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Working as a PL-EN translator - good idea? Sworn translators in Poland.


10piw 1 | 1
12 Feb 2013 #1
So, I've been working for about four years as a native English teacher in Wrocław, really enjoying it but I feel like a change. My Polish is not too bad so I was thinking about translations.

How easy is it for people to get into the PL-EN translation market?

Does any one have experience with this?

I did a few translations of articles for Wrocław economics uni, they were happy and I still get work from them every month but I can't seem to get more clients. I tried globtra and proz.com but it seems to be the same few companies wanting loads of references.

Any advice?
Donuu - | 1
8 May 2013 #2
Merged: Job prospects as a translator and English teacher in Krakow/Warsaw/Wroclaw

Hi there,

I am moving to Poland in October to study Polish in Krakow. I already speak the language reasonably well and I am currently involved in some literary translation projects - thus, this year-long course will hopefully have me fluent by the end (c. C1/C2 level).

However, could anyone give me advice about jobs after I've completed this course?

I am planning on doing a CELTA course in Krakow, Warsaw or Wroclaw and hope to stay on teaching English and doing some more translation work. I have read many threads on this forum highlighting how difficult it is to stay in the big cities as an English teacher, but would I stand much chance given that:

I have a master's degree in Classical Philology from the UK,
I'm a native speaker (not that unique anymore, but still),
I (will) have fluent Polish, and a diploma in it from the Jagiellonian to prove it,
I (will) have a CELTA certificate and am genuinely passionate about teaching.

Plus, does anyone know how easy it is for foreigners with fluent Polish to find work as translators/interpreters? I've been looking into doing a translation master's at UJ in Krakow but if anyone has any advice on the job market for either translators or English teachers I'd be very grateful. I feel I have, or will have, a good portfolio of qualifications and have a good network of friends and contacts in Krakow, but, I need to realistic and I would appreciate some advice from people already working in Poland.

On a side note, I understand jobs are more abundant outside the big cities, but as I already have friends in Wroclaw and Krakow I would ideally like to be there. Plus, as I'm gay, I'd rather be in a big city where I can meet other gay Poles and where there is relative tolerance of alternative lifestyles (emphasis on the word 'relative', I know). Living somewhere with a massive gay scene isn't of vital importance obviously, but it's a part of who I am so I need to consider it.

Thanks in advance! :)
Sylvio
10 Nov 2015 #3
Merged: Sworn Translator in Poland - list of qualifications?

Assuming that a person speaks fluent Polish, could anyone please list qualifications needed to practice, in Poland, as a sworn translator, i.e. "Tlumacz Przysiegly"?
Strzelec35 32 | 1,053
16 Feb 2021 #4
I am quite good at translations. if someone would just give me a chance and pay descent id translate anything to English. my from English to Polish translations on the other hand would be hit or miss as I do not write academic or high level Polish. but my translations to English are much better than any ai system could muster plus the editing i could throw in for good measure. There is this company called forum.eu on linkedin that i applied for such a translation job and it made me realize this is probably a scam company and they are looking for suckers on linkedin.

I couldn't find a way to flag linkedin job postings or report them anyone know? They literally had this guy call me and claim i was supposed to start my assignment now and would have less time than what he said two nights prior and at a different time frame. he claimed I was supposed to translate three full articles from gazeta wyborcza and i did not even have a subscription and you have to have a paid subscription to read entire articles. it was all a big scam man and later the same job posting was posted again and he keeps posting it for this ring or outfit called forum.eu on linkedin. I think they just get free work this way because they claim its part of the trial than post the job again. I barely finished one within a time span of an hour but turned the other one to him later but it just did not make any sense. why would you time such translation work and want someone to do three in an hour vs quality and longer lasting work? also, why change your mind give diff time frame and even less time than originally agreed upon? Have u ever heard of this scam on linkedin and know how to report them John?

I mean it is one thing to have high expectations but very technically written articles and three within an hr from gazeta eyborcza plus changing of the time frame and all for free then keep posting the same job on their company page or the linkedin job board for free samples like this? this is why this country is so ****** up or being here is so ****** up is no one respects you from other countries or pays you well and full of scammers trying to get free work from here.
mafketis 30 | 9,535
16 Feb 2021 #5
@Strzelec35

Do you have a portfolio? It might be worth working up some samples and knock on some agency doors as the first step into making connections...

Want to take a whack at this:

Nauka o polityce (politologia) - nauka empiryczna i społeczna, zajmująca się prawami rządzącymi rzeczywistością, badająca zjawiska i procesy polityczne. Rangę odrębnej dyscypliny naukowej na poziomie akademickim politologia zyskała na przełomie XIX i XX wieków. Korzenie nauki o polityce sięgają jednak starożytności, zawdzięczając wiele pracom Arystotelesa i Platona poświęconych teoretycznej refleksji nad państwem i polityką.

What about editing the following for idiomatic style?

The authors have undertaken an analysis of the phenomenon of debt of local government units in Poland. It is a dynamic phenomenon, which affects vast majority of municipalities and districts. A barrier to debt expansion has been established in the form of the Individual Debt Index (IOI), which has been in place since 2014 and its new elements entered into force on 1 January 2020. The structure of the index is intended to allow regional accounting chambers (RIO) to control the process and prevent its progression.
jon357 67 | 16,843
16 Feb 2021 #6
company called forum.eu

I haven't heard of this company; I'll have a look at them.

Some translation work involves bidding for it on platforms. They usually choose the quickest and/or cheapest.

translate.three.full.articles from gazeta wyborcza and i did not even have a subscription and you have to have a paid subscription to read entire articles.

This does sound like either a scam or just shoddy business practice. Perhaps it's the quality and speed they want to test. They'd probably compare the articles to an existing translation which may well not be much good anyway.

Do you have a portfolio? It might be worth working up some samples and knock on some agency doors

This is good advice.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
16 Feb 2021 #7
This is good advice.

I'd also add that it's a good idea to contribute to online translation forums too.
mafketis 30 | 9,535
16 Feb 2021 #8
good idea to

Also....proof/native/editing. A lot of Poles try to write in English which can be grammatically.... okay.... but stylistically hit and miss. . There is definitely a market for native English speakers who are fluent in Polish....
Lyzko 30 | 7,585
16 Feb 2021 #9
As an accredited translator, I was taught in school NEVER to translate into the target language, unless a bonafide, certified bilingual.
mafketis 30 | 9,535
16 Feb 2021 #10
I was taught in school NEVER to translate into the target language

The problem for Polish-to-English translation is that there just aren't enough native English speakers with the requisite knowledge of Polish and the particular skills needed for translation.

We exist, but there's not many of us and there's no way we could keep up with demand.
jon357 67 | 16,843
16 Feb 2021 #11
The.problem

Still, it's gold dust sometimes for those who can do it. It avoids having to use native proof readers to rewrite everything the Polish translator has done, and if it's a literary or academic translation, the publishers always want an idiomatic and nuanced knowledge of both languages, especially in the target language.

As an accredited translator,

The sworn translators; exam isn't as easy here as it used to be. Nevertheless, I know one Brit (without family connections to Poland) who's done it..
Lyzko 30 | 7,585
16 Feb 2021 #12
Tell me about it! I was raised at home in New York with German ríght alongside English for the immediate formative years, later formally in college. Had I not grown up with it, I could never translate into German as well as English. Into Polish?? Never!
Strzelec35 32 | 1,053
16 Feb 2021 #13
I went to this mma club just now to do the k1 kickboxing class so I didnt get a chance to do that translation sample you posted. I may do it in a bit as zim tired or I may not. Either way, yes on my site I out the three articles I translated as part of that gig for europe.forum or eu.forum or whatever the company is called the scammers as at least I figured I would do it then all three long ass gazeta wyborcza articles (even though there was no way I could ever do all three in an hour - maybe one) and put them all in a single blog post a bit buried on my site. So yes they are there. But I never see or know of anyone looking for this type of person or posting this sort of job so I never really even showed those samples to anyone.

That reminds me I should link them to my journalism or copy-writing resume. I already have an infographic and other **** i did on my own linked.

By the way that mma club i went to was weird. it was like mixed filled with hooligans ultras wearing their shirts or jerseys and like some younger kids and normies. I ended up paired with this hooligan dude tho who was just off the hook in terms of how dumb he was. he literally tried to take my teeth off or head off not even in sparring which we didnt do but technique training. he did not pull back at all and would try kneeing me in the face and **** like a retard out to hurt his training partners. How would you guys deal with such a guy you are paired with or situation? I told him to calm down a bit as I want to keep my teeth and he sort of did but never even apologised or said anything and after a while he just went back at it. I was just out of shape and havent even trained for a long time somi couldn't really get him back but i could tell he is the type to be a hypocrite and start crying if i did it back to him full force to his face. he also tried arguing with me about holding the gloves when he was doing it wrong snd would hold it sideways but tell me to hit straight and other **** like a hooligan retard from jail. This is the exact thing i was talking about how these polish people are wll hard headed hypocrites and cry when they dont get their eay but will argue with you while being wrong.

" Do you have a portfolio? It might be worth working up some samples and knock on some agency doors as the first step into making connections..."

I have multiple portfolios and one separate site and even a facebook services page however not for pure translations just for writing copywriting journalism and a separate pen for graphic design and s third for illustration. all on my main site I have like 10 tabs on top with all sorts of things like that and the portfolios are all on their own pages withing the site.
mafketis 30 | 9,535
16 Feb 2021 #14
in a single blog post a bit buried on my site. So yes they are ther

you want some samples of what you can do that a prospective customer can look at and see, rather than force prospective clients to dig around in a blog put them together (orignals and your translations) in a nice looking format and send it with a cover letter to translation bureaus, as many as you can with or without some editing samples (make it clear you're not British and wouldn't be competent in translations meant for a British audience - making it as a translator is about knowing your limitations and sticking to them).

Also, own up to mistakes - all translators make mistakes (it's just that kind of undertaking - perfection does not occur). Own up to them and learn from them so you don't make the same mistakes again and again.... experienced translators even make up funny stories about weird mistakes they've made...

a hooligan retard from jail.

you seem to end up around that kind of person a lot, think of associating with people who aren't repulsive and stupid...
Strzelec35 32 | 1,053
16 Feb 2021 #15
well I can always link to my blog post with the samples but I dont see the point of making a separate page or site for just three articles I translated particularly since my site is filled to the brim with separate pages from the homepage and in a way crams it up or my top navigation bar is too crammed but i dont want to remove stuff after putting the work in I did. My resume is also filled two pages mac and it will be hard to find some line to replace to put those translation samples. I also do have a generic cover letter on my page as a pdf file and also I had a separate pasted on page about it but pages has cool formatting so i just added the pdf file embedded on my top nav bar under resume cover letter section. The one problem is my cover letter is a page and a half and not just one page but I rather be thorough or make it nice to follow and read rather than a short one.

This is the problem ith poland and trying to find any copywriting or translation work here:
i.ibb.co/ZhPmKYc/9262-D28-F-DF26-4-F04-97-F7-1-D65516015-E1.png

this is why i usually only apply with us companies on linkedin and such and just lie about having a visa or legal standing there hoping they'll look past it or allow me to work under the table or something via paypal or something. I mean I make so little money as is I cant imagine also having to create some company and hire accountants not to mention dealing with some polish bureaucracy or urzèdy just to get translation or writing jobs once in a while.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
16 Feb 2021 #16
The authors have undertaken an analysis of the phenomenon of debt of local government units in Poland.

I've pushed this through Google Translate and it has handled it very well !
Autorzy podjęli się analizy zjawiska zadłużenia jednostek samorządu terytorialnego w Polsce.

I think that AI is gettting better and better at the art of translation. The tricky word for automated translation here was the word 'local' which GT aptly rendered as 'terytorialny'. Also, the word 'government' was translated as 'samorząd' rather than 'rząd'. GT obviously "analyzes" the context.
Lyzko 30 | 7,585
16 Feb 2021 #17
Certain translation bloopers are hysterical!
Lenka 3 | 2,684
16 Feb 2021 #18
it has handled it very well !

I'm impressed. When I last used it it was still having problems with declination not to mention finer aspects
jon357 67 | 16,843
16 Feb 2021 #19
Google Translate

That's better than Google Translate would have had a few years ago.

I put that sentence through professional translation software and it came out the same, except for flagging up options for "terytorialnego".
mafketis 30 | 9,535
16 Feb 2021 #20
ust lie about having a visa or legal standing there hoping they'll look past it or allow me to work under the table

Aren't you a Polish citizen? Can't you work legally?

pushed this through Google Translate

That sample was about editing... I saw several things that would make it read more like an academic text in English...

"The authors have undertaken an analysis of the phenomenon of debt of local government units in Poland. It is a dynamic phenomenon, which affects vast majority of municipalities and districts"

My version (extemely quick first version):

The authors analyze local government debt in Poland. This is a dynamic phenomenon and affects a large majority of municipalities and districts.

or

The authors of this article have analyzed the debt of local government units in Poland. This is a dynamic phenomenon, affecting a large majority of municipalities and districts in the country.

I'd play around but the two phenomena and vast without an article are issues... (along with some other stuff)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
16 Feb 2021 #21
When I last used it it was still having problems with declination not to mention finer aspects

Same with me. Indeed, they have made tremendous progress over the last years. Many people usually don't realize this as they haven't bothered to check since the time they tried it for the first time several years ago. They have been victims of a certain stereotype, namely that AI cannot be as good as humans in using the language !

It can ! And I'm sure that pretty soon the art of translation will become the domain of the AI. What is left out for the humans will be proof reading, but (who knows?) with the already enormous and ever increasing capacities of data bases and information technology even that may eventually be passed on to robots.

The AI revolution is one with consequences comparable only to those of the industrial revolution which at the time completely swept away the old world as it had existed before it. Personally, I think the effects of AI will be even more profound.
Strzelec35 32 | 1,053
16 Feb 2021 #22
what is a "sworn" translator? How does one become "sworn"?

" you want some samples of what you can do that a prospective customer can look at and see, rather than force prospective clients to dig around in a blog put them together (originals and your translations) in a nice looking format and send it with a cover letter to translation bureaus, as many as you can with or without some editing samples (make it clear you're not British and wouldn't be competent in translations meant for a British audience - making it as a translator is about knowing your limitations and sticking to them)."

do they really require to print everything and sent it in postage to them or even put it all on pdf file and are too lazy to click on a link to a blog post that has the links to original articles and translations in a top down fashion? Plus I dont have a subscription to gazeta wyborcza so this is the best option for me.
Lenka 3 | 2,684
16 Feb 2021 #23
The AI revolution is one with consequences comparable only to those of the industrial revolution

It scares me as hell. I hope I will die before it becomes too crazy. I'm more worried about the young generation in my family.

what is a "sworn" translator?

Someone who can work with official documents, courts, police etc. You have to pass an exam
Strzelec35 32 | 1,053
16 Feb 2021 #24
ok tlumacz przysiegly then? I would not want to do that sort of work anyway as it would drive me nuts and make me pull my hair out and my Polish isnt good enough for it. Plus I don't think it pays that much. Id rather translate articles like for gazeta wyborcza kr websites for tech firms.
mafketis 30 | 9,535
16 Feb 2021 #25
too lazy to click on a link to a blog post

Clients aren't "too lazy"... especially if you're asking them for money....
Strzelec35 32 | 1,053
16 Feb 2021 #26
Some are though. I used to write articles for Pluralsight and they had a high turnover of these always female communication leads or editors who knew dip **** about the tech they were covering or editing guides for but probably were hired due to diversity and were usually on a huge ego trip. the last one malissa or melisa was a total nitwit who would make me essentially rewrite entire articles or prove to her shoe to her where my statements were true because she was too lazy to look **** up herself and despite not bring a tech nerd or guru somehow she had expectations i would be one or some it expert just for contributing to them yet she herself and their ****** diversity tactics wasn't hypocrites i tell ya. They paid 100 bucks per article so i never tried so hard but later they upped it to 200 but by that time the ***** and me didnt get along and she cancel cultured me. basically she would try to make me to rewrite their entire articles ro prove to her basic facts she could look up about the **** i was covering on google and put it in her little ****** notes or track changes section or comments. not only that but by the time i edited it it would take her weeks so i had to essentially rewrite it once or twice as i forgot exactly certain things or how the tech worked fully or my previous research. why they hire such people or always females to be their editors is beyond me or care about any sort or diversity when there are ppl who are good at tech and not stuck up ******* or ego trips they could hire instead for the role and even save money if it was someone like me remote from Poland to take her job. she also made my writing worse through her edits just to save on space or cram it instead of worrying about readability or if all facts are presented in the article or quality by the end of it. she could have easily split them and paid me for two but no she wanted to constantly change **** like it is to it's and just take out sentences to make **** sound different. I imagine they did some seo research or studies and probably think peoples attention spawns arent wrong and started forcing 1000 word per guide or some ****. but to me i dont work this day. im gonna present the most full and best article i can and worry about quality not quantity. i take out repetitive **** but she would just take out **** period or make it sound dumb or written by a female.
jon357 67 | 16,843
16 Feb 2021 #27
Plus I don't think it pays that much.

It doesn't pay much, the rate is fixed and there are a hell of a lot of people who've passed the exam (especially before it got harder) all chasing the same work. If you can translate between Polish and Chinese or Turkish or whatever, it's worth doing. English, German, Russian, no. Plus they want a certyfikat niekaralności.


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