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Is it time to say goodbye?
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:27
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Apr 30

The crisis in the translation profession in Brazil is the worst it has ever been. The situation in the world is not much better, I have just bid for a 10 EUR job for a foreign client (not through ProZ) 2 minutes after it was posted, and the job was already taken. I am starting to think about leaving the profession, as although I like the profession very much I can't make a living off it. I can't afford ProZ membership. Suggestions? My pairs are PTEN.

 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
German to English
Sunk cost fallacy Apr 30

People often continue an endeavor that doesn't provide any gain – or even pleasure – because of their previous investment of time, money or love.
see:
http://time.com/5347133/sunk-cost-fallacy-decisions/

If you can't make a living at translation (or selling donuts, luxury vehicles, or any other service), it's time to consider the opportunity costs (what y
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People often continue an endeavor that doesn't provide any gain – or even pleasure – because of their previous investment of time, money or love.
see:
http://time.com/5347133/sunk-cost-fallacy-decisions/

If you can't make a living at translation (or selling donuts, luxury vehicles, or any other service), it's time to consider the opportunity costs (what you could earn doing something else) as well as the heartache of not doing something you enjoy for any appreciable reward – in this case, an income. If you can't adequately support yourself translating, it's time to try something else. Many – if not most – translators have developed skills that lend themselves to other activities: writing, editing, in some cases language teaching, as well as computer skills. There's no reason you can't continue translating as a side hustle in addition to a revenue-producing activity.
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Emma Page
Tradupro17
Rachel Waddington
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Dan Lucas
Daryo
Ehsan Kiani
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
If you think so -vs- Every project has Apr 30

Paul, if translation is your primary source of income, how about diversifying into other places, other pairs, other specialization, or other activities--from copywriting, rewriting, transcreation, mentoring (including via Skype) and interpreting to not so directly related biz like consulting and publishing, or even opening your own agency.

Just come around checking local organizations and companies, and if not directly, then use your translation/writing/management and other s
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Paul, if translation is your primary source of income, how about diversifying into other places, other pairs, other specialization, or other activities--from copywriting, rewriting, transcreation, mentoring (including via Skype) and interpreting to not so directly related biz like consulting and publishing, or even opening your own agency.

Just come around checking local organizations and companies, and if not directly, then use your translation/writing/management and other skills to complement something more profitable.

Cheers

[Edited at 2019-04-30 20:37 GMT]
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Hedwig Spitzer Cáceres
Vadim Kadyrov
Emma Page
Colette Magalowski
Maria Mastruzzo
Angie Garbarino
Morano El-Kholy
 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 03:27
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
There is always a way May 3

When my Indian friend was laid off here in USA, he started teaching English to Portuguese persons ( he had worked in maths dept in Brazil - SP university about 14+ years) till he got a high school job as math teacher, he is there since 8-9 years. Life is never a straight line.

[Edited at 2019-05-03 19:40 GMT]


Rachael Clayton
 

Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 03:27
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
There is always a way May 3

When my friend was laid off here in USA, he started teaching English to Portuguese persons ( he had worked in maths dept in Brazil - SP university about 14+ years) till he got a high school job as math teacher, he is there since 8-9 years. Life is never a straight line.

Gareth Callagy
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Business-wise May 4

Whereas an adaptation is the basis/principle of any survival (let alone the business), I find that more and more even young people of some 25yrs seem to deliberately stop learning, finding excuses.

However, if one lacks self/presentation skills, don't know how to negotiate the favorable rates and terms or how to do the biz in general, the situation may turn rather awkward--in any trade.


Unlike translators, there're very many specialists who sell words
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Whereas an adaptation is the basis/principle of any survival (let alone the business), I find that more and more even young people of some 25yrs seem to deliberately stop learning, finding excuses.

However, if one lacks self/presentation skills, don't know how to negotiate the favorable rates and terms or how to do the biz in general, the situation may turn rather awkward--in any trade.


Unlike translators, there're very many specialists who sell words at a high price.
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Kaspars Melkis
Jorge Payan
Oğuz Kurumcan
 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
English to Latvian
+ ...
maybe it is deserved? May 4

1. Converting units

Recently some translators wrote that they never convert imperial units to metric because “what if we do it wrong? We are not qualified,” they claimed.

How hard can it be? Indeed, when I watched One Strange Rock series in Spanish, I was surprised how often distance units had been converted incorrectly. Common mistakes were applying division instead of multiplication, improper rounding (25 miles => 40.2336 km), confusion with decimal points
... See more
1. Converting units

Recently some translators wrote that they never convert imperial units to metric because “what if we do it wrong? We are not qualified,” they claimed.

How hard can it be? Indeed, when I watched One Strange Rock series in Spanish, I was surprised how often distance units had been converted incorrectly. Common mistakes were applying division instead of multiplication, improper rounding (25 miles => 40.2336 km), confusion with decimal points and thousands.

If you do not know how to do this simple conversion, then learn it, find someone to teach you. If you are still confused, ask on kudoz.

2. Converting proprietary drug names

In another case, the project manager asked the translator of a vaccination passport to include vaccine indications using the provided referenced material. The translator refused, saying that translation ethics forbid to add or substract anything and he is not qualified to do this.

This request was justified because vaccine names are proprietary and may be unique in each country. The doctors know vaccines and their indications by names marketed in their own country but will be at loss seeing foreign names. They may not be able to use reference sources that are in foreign language. Proper translator is expected to understand this issue and be able to add indications in the translation based on these references.

3. Mistakes in EU translations

I was mislead by translation mistake on the EU website (“an EU country” was translated as “other EU country”) until it occured to me to check the English source.

Translations are important, don't assume that no one reads boring texts and you just need to do it for some formal requirement. In my case, I could not exercise my rights for 6 months because I trusted the Latvian translation on the official EU website. For someone else it could be health and safety issue if some internal policy document deemed to be “for information only” is mistranslated.

All these issues and mistakes are worse than MT and if we don't take our job seriously, everybody will be glad that it is eliminated.

[Edited at 2019-05-04 15:23 GMT]
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Jorge Payan
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:27
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Converting units May 4

1. Converting units

Recently some translators wrote that they never convert imperial units to metric because “what if we do it wrong? We are not qualified,” they claimed.

How hard can it be? Indeed, when I watched One Strange Rock series in Spanish, I was surprised how often distance units had been converted incorrectly. Common mistakes were applying division instead of multiplication, improper rounding (25 miles => 40.2336 km), confusion with decimal points and thousands.

I would be...wary. Sometimes a mile is 1.6 km. Sometimes a mile is 1.609 km. Sometimes a mile can be 1 km.

I do a lot of surveys and I'm often asked to convert currencies, or not told what to do with them. When I do, I tell the client that USD:HKD was 1:8, because the exchange rate of USD and HKD is not 1:8. And you never know whether it matters or not.

[Edited at 2019-05-04 15:33 GMT]


Kaspars Melkis
Dan Lucas
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
removed May 4



[Edited at 2019-05-04 19:27 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
@ Kaspars Melkis May 4

If the translators can translate the names of the vaccines correctly, why do they need to "include vaccine indications using the provided referenced material?"

I think the agency you mentioned didn't trust their translators. Why did they use these translators in the first place if it didn't trust them?


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
no title May 4

Kaspars Melkis wrote:
This request was justified because vaccine names are proprietary and may be unique in each country. The doctors know vaccines and their indications by names marketed in their own country but will be at loss seeing foreign names. They may not be able to use reference sources that are in foreign language. Proper translator is expected to understand this issue and be able to add indications in the translation based on these references.


I cannot say for other languages pairs but for the English to Chinese/Chinese to English pairs, a professional translator should be able to correctly translate the name of any vaccine, even if its proprietary name is used in the source language. When the doctors read the translation, they should be able to know its indication immediately.

[Edited at 2019-05-04 21:11 GMT]


 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
English to Latvian
+ ...
@jyuan_us May 4

Adding indication is exactly the proper translation of a proprietary vaccine name for a doctor. I am just curious, how can you do it differently, let's say, for a Chinese doctor who doesn't know about vaccines that are used in the US?

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Chinese doctors reads English literature very often, if not every day May 4

Kaspars Melkis wrote:

Adding indication is exactly the proper translation of a proprietary vaccine name for a doctor. I am just curious, how can you do it differently, let's say, for a Chinese doctor who doesn't know about vaccines that are used in the US?


so they usually know exactly what vaccines are used in the USA. Furthermore, all proprietary vaccine names should have their established names in Chinese. If a translator can get them correctly, the doctors will know immediately what these vaccines are for without looking them up in a medical dictionary.

I do not objected to adding indications to translated vaccine names but doing so is really out of scope of a translation job, hence additional payment is justifiable.

[Edited at 2019-05-04 22:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-05-04 22:50 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I'm not sure if they use proprietary vaccine names in China May 4

but what I know is that all of the vaccines used in the USA have established names in Chinese, and adding indications to the translations of these names will make the translations awkward. For example:

"Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine" is officially translated into Chinese as, literally, "Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine". If you add its indication, it will become "Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (indicated for the prevention of Measles, mumps, and rubella)". I don't thi
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but what I know is that all of the vaccines used in the USA have established names in Chinese, and adding indications to the translations of these names will make the translations awkward. For example:

"Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine" is officially translated into Chinese as, literally, "Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine". If you add its indication, it will become "Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (indicated for the prevention of Measles, mumps, and rubella)". I don't think that is an ideal way of translating this vaccine's name.



[Edited at 2019-05-04 22:41 GMT]
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Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
English to Latvian
+ ...
@jyuan_us May 4

Well, if they read English literature then they don't need the translation from English at all. What about other languages?

Latvian doctors wouldn't know about some UK vaccines or vice versa. I think that it is exactly translator's job to provide translation that is meaningful to the reader because we do not translate words but the meaning behind them. Sometimes I feel that many translators are against this very idea, and that's why the hype about MT is becoming stronger and the rat
... See more
Well, if they read English literature then they don't need the translation from English at all. What about other languages?

Latvian doctors wouldn't know about some UK vaccines or vice versa. I think that it is exactly translator's job to provide translation that is meaningful to the reader because we do not translate words but the meaning behind them. Sometimes I feel that many translators are against this very idea, and that's why the hype about MT is becoming stronger and the rates are going down.
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Daryo
 
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