That Which Must Not Be Translated

That Which Must Not Be Translated

"Blazing a Trail to Business Success" was the title of the American Translators Association, Translation Company Division conference the other day in Phoenix. Made me create a pack of grubby woodsmen running through a darkened forest, swinging axes and defacing trees, that is a nice approach to visualize your rivals.
Actually, I found these to be considered a pretty nice bunch (especially after I stood a few drinks), also it was great to view old friends, make brand new ones, and compare notes for the trade. As we hurtle towards Translation Singularity, I'm planning to start going with greater regularity to those meetings to keep my fingers about the fading pulse of translation to be sure it. I was astounded by some in the stuff people in the marketplace are going to do and thinking.
I had one of these jaw-dropping moments when the conversation looked to what sort of content people will not translate. Ironically, this happened in a panel discussion of "The Inside Story of America's Fastest-Growing Translation Companies," when Vigdis Eriksen of Eriksen Translation announced that her company failed to go defense or military work, or porn translation as an example. The reaction was swift, having a chorus of male members rushing to grab her fallen LESBICHE porno film banner.
Personally, I keep my politics and religious beliefs private, as being a personal and professional courtesy. Personally, simply because they make many people crazy. Professionally, because I spent so many years like a hack/flack PR whore advancing the kinky ideologies of assorted johns (I did mostly government policy). But now that I am will no longer kept, and will practice my trade on the street as it were, I am desperate to serve all comers. Since I am only transmitting the content, as an alternative to creating it, I feel relieved of responsibility.
I've always thought that, as translators, our responsibility is to find the material across, and any opinions we now have over a subject ought not come in translation, or even be discussed with others in our confidential trade.
That said, I don't turn just any trick either. Nothing illegal, no hate, no racism, no incitement. I'm much less attracted to porn, since I think it's often offensive to the girls that really do most of the operate in this industry, plus were stiffed by some shady operators in the past.
But I've been surprised at how few translators will refuse these assignments, and the way much the ones that accept the task enjoy the change of terminology through the more tedious material they usually create. Either way our translators go, we're good your, as we have been keen to use the few confident in their subject expertise.
One time, we did have a very guy who refused to translate some Japanese anime (not porn, unusually) while he believed it encouraged kids to zone on violent fantasy. Fei, my ops lead at the time, am outraged with that translator's unprofessional screed that they dropped him from your list. I think this is the only time it happened.
Personally, I hate tobacco. You should see my impression of my Dad drawing his last breath in his battle against lung cancer. Hilarious at cocktail parties. Anyway, a long time ago, I got the decision from Phillip Morris or even the like, plus it sounded big. It was all I could caused by say, "Sure, no problem," if the caller asked me when it would be a problem. I was thinking of my Dad's relationship compared to that ugly industry, but I seemed to be thinking about professionalism ?�EURo and my wallet. Thankfully, the caller identified where I was received from, so end of story. I wonder if I would've actually found themselves taking the work? I honestly have no idea of.
Again, personally, while I'm forget about and only war than I am of tobacco, I see defense translation as my civic duty to compliment my fellow citizens around the front line, who're putting everything on the line, in service in the government that's our own responsibility, whether we like it or otherwise. I am proud to assist however I can. So I can't separate against each other myself, yet I can appreciate the positioning of people like Vigdis who are able to.
As an early advertising flak, this ethics stuff is, like, hard. Our business gets grey throughout the edges sometimes, and our values infuse every act in our workday regardless how professional or greedy we profess to be. So three question to any or all you translators around: What won't you translate? What should we don't translate? And with a more positive note, precisely what are you proudest to translate?