Forgive me the "New Age" feel of the title of my post, but it's generally accepted that the world will always seek a balance. I see the Internet as an incredible blessing, but also an incredible curse. The great rewards we've reaped as translators - access to more potential customers, language resources, networking - have been offset by numerous disadvantages that we've all come to know and loathe.

Robert Forstag
Tradupro17
Christel Zipfel
Kevin Fulton
John Fossey
Andrew Morris
Jacek Sierakowski
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:20
German to English
+ ...
Answering the actual question May 31

The Internet is what allows clients to contact me by e-mail. It is what allows me to do research much more extensively than when was restricted to libraries and contacts one had to phone up for information on specialized subjects. The Internet is what allows us to exchange ideas and knowledge right here. So the Internet is definitely a blessing.

I was not able to follow the article, so I am answering the question generally. ...
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The Internet is what allows clients to contact me by e-mail. It is what allows me to do research much more extensively than when was restricted to libraries and contacts one had to phone up for information on specialized subjects. The Internet is what allows us to exchange ideas and knowledge right here. So the Internet is definitely a blessing.

I was not able to follow the article, so I am answering the question generally.

In summary: The Internet is useful for communication, and for information. Both of which we translators need and use. In general, the water's fine.

[Edited at 2019-05-31 07:04 GMT]
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Amel Abdullah
missdutch
AlessandraV.
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
The Internet is now the internet for a reason May 31

The hordes of inexperienced and biz-unaware translators who try to promote their low-feeders' rates in the internet is but a plague for the industry run by spongy middlemen.

A self-flagellation skill or tradition, perhaps?


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:20
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
A blessing Jun 2

In college I had to deliver my translations in (hand)written form or by typewriter (= 1 typo/mistake (or unreadable handwriting, as in my case), and I could start all over again, allthough a great way of being educated as a translator). For info about a subject, I had to go the library (on bycicle, and of course on the other side of town), to find the right material, copying it, etc... Took me half a day, and what if I returned home and the info wasn't complete?

Anyhow, with the int
... See more
In college I had to deliver my translations in (hand)written form or by typewriter (= 1 typo/mistake (or unreadable handwriting, as in my case), and I could start all over again, allthough a great way of being educated as a translator). For info about a subject, I had to go the library (on bycicle, and of course on the other side of town), to find the right material, copying it, etc... Took me half a day, and what if I returned home and the info wasn't complete?

Anyhow, with the internet came a bunch of information avaible to me at home, and of course all other tools that made life easier for me as a translator.

I miss my exercises, but would not go back to the 'good old times' for any price, and yes, I miss the charm. Funny, isn't it?



[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:36 GMT]

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[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:43 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-06-02 22:44 GMT]
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Andrew Morris
 


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