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Off topic: Have You Ever Been Marginalized Because Of Your Occupational Status As A Translator?
מפרסם התגובה: Barbara Cochran, MFA

IrinaN
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That depends Jul 28

Chris S wrote:

You can’t expect people to understand or appreciate exactly what we do. And it’s not like it’s rocket science anyway.

If you want to impress them, just say you’re a writer.


Sometimes it is

I usually say "translator and interpreter for international projects". Houston is a very diversified and pretty much bilingual city (En and SP), lots of other diasporas and languages and truckloads of major international businesses. Many not only live but work in multicultural environment, travel much more often and much farther than an average American hillbilly:-), and many businesses have learned to appreciate what we do.

I am on wonderful terms with my neighbors and, even if they do not have or need any translators at their workplace, it didn't take long to explain in a few words what I do and gain their respect.

If anyone would want me to elaborate, then the reaction would be awe and envy:-) - projects, subjects, international travel, variety of events and encounters etc etc.


Chris S
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Barbara Cochran, MFA
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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
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Barbara Jul 28

To answer your question, no, I've never experienced such a thing.
Rather than Umberto Eco (whose book on translation is in fact more aptly titled Dire quasi la stessa cosa, RCS, Milan, 2003), I only associate the suggested Italian phrase with the title of an EN-IT-EN translation manual (Rosèlia Irti, Tradurre senza tradire, Sansoni, Firenze, 1992).

As a side note, I keep noticing how partial you are to capitalizing all your titles. Hope you won't mind me saying
... See more
To answer your question, no, I've never experienced such a thing.
Rather than Umberto Eco (whose book on translation is in fact more aptly titled Dire quasi la stessa cosa, RCS, Milan, 2003), I only associate the suggested Italian phrase with the title of an EN-IT-EN translation manual (Rosèlia Irti, Tradurre senza tradire, Sansoni, Firenze, 1992).

As a side note, I keep noticing how partial you are to capitalizing all your titles. Hope you won't mind me saying this, but you may want to check the MLA, Chicago, Oxford, or other EN style guide on the correct way to do it.
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Tom in London
 

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
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Here's Why, texjax Jul 28

[quote]texjax DDS PhD wrote:


I've never considered that adage as marginalizing or disrespectful and, actually, I'm kind of surprised that you think so.


http://smilingeggplant.blogspot.com/2011/06/italian-proverbs-tradurre-e-tradire.html



[Edited at 2020-07-28 15:12 GMT]


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
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In Chinese, "No-cost business" = euphemism for banditry Jul 28

My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour......

 

Anna Schuster  Identity Verified
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Being marginalized? Jul 28

I am sorry but I don't quite understand the concept of "being marginalized" for anything. Unless we are aware of our own worth we will be "marginalized" for any reason - or feel that way, if so inclined.

What we do might be sometimes difficult to explain ("Translating stuff? Isn't there a machine for that?") but I guess there are misconceptions about any profession. For a casual question from someone who just makes a small talk, a "consultant" works quite well for me. But I like Ke
... See more
I am sorry but I don't quite understand the concept of "being marginalized" for anything. Unless we are aware of our own worth we will be "marginalized" for any reason - or feel that way, if so inclined.

What we do might be sometimes difficult to explain ("Translating stuff? Isn't there a machine for that?") but I guess there are misconceptions about any profession. For a casual question from someone who just makes a small talk, a "consultant" works quite well for me. But I like Kevin Fulton's reply
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Chris S
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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
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Whaaat?! Jul 28

Barbara Cochran wrote:

http://smilingeggplant.blogspot.com/2011/06/italian-proverbs-tradurre-e-tradire.html



[Edited at 2020-07-28 15:12 GMT]


You should have mentioned this in your first post.

Here's the premise to the blogger's piece:
'Italian proverbs- tradurre e' tradire
Tradurre e' tradire- translation is betrayal.This is one of the best-known Italian proverbs...'
(Emphasis mine)

That's where I stopped. I don't know who the blogger is, but as an Italian native, I can tell you this is definitely NOT an Italian proverb.

There definitely are more authoritative articles on translation to be found out there...

PS It appears the blogger no longer blogs (blog closed as of 30 July 2017).

[Edited at 2020-07-28 16:02 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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@Barbara Jul 28

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:
texjax DDS PhD wrote:
I've never considered that adage as marginalizing or disrespectful and, actually, I'm kind of surprised that you think so.

Here's why: http://smilingeggplant.blogspot.com/2011/06/italian-proverbs-tradurre-e-tradire.html

That blog post does not represent the general feeling, in my opinion. I was unable to determine if the blog author, presumably Cynthia Boston, is actually a translator. Do you happen to know who Mrs. Boston is?


 

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
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I Agree With You, Samuel Jul 28

Samuel Murray wrote:


That blog post does not represent the general feeling, in my opinion. I was unable to determine if the blog author, presumably Cynthia Boston, is actually a translator. Do you happen to know who Mrs. Boston is?


No, I don't know who the person actually is, but it's because of the comments of people like him/her that translators are often marginalized.

But I definitely agree with you when you say that the slant in the blog post does not represent the general feeling people hold about translators. Even though anyone who has visited this forum would have to admit that because of my occupational status as a translator I HAVE been marginalized (and I'm certainly not unique, as far as that's concerned), there have been many more instances where people think that the fact that I am a literary translator, and all of the perks I have enjoyed because of it, is one of the most wonderful things imaginable. They most definitely admire my occupation, and anyone who is in a position to be able to do it.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 16:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-28 17:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-28 17:24 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-28 22:30 GMT]


Laura Kingdon
 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
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Traduttore, traditore Jul 28

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:

You know, the infamous one, but certainly not subscribed to by any professional translator who works with Italian, whether they're from Italy or anywhere else, that states "tradurre è tradire".


The saying does not mean what you think it does.

“Le fait de comparer un traducteur à un traître signifie que la traduction d’un texte d’une langue dans une autre ne peut jamais respecter parfaitement le texte de l’œuvre originale.”

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traduttore,_traditore




[Edited at 2020-07-28 18:36 GMT]


Marina Taffetani
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
writeaway
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Jennifer White
expressisverbis
 

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
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Here's What I Actually Do Think Jul 28

[quote]Michele Fauble wrote:


The saying does not mean what you think it does.





I'm quite aware of what the expression means, also in terms of how academics view it, since I studied literary translation and its theories, and to a very extensive degree, in graduate school, and then successfully defended my translation thesis.

The expression means two different things to two very different groups of people, and one of those groups obviously marginalizes translation and translators.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 19:23 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-28 19:24 GMT]


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
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my experience Jul 28

Never been called a mere hobbyist, but noticed one interesting difference in my conversations with lay people:

- What are you doing for a living?
- I am a translator.
- You mean you can earn a decent money by that?
vs.
- What are you doing for a living?
- I am a technical translator.
- You mean that besides the language, you have to know all this engineering stuff? Wow, that must be tough.

On the other hand, if anyone 'margina
... See more
Never been called a mere hobbyist, but noticed one interesting difference in my conversations with lay people:

- What are you doing for a living?
- I am a translator.
- You mean you can earn a decent money by that?
vs.
- What are you doing for a living?
- I am a technical translator.
- You mean that besides the language, you have to know all this engineering stuff? Wow, that must be tough.

On the other hand, if anyone 'marginalizes' me, whether intentionally or not, I perceive it as a compliment anyway.
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IrinaN
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Tom in London
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Walter Benjamin Jul 29

Any time anyone tells you that translating is a menial occupation, just blow them away with a quote from Walter Benjamin, such as

"....a translation, instead of resembling the meaning of the original, must lovingly and in detail incorporate the original’s mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of a vessel. For this very reason translation must in large measure refrain fro
... See more
Any time anyone tells you that translating is a menial occupation, just blow them away with a quote from Walter Benjamin, such as

"....a translation, instead of resembling the meaning of the original, must lovingly and in detail incorporate the original’s mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of a vessel. For this very reason translation must in large measure refrain from wanting to communicate something, from rendering the sense, and in this the original is important to it only insofar as it has already relieved the translator and his translation of the effort of assembling and expressing what is to be conveyed"

That will make them go away and talk to someone else.
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Barbara Cochran, MFA
Chris S
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Tom in London
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It isn't about the accentuation.... Jul 29

Chris S wrote:

Tom in London managed to think of a post title and wrote:
It's omertà. With the accent on the à.


Soz, Tom, it’s a case of deja vu. I’ve been accentless for too many years to care.



...it's about the pronunciation. I can't stand the mispronunciation "omèrta". It's horrible. Almost as bad as "Tarànto", or "prosekeo"




[Edited at 2020-07-29 10:59 GMT]


WS McCallum
 

Janet Muehlbacher  Identity Verified
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when I tell people I´m a translator Jul 29

they´re not exactly overwhelmed, but I don´t feel that I have to be ashamed either.

Stephanie Busch
 

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Other Jul 29

Just say you run an international business. That will impress them.:-)

AlexS_JP
Christine Andersen
 
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