LINGUIST List 4.930

Sat 06 Nov 1993

FYI: Survey: Translators and Interpreters

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Gilles Dignard, Survey

Message 1: Survey

Date: Sat, 6 Nov 93 09:10:41 ESTSurvey
From: Gilles Dignard <>
Subject: Survey

TRANSFORUM Translators' and Interpreters' Forum

A survey


There is an active and apparently growing community of several
hundred translators and interpreters here on CompuServe, which has
made an electronic "home" in Section 11 (Translators) of the CIS
forum FLEFO. This forum has proven itself to be an invaluable
source of information and place of companionship amongst
translators and interpreters, attracting a congenial and
international crowd. Its success has been greatly helped along by
the excellent guidance of Sysop Jerry Ervin and Cosysop Doug Lacey.
A recent demonstration at the American Translators Association
meeting in Philadelphia has revealed great interest FLEFO and its
"Translators" section.

Recently, a few members of FLEFO have been speculating on whether
opening a separate Translators' and Interpreters' Forum (which has
been tentatively dubbed TRANSFORUM) might be a viable proposition
both in terms of potential benefits to the translators' and
interpreters' community and in terms of its technical and
economical feasibility. The various pros and cons of opening a
dedicated forum and of our chances for growth within either FLEFO
or a future TRANSFORUM have been discussed at length.

In order to find out whether such a new forum would be feasible
and attractive, or whether we should rather not pursue this at the
moment, we need your input.

If this is the first time you heard about our translators' corner
on FLEFO, why don't you take a moment to check it out? Just GO
FLEFO at any ! prompt (or use the Go... command on your navigator,
or join FLEFO using your offline reader) and download the messages
in Section 11.

At the end of this questionnaire you will find a proposal for a
possible breakdown of sections, which might give you an idea of
what a TRANSFORUM might be like.


The following questionnaire is designed to help us evaluate the
potential of a possible future Translators' and Interpreters' Forum
(TRANSFORUM). Please take a few moments to answer these questions.

You may return this questionnaire by E-mail to:

 Per N Dohler [100135,1412].

If you do not wish to indicate your name or CompuServe user ID,
please feel free to omit this information. We will not assume that
the CIS ID you send the questionnaire from is yours.

Alternately, you may send your anonymous questionnaire by fax to
the following number:

 011 49 4137 1452
 (from the U.S. and Canada)
 04137 1452
 (from Germany)
 <International access code> 4137 1452
 (from all other countries)

All information given will be used exclusively for the purpose of
this survey. The content of the questionnaires will be kept
strictly confidential and destroyed after being evaluated for the
purposes of this survey. In no event will the information be made
accessible to any third parties.

We appreciate your help. Please return the questionnaires by
November 15. You will find the results of our survey published in
Section 11 (Translators) of the FLEFO forum.

You will save yourself and us a little money if you delete
before you send it to us. Thank you!

Per N. Dohler

START QUESTIONNAIRE =======================================

.....Please state your name and user ID [OPTIONAL]

.....Please name the state of the US/province of Canada/
.....foreign country you're live in.

.....Are you a translator/interpreter? (If not, skip to .....3)

.....If so, are you employed, working freelance, or other?

.....If so, are you working full-time or part-time

.....Which languages do you know/use/need?

.....Which ones of these do you work with?

.....Do you know FLEFO? (If not: Skip to .....6)

.....When did you first hear of FLEFO

.....How often do you access FLEFO?

.....How much time do you spend ONLINE on FLEFO (minutes/week)?

.....How much time do you spend OFFLINE dealing with FLEFO
.....(reading, answering, etc.) (minutes/week)

.....Do you know Section 11 (Translators)?
.....(If not: Skip to .....6)

.....How often do you access this section?

.....How much time do you spend ONLINE in this section

.....How much time do you spend OFFLINE with this section
.....(reading, answering, etc.) (minutes/week)

.....Do you feel you could benefit from a dedicated
.....Translators' and Interpreters' Forum (TRANSFORUM)?
.....If so, in what way?

.....If yes, in what way, and if not, why not?

.....Here you can offer any remarks, insights, ideas,
.....misgivings, etc.:

Thank you for completing this Questionnaire! If you have deleted
the top portion and no longer know whom to send it to: The address
is "Per N. Dohler [100135,1412]"

END QUESTIONNAIRE =========================================

This is how a Translators' and Interpreters' Forum (TRANSFORUM)
could be structured. Per Dohler is responsible for this draft, but
has tried to incorporate all ideas that came up on FLEFO.

 1 General matters of interest
 2 Forum Help
 3 Urgent Translation Queries
 "Help <source> [<target>] <topic>|<term>|<field>"
 4 Professional organizations (e.g. ATA)
 5 Freelance translators
 Aspects of the office, customer relations, etc.
 6 Salaried translators
 Aspects of employer/emplyoee relationships
 7 Interpreters
 8 Agencies
 9 Content tools
 Dictionaries, other reference works, CD-ROMs, etc.
 10 Form tools
 Word processing, DTP, graphics, etc.
 11 Machine translation
 12 Ethical matters
 13 Legal matters
 14 New members/New CVs
 15 Job/assignment offers - Help wanted
 16 Classifieds: Bought, Sold, Organized
 Reference works, hardware, software, etc.
 or asking for things you can't get in your country
 17 Anecdotes/Gossip
 Everyone is sure to download THIS ONE regularly!

And here is a voice from FLEFO that sums up the current ambivalent
state of the discussion rather concisely, an ambivalence that this
questionnaire is hoped to help overcome:

>>The "Transforum" idea obviously has some support, but so does the
idea that we should exploit the success gained here in FLEFO.

Points to consider seem to include the possibility of multiple
sections in "Transforum," not oriented to language groups as here;
the criterion, used by CIS in approving new forums, that the new
arrangement should attract additional subscribers, not just
redistribute present CIS traffic; the desirability of a forum set
up and run solely for (and indeed possibly by) translators; the
known reluctance of our colleagues (and, to be honest, of
ourselves) to experiment with new services; the potential for a new
forum to become a meetingplace for translators' regional/national
associations too; the awareness that translator traffic on CIS
right now is in the neighborhood of only 350 postings a week; and
so forth.<<

(Ben Teague)
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