Poll: Have you ever had a mentor?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:41
SITE STAFF
Jun 13

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever had a mentor?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Jun 13

In 1986, when I was recruited by an EU institution as contract staff I had a mentor for 1 year and later on I trained and mentored several new colleagues…

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:41
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I suppose so Jun 13

ProZ.com Staff wrote:
Have you ever had a mentor?


Well, I did work in a newspaper's translation department for 5 years, and all translations were checked by two colleagues (on printouts). This allowed me to learn a lot from more experienced translators, with no extra effort (and, in turn, teach others who came after me). In particular, we had one translator who was skilled at artsy texts, one skilled at financial texts, and one skilled at automotive texts, so whenever a translation came up in one of those fields, they would often be chosen as the first proofreader (unless they chose to do the translation themselves, of course). I enjoyed being able to flag issues without writing extensive explanations, as I'm currently forced to do as a freelancer. In an office setting, you can simply underline something and then speak to the translator/proofreader directly about the matter when you bring him the proofread printout -- it's so much faster. And, if he says something and it is overheard by another translator with a different opinion (it was an "open" office design), it was quick and easy to get multiple opinions on something.

[Edited at 2019-06-13 08:57 GMT]


Christine Andersen
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not as such Jun 13

I certainly had a couple of colleagues in particular, whom I regard as having been my mentors, and like Samuel, I learned a lot from all my colleagues when I worked in-house.

I have never signed a mentor agreement either way - I would not be good as a mentor. But I do try to pass on what others have taught me, which has saved me a lot of time on some occasions and saved me from serious errors on others.


Ricki Farn
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, though not by that name Jun 13

In my first in-house job, my supervisor reviewed a large portion of my work and spent time with me giving me pointers and explaining her corrections. We were a small shop and it was a one-on-one situation, since I was the only English translator and she was native in English. I was also assigned to teams at conferences and the senior translators were very helpful and supportive. They were called "reviewers," as opposed to the UN term "revisers," and I learned a lot from them in a very positive a... See more
In my first in-house job, my supervisor reviewed a large portion of my work and spent time with me giving me pointers and explaining her corrections. We were a small shop and it was a one-on-one situation, since I was the only English translator and she was native in English. I was also assigned to teams at conferences and the senior translators were very helpful and supportive. They were called "reviewers," as opposed to the UN term "revisers," and I learned a lot from them in a very positive atmosphere. Eventually, after about 5 years, I became a reviewer myself. I have been exposed to UN revisers as well; and some of them can be mean-spirited and refuse to explain their changes.Collapse


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:41
Member (2018)
French to English
. Jun 13

I would have said no, but then I see others are describing the same kind of setup as at the agency I worked at, where people proofread each other and everyone learned from the process.
This is something I miss as a freelancer, being able to just ask "am I crazy or is this total nonsense?".

I would like to be a mentor for a young translator, except I don't see enough of a future in translation to make it worth their while.
The year I set up as a freelancer, the daughter
... See more
I would have said no, but then I see others are describing the same kind of setup as at the agency I worked at, where people proofread each other and everyone learned from the process.
This is something I miss as a freelancer, being able to just ask "am I crazy or is this total nonsense?".

I would like to be a mentor for a young translator, except I don't see enough of a future in translation to make it worth their while.
The year I set up as a freelancer, the daughter of people we know vaguely posted on FB about not being able to find an internship as a translator, blaming it on the fact that she is wheelchair-bound. I couldn't even begin to count how many friends flagged me to the post or sent it to me as a private message. Yes I'm a translator, but no I cannot hire an intern. For a start my freelance status does not let me hire an intern. I've only just started up and don't have enough work to keep me busy let alone an intern too. And anyway, my place of work is not accessible by wheelchair since you can't access my home at all unless you walk down a flight of stairs. And she's French, so she would translate into French and none of my clients ask for that. And she's only done a couple of years at uni, and I've found that students don't start producing even half-way decent translations until they've had a good four years preferably including an Erasmus year or stint abroad. And I'm just hoping that I'll be able to get to the end of my working life without having to retrain in something else, but no way can a 20yo hold out any hope of that.
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
supposition Jun 13

My parents taught me that every "mistake" just reveals what I don't know, so I treat teachers as mentors (guidelines) and I'm still glad to find and revise the mistakes. Perhaps, that's one of the reasons I always was a Top students in schools.

As for my career, I was lucky to start my biz with a little group of more experienced colleagues, who showed me the ropes and implied aspects of the trade. That's why I'm not a mere "pure translator".

I'm really grateful.


 

Gibril Koroma  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:41
French to English
+ ...


Posted via
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No Jun 13

No.

 

Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:41
French to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jun 13

1991, Audiomaster 3000, subtitling company for Televisa, Mexico.
Hired by José [Pepe] Chan, I learned everything from him, the hard [and better] way, that is, to subtitle a motion picture from scratch, by ear, with a very basic software.
Gracias, Pepe.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:41
Member
English to French
Yes, and it's all her fault Jun 13

Scottish Anne is a good friend and she got me interested in translation at a time when many options were open (read: I was in between jobs).
She introduced me to my first-ever agency client. With her advice, good spirit and massive laughs on waste water treatment stations and other smelly assignments, lead converted into gold, and yes, it's so neat to work from home.
Twenty years later, I still owe her the idea of the century.

Philippe


 


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