Poll: Is translation an art or a skill?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:23
צוות האתר
Mar 27

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is translation an art or a skill?".

This poll was originally submitted by Oriol Vives. View the poll results »



Ayrai Perez
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 05:23
חבר
מאנגלית לצרפתית
Idk Mar 27

For me it's only a nice way to earn a living. Provided you employ your skills artfully.

Philippe


ahartje
Chris S
Teresa Borges
Mariana Borio
Bekzat Arysbayeva
Muriel Vasconcellos
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 04:23
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
I don't know Mar 27

For me it’s a mixture of talent, qualifications, creativity, knowledge, experience (in no particular order).

P.S. Some days I’m craftier and artsier than others…


Philippe Etienne
Paul van Zijll
xanthippe
Thayenga
Mariana Borio
Angie Garbarino
ipv
 

Ahmed ALEM
אלג'יריה
חבר (2014)
מערבית לאנגלית
+ ...
Both but more of a skill to me Mar 27

A skill that develops into an art through practice.

Aline Amorim
Mariana Borio
Iwona Budzynska MCIL
Bekzat Arysbayeva
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
פורטוגל
Local time: 04:23
מהולנדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Get real! Mar 27

Seriously, all we do is rewrite other people's words. How can that be art? Some translators really do spend too much time cooped up alone.
Any imaginative, conceptual ideas intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power are the domain of the original author.

[Edited at 2020-03-27 15:54 GMT]


Chris S
Jorge Payan
 

ulymarrero
Local time: 23:23
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
Both Mar 27

As we all know, even machines can now translate - and some of them do a decent job of it. However, it takes a good translator to take that machine translation and breathe life into it by changing one or two words, or inserting that comma that makes all the difference. That's skill. They may also opt to forego the twenty word machine translation and use three or four words to render the meaning of the original text naturally and idiomatically. That's art)))

Tom in London
 

Aline Amorim  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 00:23
חבר (2019)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Both Mar 28

Both

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 20:23
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Both Mar 28

In my first in-house job there were two English translators serving a large department of subject-specialized officers. One of these officers referred to the senior translator as "the technician" and the junior translator (me) as "the "artist." I think I was a word artist from the time I was a child*; my translation skills came later as I gained experience in the profession, which included practice and feedback, along with a hefty dose of education.

*When I was 4, it was reported th
... See more
In my first in-house job there were two English translators serving a large department of subject-specialized officers. One of these officers referred to the senior translator as "the technician" and the junior translator (me) as "the "artist." I think I was a word artist from the time I was a child*; my translation skills came later as I gained experience in the profession, which included practice and feedback, along with a hefty dose of education.

*When I was 4, it was reported that I said: "You think I think with my brains; I don't, I think with my feelings."
Collapse


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 05:23
חבר (2018)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
. Mar 28

Richard Purdom wrote:

Seriously, all we do is rewrite other people's words. How can that be art? Some translators really do spend too much time cooped up alone.
Any imaginative, conceptual ideas intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power are the domain of the original author.

[Edited at 2020-03-27 15:54 GMT]


It maybe depends on subject? There's not much room for artistry in a financial report for a firm that makes railway wagons, or in software manuals, I'll grant you that. But I can assure you that you need it for the type of translation I do: deciding when to rephrase the description of a restaurant menu because Brits will be put off by descriptions of snails and smelly cheese, cottoning on to the fact that simply saying you don't need to cross the road to go to the beach from the hotel doesn't necessarily mean that it's right on the sea front, describing artwork for an upcoming exhibition in such a way that people will flock to see it, and describing articles of clothing in such a way that anyone perusing the bumph will click on BUY NOW.


Liviu-Lee Roth
Mervyn Henderson
Lorena Ibacache
Jocelin Meunier
Mario Freitas
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
טורקיה
Local time: 06:23
חבר
מאנגלית לטורקית
+ ...
Skill Mar 28

Personally I've never understood those banging on about "playing with words", "creating stuff through translation" etc. I really fail to see the artsy side of translating a user manual, clinical research study, court decision, online game, corporate newsletter, hotel brochure, marketing survey etc., which is what an ordinary translator using a CAT (or not) does almost 80% of the time.
Perhaps the (real) native English speakers translating from other languages wouldn't know this, but one of
... See more
Personally I've never understood those banging on about "playing with words", "creating stuff through translation" etc. I really fail to see the artsy side of translating a user manual, clinical research study, court decision, online game, corporate newsletter, hotel brochure, marketing survey etc., which is what an ordinary translator using a CAT (or not) does almost 80% of the time.
Perhaps the (real) native English speakers translating from other languages wouldn't know this, but one of the most crucial skills a translator needs in this business is the ability to decipher the English texts written by non-native English speakers (usually Europeans) thinking in their own language and using totally out-of-context Americanisms and expressions to show off their 'English'. In my opinion, that's the real skill gained through years of experience and something that you can't be taught in a translation program at a university.
As far as I'm concerned it's all about making a living using your acquired skills. 'Art' does not come into it.
Collapse


Tom in London
Jorge Payan
 

Tom in London
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 04:23
חבר (2008)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
Pondering deeply Mar 28

Hmmmmmmmmm

Q. Is translation an art or a skill?
A. Who can tell?


 

Tom in London
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 04:23
חבר (2008)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
@ Baran Mar 28

Baran Keki wrote:

..... non-native English speakers (usually Europeans) thinking in their own language and using totally out-of-context Americanisms and expressions to show off their 'English'....


You are SO RIGHT. It's like you know almost like as bad as like listening to them talk.


Baran Keki
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 23:23
חבר (2005)
מאנגלית לסינית
+ ...
Still Mar 28

Science and technology translation is a skill. You can never imagine someone would tell you translating software strings is an art. It is simply not. But for topics in which more human emotions are involved, translation is definitely an art.

Daryo
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 00:23
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Both Mar 28

for a simple reason: everything is both art and skills. Everything you can possibly do has a portion that is a skill and a portion that is an art. Otherwise, everything done by anyone would look exactly the same, and it's precisely the opposite.


[Edited at 2020-03-28 23:09 GMT]


Andrew Morris
Giraldina Longo
 

Giraldina Longo
מאנגלית לאיטלקית
Both Mar 31

I think it depends largely from the subject you are translating.
For technical translation, I would say Skill, but when you end up translating a book for a reader that lives in a totally different culture, you have to translate not only the words but the deep meaning in an elegant form. It can be really an art.


Elizabeth Tamblin
 


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