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

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
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Jul 28

We're all familiar with the notorious Italian phrase that promotes this attitude in the ignorant and ill-informed. And, in one case, somebody I was talking to referred to translation as a "hobby", when I've made multiple thousands of dollars doing them, no matter what kind they have been.

Debora Osorio de Souza Lima
 

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
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What would it be? Jul 28

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:

We're all familiar with the notorious Italian phrase that promotes this attitude in the ignorant and ill-informed.


Hi Barbara,
I'm from Italy but I don't quite understand what phrase you are referring to. Can you please elaborate? Thank you


Barbara Carrara
 

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
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TOPIC STARTER
Hi texjax Jul 28

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".

I actually had to correct a professor who made that disrespectful remark, in front of the rest of the class, when she and they knew that I am a translator. I just quoted translation theory.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 03:33 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-28 04:53 GMT]


 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
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marginalization Jul 28

Would that be "traduttore, traditore"?

Andy Watkinson
P.L.F.Persio
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
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@Barbara Jul 28

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:
We're all familiar with the notorious Italian phrase ["Traduttore, traditore" (or "tradurre è tradire"), which means "translator, traitor" or "to translate is to betray"] ... certainly not subscribed to by any professional translator who works with Italian...


FWIW, according to Maria Khodorkovsky, the phrase was coined by the Italians to refer to French translations of Italian literature. The French Wikipedia claims that the phrase was used as early as 1549.

Although I have heard the phrase before, I never thought of the phrase as disrespectful, but merely as a clever way of saying that translation isn't perfect.

It is similar (at least in the word play) to a more well-known quote about translation being "like a woman", either beautiful or faithful -- the internet currently agrees that Evgeni Evtushenko said this, although according Nina Matveyeva writing in Soviet Literature in 1960, Mr. Evtushenko was simply quoting a French proverb.

Have I ever been marginalized because of being a translator? Not really, no. I have heard that other translators often hear from other people that translation is a just a hobby or that it is something that anyone can do, but I haven't really encountered this attitude myself.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 06:13 GMT]


Angie Garbarino
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Wolfgang Schoene
WS McCallum
 

DZiW (X)
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Children to children Jul 28

Even a beggar can speak eloquent English or write bizarre epistolary, so what?
Do they pay Englishmen for speaking or writing English? No, but it depends on the purpose.
Do they pay Afrikaans for speaking or writing English? Perhaps, but it also depends.
The clients want either to earn or save money, or both; not just languages.

Working with many direct clients, I'm sure that foreign language skills is but a minor (secondary) to a major in Engineering, Programming,
... See more
Even a beggar can speak eloquent English or write bizarre epistolary, so what?
Do they pay Englishmen for speaking or writing English? No, but it depends on the purpose.
Do they pay Afrikaans for speaking or writing English? Perhaps, but it also depends.
The clients want either to earn or save money, or both; not just languages.

Working with many direct clients, I'm sure that foreign language skills is but a minor (secondary) to a major in Engineering, Programming, Legislation, Nursing, Designing, and so on. Why, even journalists, writers, and linguists are no "pure" translators. The real business requires real specialists, not theoretical translators. (Let alone this time!)

It seems there was a period when the businesses badly lacked dedicated specialists with foreign language skills, so they accepted even wannabe translators who agreed to peanuts hoping for the future in vain. Nowadays middlemen and spongers still hype the infamous low entry barriers claim("A computer with the internet will do!") and intentionally farm form 'pure' translators as food. Translators fields? Fields of translators? Welcome to the Matrix)

If one is a mere translator works for penny and--unlike interpreters--cannot even negotiate favorable terms, then he or she must be a pure hobbyist or naive minority, right? The alternative explanation is rather sad. It's their deliberate choice, why? That's ok to learn the hard way too.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 08:19 GMT]
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Chris S  Identity Verified
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Still in the closet Jul 28

Omerta?

Yes, some things should never be said.

If I came out as a translator, I’d be run out of town.


P.L.F.Persio
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Tom in London
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à Jul 28

Chris S wrote:

Omerta?

Yes, some things should never be said.

If I came out as a translator, I’d be run out of town.


It's omertà. With the accent on the à.


Chris S
Angie Garbarino
WS McCallum
 

Tom in London
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NO idea Jul 28

Barbara Cochran, MFA wrote:

We're all familiar with the notorious Italian phrase that promotes this attitude in the ignorant and ill-informed.


I lived in Italy for 23 years and am bilingual Italian/English. In all that time I never heard anyone pronounce the supposedly notorious Italian phrase. Umberto Eco may have used it, I suppose. He went in for that sort of thing.

If anything "tradire/tradurre" is just low-level wordplay.

I remember there was a national debate on the cultural significance of the fact that Umberto Eco had shaved off his beard.

[Edited at 2020-07-28 10:39 GMT]


Angie Garbarino
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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Dèjà vù Jul 28

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.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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Back on topic Jul 28

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.


P.L.F.Persio
Christine Andersen
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Linguistic ... Jul 28

... consultant. Hopefully they'll be so wowed and cowed they won't ask you to elaborate.

P.L.F.Persio
Christine Andersen
Sarah Maidstone
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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“Gigolo” Jul 28

also works quite well. Except with those smart alecs who start on about cunnilinguistics😜

But mainly I’m marginalised over bad jokes, to be fair.

C’est là vie🙄


P.L.F.Persio
Giovanni Milone
 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
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"I sit in front of a computer all day" Jul 28

That usually shuts down conversations about my employment. If pressed, I say my work is confidential (mostly true).

Christine Andersen
 

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
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Thank you 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".


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

Kind regards


Barbara Carrara
Michele Fauble
writeaway
Tom in London
Wolfgang Schoene
expressisverbis
 
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