Re: [Czechlist] Re: translators vs. teachers
- Hi Martin,
>HOWEVER, THERE MIGHT BE ALSO A SIMPLE FACT THAT PRAGUEGOT OUT OF FASHION AND NO MORE YOUNG UK/US ADVENTURERS FLOW IN.
Because - as you have said to me - the schools are "muddling through
somehow", I fear they are taking job applicants "from off the street" as
they used to do in the early nineties (Vlada, Zdenek, can you confirm?).
Result: they have a high turnover of unqualified youngsters.
THEY STARTED TO MAKE A FUSS A LONG
TIME BEFORE THE BILL BECAME EFFECTIVE AND BEFORE THEY KNEW WHAT THE REAL
IMPACT WOULD BE.
True, nobody was 100% sure of the real impact but I think the fear that the
numbers of foreign qualified and/or experienced lectors and teachers would
decrease has proved to be well-founded. I think the big x factor has always
been how easy it would be to employ teachers "on the side". The language
schools are clearly being forced into this.
I AM NOT SURE A GOOD TRANSLATOR EQUALS A GOOD LANGUAGE TEACHER.
Not every translator makes a good teacher, to be sure, just as not every
language teacher makes a good translator. But I'd say that people who learn
a language to an advanced or proficiency level must have fair social skills
in order to practise adequately (i.e. we translators are naturally sociable
and communicative folk as a quick glimpse of LANTRA will demonstrate,
right?) and I suspect many of the translators on this list might just have
these social skills plus the patience and attitude (and that touch of
showmanship >->) that are required for the job (?).
HOURS SPENT TYPING AT YOUR DESKTOP, YOU CAN DEVELOP A LOT OF SKILLS
Right. The specialist knowledge is your big advantage - that is what I am
BUT YOUR ACCENT AND FLUENCY AND ABILITY
TO SPEAK GOES INVARIABLY DOWN
Really? This is a new angle for me. I suspect this varies a lot. Maybe, this
is where something like Czechlist can help. Regular feedback and
opportunities to practise your foreign language are clearly in demand among
translators. So where do we have our next meeting? BTW it was very enjoyable
yesterday at U Kotvy with Rachel, Simon, Mirek (enjoy it?) and my dear
friend Slavka. Name a time and a place next week, somebody.
BTW I hear teachers also complain that their accuracy deteriorates, at least
if they are teaching beginners.
CORRECT ME IF I� M WRONG, BUT
AS A GOOD AND SUCESSFUL TRANSLATOR, YOU CAN EARN MUCH MORE THAN WITH
Actually, I find companies, banks, government organizations etc *can* pay a
good deal more per hour for specialist teaching. If you happen to live
nearby and travel isn't too much of a problem it could possibly work out as
a nice little side-line. In any case, my main point here would be that the
two kinds of work complement each other well. I think it's always useful for
translators to get involved in some kind of related side-line, be it
guide-work, consultation work, accompanying taxi-drivers driving rich
Americans around Prague :) (any other ideas?)
I WOULD NOT DARE TO TEACH (HAVE NO ATTITUDE, ACCENT,
PATIENCE OR SKILLS).
OK this might well be the case for some individuals.
BTW personally, I think accent is a little overrated as a key issue in
language teaching. You, Martin, would pass unnoticed in a London street
because so many people sound "slightly foreign" in London, patience you can
learn:), your corrections of my Czech seem to me to be very much to the
point (thank you) but OK point taken
>I do both, you do, Zdenek does - are we *really* that exceptional, Vladimir?
>I am doing both. I have been a (now nearly)
>full-time teacher for seven years and a nearly-full-time translator a bit
>shorter. The two are as different as the work of a metallographer and a
Yes, they do require two very different approaches, but don't you find your
teaching assists in your translation work and vice versa? Don't you find
students appreciate practice in translation and interpretation skills? I
find that especially in the workplace they very much appreciate it - which
is where, I am saying, there is a market...
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- Hi all,
> BUT YOUR ACCENT AND FLUENCY AND ABILITYMartin is right, in my opinion. Just the sitting in front of a computer can
> TO SPEAK GOES INVARIABLY DOWN
> Really? This is a new angle for me. I suspect this varies a lot.
> Maybe, this
> is where something like Czechlist can help. Regular feedback and
> opportunities to practise your foreign language are clearly in
> demand among
> translators. So where do we have our next meeting? BTW it was
> very enjoyable
> yesterday at U Kotvy with Rachel, Simon, Mirek (enjoy it?) and my dear
> friend Slavka. Name a time and a place next week, somebody.
never teach you how to speak properly. You may only have a very good (if not
even excellent) understanding of your non-native language. However, it is
only by speaking you can really master it (and to get into subtleties of the
everyday life). The fact you can find excellent translators speaking the
foreign language in a very poor way just confirms what Martin said.
> BTW I hear teachers also complain that their accuracyI heard this from some English teachers, too.
> deteriorates, at least
> if they are teaching beginners.
> Melvyn Clarke wrote:Yes, I do. It works well, except for the moments when I do not have time to
> > I do both, you do, Zdenek does...
> Me, too.
> Jirka Bolech
translate because I have to go teaching or I do not have time to get ready
for the lesson because I am too busy translating or when I am am behind with
a translations and come late to my lessong because I am lazy, I have a
hangover, I do not sleep well because I do not have sex enough, I do not
sleep at all because I have too much sex, etc. etc. etc.
Generally said it works well.
- Hi Vladimir,
>No way did I mean to brag about the two jobs. I don't think we are/I amexceptional being so although statistically maybe yes.
Hmmm, we didn't even mention Todd - and Michael has "confessed" to doing it
in the past too:) - that makes a good quarter of our contributors. Quite a
large area of overlap, I'd say.
In my experience, a lot of teachers at language schools dabble in
translation work - they often give me the impression they would like to get
into it more but they aren't quite sure how to go about it in practice. This
is particularly so in the poorly-paid state schools.
>as someoneon this list has said, being a good teacher may not mean they would make a
good translator and vice versa.
I said that:)as well as Martin J.
>I agree the two complement each other in aunique and wonderful way (at least for me),
Right - for example, when you are teaching specialists you learn valuable
background and terminology. Preparing lessons can be like doing background
research for a translation job. The students are usually pretty helpful on
this, I find, if you explain in advance that you are not cracking on that
you are an expert in their field. For example, I had a regular weekend
course with some students from a paper-mill in South Bohemia, and we agreed
on a procedure whereby I prepared a bunch of hopefully intelligent questions
on the processes involved and we went over them using diagrams taken from
one of those pictorial technical dictionaries. They also supplied me with
some supporting documentation in English, which was useful too.
You can then draw up little glossaries and ask them to go over your work.
Conversely, when I am translating contracts, I will make a note of anything
I think might be useful for my students involved in legal work and we have a
section of our lesson where we discuss such finds.
And of course, when I come up against a terminology problem, I find there is
often an old student who can help out >->
I'm sure a bit of brainstorming would throw up a few more ideas.
>Is my standpoint any clearer now?Yup.
>P.S. Glad there so many of you who dare stand in front of a bunch of wildand dangerous, hungry and roaring beasts 8-D.
Oh you just have to be a bit firm with agency staff >->
>Well, I believe our studentsare NEVER like that but just fancy that idea ...
Oh THEM. Nah, they're all pussy-cats...:)
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