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Poll: Have you ever been ashamed of a translation you made?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:26
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Further... Apr 17, 2016

I have also felt ashamed with some stupid mistakes or typos found by revisers, which I hadn't noticed. Nothing serious, but it does harm the quality of your jobs and you image.

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feeling ashamed Apr 17, 2016

Well, you made my point, Mario Freitas. Of course, shame is a personal feeling, but it's internalized because we do something that the society we live in considers immoral.

Does a thief or malevolent hacker feel shame? We don't know, but he should probably feel it given the moral codes of a society (stealing is immoral in that society). However, a woman dressing in a miniskirt to walk around downtown may only feel shame if others remind her that it's shameful (i.e. immoral) to dress
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Well, you made my point, Mario Freitas. Of course, shame is a personal feeling, but it's internalized because we do something that the society we live in considers immoral.

Does a thief or malevolent hacker feel shame? We don't know, but he should probably feel it given the moral codes of a society (stealing is immoral in that society). However, a woman dressing in a miniskirt to walk around downtown may only feel shame if others remind her that it's shameful (i.e. immoral) to dress in that fashion.

A man beating up his spouse should feel shame because of the cruelty and immorality of his actions. Those are actions that most societies and legal systems today find reprehensible and shameful. Does that man feel personal shame? That's a different issue, because he may feel justified in what he did (same with the thief).

Again, shame is a matter of moral choice. As such, it should not be a question of professional behavior or competence. A translator made an error that cost a client time or money, well, he should feel embarrassed, apologize in a professional manner, offer some sort of agreeable compensation (such as correcting the error and resending the copy) and move on. I don't see it as a matter of shame.

Shame is a matter of moral conscience. That's why I said that the author of this poll should feel embarrassed (not ashamed of his/her word choice). How little we sometimes think!
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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:26
French to English
Yes, one memorable one Apr 17, 2016

I can recall having done an extremely urgent rush job for a client in a professional cycling team taking part in a high-profile competition. It was a press release containing some familiarly expressed citations from the riders. In one particular quote, the competitor stated that his team were a "tough bunch of guys", or something along those lines. My read-through was rushed through too, and thankfully it was also proofread in-house as I'd written that the team was a "touch bunch of ga... See more
I can recall having done an extremely urgent rush job for a client in a professional cycling team taking part in a high-profile competition. It was a press release containing some familiarly expressed citations from the riders. In one particular quote, the competitor stated that his team were a "tough bunch of guys", or something along those lines. My read-through was rushed through too, and thankfully it was also proofread in-house as I'd written that the team was a "touch bunch of gays". Nuff said.

P.S. Aren't translations done rather than made?
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Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well done (not made), Nikki! Apr 17, 2016

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I can recall having done an extremely urgent rush job for a client in a professional cycling team taking part in a high-profile competition. It was a press release containing some familiarly expressed citations from the riders. In one particular quote, the competitor stated that his team were a "tough bunch of guys", or something along those lines. My read-through was rushed through too, and thankfully it was also proofread in-house as I'd written that the team was a "touch bunch of gays". Nuff said.

P.S. Aren't translations done rather than made?


You spotted the second most grievous writing error in this poll. Translations are done, written, performed, conceived, exhibited, expounded, elaborated, expressed, articulated, etc. Things are made.


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:26
Romanian to English
+ ...
Yes, once Apr 18, 2016

And I wouldn't have realized it without the client's feedback. It was an unusual, though completely clear word containing the letters "...llel...". Somehow I mistook the letters for this order: "... lell...", which still made perfect sense and a five-digit difference in the client's budget. Never charged the client for the job.

 

Odile Stuart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:26
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
Time-bound Apr 18, 2016

If ever was a shame, it is not that we were bad so much as we had no control about deadlines.

 

laure claesen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:26
Member (2005)
English to French
The cost of perfection Apr 18, 2016

Hi Guies,
Like the rest of you, I made stupid errors and even lost some clients over them - and I am not proud.
But the thing I feel most ashamed of and sorry for is how I raised my kids to be able to "make it". I remember so many times during the holidays, when I would have to say "Try to play on your own because I have too much work to be able to do something with you". Or countless evenings when they would come back from school and I could not help them to do their homework. Or
... See more
Hi Guies,
Like the rest of you, I made stupid errors and even lost some clients over them - and I am not proud.
But the thing I feel most ashamed of and sorry for is how I raised my kids to be able to "make it". I remember so many times during the holidays, when I would have to say "Try to play on your own because I have too much work to be able to do something with you". Or countless evenings when they would come back from school and I could not help them to do their homework. Or particular critical moments when I had to deliver a translation and I heard a knock on the door and heard a little wailing voice - of one of them coming to complain about something that went wrong downstairs - and I would say, totally stressed and scared that I was going to miss the deadline: "Go away, I cannot even talk to you!".
I know, this is not your subject.
But that's the cost I sometimes had to pay for perfection.
So I could say that I am ashamed of the mum translation made me become.
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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:26
Romanian to English
+ ...
OT - Thanks, Laure Apr 18, 2016

laure claesen wrote:
I know, this is not your subject.
But that's the cost I sometimes had to pay for perfection.
So I could say that I am ashamed of the mum translation made me become.


Thanks, Laure, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now.


 
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