Am I the only translator in the world with ADHD and dyslexia?
Thread poster: Andrea Gonzalez

Andrea Gonzalez
Local time: 01:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 14

Hi everyone. I know this is a sensitive topic and most adults, especially in the world of translation, are uncomfortable "coming out" because of what this could mean to our career. I have looked all over the internet using different kinds of key words, and I have not been able to find a space where translators with learning disabilities can meet and share experiences and tips on how to deal with the very unique issues that can come up while working, even though we are clearly beating the odds. T... See more
Hi everyone. I know this is a sensitive topic and most adults, especially in the world of translation, are uncomfortable "coming out" because of what this could mean to our career. I have looked all over the internet using different kinds of key words, and I have not been able to find a space where translators with learning disabilities can meet and share experiences and tips on how to deal with the very unique issues that can come up while working, even though we are clearly beating the odds. Therefore, I would like to propose this space to be able to do just that. Anyone else out there facing these difficulties?Collapse


Anna Zvereva
Natasha Ziada
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Blind to the word May 15

Once it was called “Word blindness”, today it’s called being dyslexic. It’s a pretty common disorder that means you can’t remember the order and sequence of letters in a word from one time to the next. You can study a really easy word for hours on end, and maybe even write it perfectly if you have it in front of you. But the next time you see it, you just won’t recognize it.

It gets better in time, with practice.

People still correct me, a few are still cond
... See more
Once it was called “Word blindness”, today it’s called being dyslexic. It’s a pretty common disorder that means you can’t remember the order and sequence of letters in a word from one time to the next. You can study a really easy word for hours on end, and maybe even write it perfectly if you have it in front of you. But the next time you see it, you just won’t recognize it.

It gets better in time, with practice.

People still correct me, a few are still condescending, but I don’t mind. I kind of like seeing things different, see it as an advantage rather than a handicap, and I have a computer now with a spell checker. The funny thing is though, if it ever crashed, I’d never know.

Mind you, it might not make that much diference.
Apparently, spelling dosn't rely mater at all, as long as the frist and lsat letres are almost right and you can understand what someone is tryin to say. Thats what comunication is all about after all.
So bein dislexic isnt a problem really, unless people treat you like an idiot and you grow up believin you are.

At least 15% of schoolchildren are dyslexic. That means 1 out of 7 stupid kids aren’t stupid, they just read different.

Dyslexia [noun] a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not effect general intelligence.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
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Anna Zvereva
Christine Andersen
Andrea Gonzalez
Liviu-Lee Roth
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Andrea Gonzalez
Local time: 01:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What a relief! May 15

Jo Macdonald wrote:

Once it was called “Word blindness”, today it’s called being dyslexic. It’s a pretty common disorder that means you can’t remember the order and sequence of letters in a word from one time to the next. You can study a really easy word for hours on end, and maybe even write it perfectly if you have it in front of you. But the next time you see it, you just won’t recognize it.

It gets better in time, with practice.

People still correct me, a few are still condescending, but I don’t mind. I kind of like seeing things different, see it as an advantage rather than a handicap, and I have a computer now with a spell checker. The funny thing is though, if it ever crashed, I’d never know.

Mind you, it might not make that much diference.
Apparently, spelling dosn't rely mater at all, as long as the frist and lsat letres are almost right and you can understand what someone is tryin to say. Thats what comunication is all about after all.
So bein dislexic isnt a problem really, unless people treat you like an idiot and you grow up believin you are.

At least 15% of schoolchildren are dyslexic. That means 1 out of 7 stupid kids aren’t stupid, they just read different.

Dyslexia [noun] a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not effect general intelligence.
(Oxford English Dictionary)


 

Andrea Gonzalez
Local time: 01:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What a relief! May 15

I was beginning to think that I was the only one who was crazy enough to have decided to become a trout, rather than a translator; swimming against the stream!
My dyslexia doesn't get in the way as much, because as you say, there is always spellcheck. To be honest, I would be lost without it. However, my ADHD get in my way much more, but both can be quite frustrating. I have always wondered if I should disclose to my bosses (right now I work for a translation agency) because of the stigma
... See more
I was beginning to think that I was the only one who was crazy enough to have decided to become a trout, rather than a translator; swimming against the stream!
My dyslexia doesn't get in the way as much, because as you say, there is always spellcheck. To be honest, I would be lost without it. However, my ADHD get in my way much more, but both can be quite frustrating. I have always wondered if I should disclose to my bosses (right now I work for a translation agency) because of the stigma and social ignorance that surrounds this issue. For some reason, people seem to think that this is a condition that only affects kids and that it magically goes away as you get older. The truth is that you actually learn to manage the symptoms, but it is always there. The one thing that has helped me is medication and, even though I hate taking it, it is the only way I can actually get anything done!
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P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Interetsing May 15

Interesting thread. I know nothing about dyslexia so I might be putting my foot in it here but presumably it doesn’t exactly put you at an advantage in a profession where you need to be able to read/write/spell absolutely perfectly, and so presumably your dyslexia must be very mild??? I’d be very interested in hearing more about the problems you encounter and how you deal with them.

As for the ADHD, if your employer hasn’t noticed, what’s the problem?


Josephine Cassar
Andrea Gonzalez
expressisverbis
 

Andrea Gonzalez
Local time: 01:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No problem! May 15

I think that awareness is very important, so I have no issues about talking about it. Like I said before, fortunately, there are many tools that are very helpful, and yes, I have to be EXTRA careful when I read so that I don't misread or misunderstand what the source says. It can be quite a challenge.
As for the ADHD, fortunately I take medication, which helps me keep my symptoms in check, but as with everything, some days are better than others and sometimes, even though I take my medicat
... See more
I think that awareness is very important, so I have no issues about talking about it. Like I said before, fortunately, there are many tools that are very helpful, and yes, I have to be EXTRA careful when I read so that I don't misread or misunderstand what the source says. It can be quite a challenge.
As for the ADHD, fortunately I take medication, which helps me keep my symptoms in check, but as with everything, some days are better than others and sometimes, even though I take my medication, I run into trouble with things like procrastination, comprehension (which, by the way, is made worse by my dyslexia), time management, turning my work in on time...and the list goes on.
This is the main reason why I started this thread, and the fact that I haven't been able to find any kind of support that is specific to this profession, which is very demanding for someone like me...
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expressisverbis
 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 02:52
Romanian to English
+ ...
my case May 15

Since I was a young child (I am 68 now), I was not able to pronounce ”R” and all the "R"s in a word were replaced by "L"s. I saw for years a speech therapist and eventually I became able to pronounce the "R", but not like everybody else, by vibrating the tongue. My Rs come from the throat, therefore everybody asks me if I am French. I am able to read and write correctly, but when I am tired, even if I type on my laptop, in stead of "R", I write "L". Funny. Thanks for spellcheck. Lately, I no... See more
Since I was a young child (I am 68 now), I was not able to pronounce ”R” and all the "R"s in a word were replaced by "L"s. I saw for years a speech therapist and eventually I became able to pronounce the "R", but not like everybody else, by vibrating the tongue. My Rs come from the throat, therefore everybody asks me if I am French. I am able to read and write correctly, but when I am tired, even if I type on my laptop, in stead of "R", I write "L". Funny. Thanks for spellcheck. Lately, I noticed missing the "N". Why? Have no clue.

Stay safe,
lee

[Edited at 2020-05-15 20:26 GMT]
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P.L.F.Persio
Andrea Gonzalez
expressisverbis
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:52
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A much-respected colleague and mentor told me she was dyslexic May 17

A colleague I worked with for many years finally told me she was dyslexic, and I was amazed.
She was Danish, lived in the UK and was perhaps the agency's top legal translator. When she translated into English, however, her work had to be proofread by a native speaker, and that was where I came in.

She bore it with patience and humility, like all great translators, and I learned a lot from her. She said she had been fortunate enough to go to a school in Copenhagen that appreci
... See more
A colleague I worked with for many years finally told me she was dyslexic, and I was amazed.
She was Danish, lived in the UK and was perhaps the agency's top legal translator. When she translated into English, however, her work had to be proofread by a native speaker, and that was where I came in.

She bore it with patience and humility, like all great translators, and I learned a lot from her. She said she had been fortunate enough to go to a school in Copenhagen that appreciated how pupils like her were definitely not stupid, and the teachers looked for the latest methods to help them. That was back in the middle of the last century, but it worked.

Over the years my colleague and I discussed a lot of different things - translation, phrasing, this and that. She was loved and respected by many younger colleagues, and she had a lovely sense of humour.

She overcame the dyslexia - there was usually very little to change in her translations, and she had a gift for making even legalese as easy to understand as possible. She was the only person who has ever sent me 20 pages to proofread, with not so much as a comma out of place. Even she only did that once, but she came close many times!

I have a relative who is dyslexic, but is doing well as a highly specialised engineer. It seems to give some people a strength of character that later proves an advantage in problem-solving and creative work. If you can conquer it, you can go far, so best of luck!
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P.L.F.Persio
Andrea Gonzalez
Liviu-Lee Roth
expressisverbis
 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:52
German to English
Support group? May 19

If you are additionally looking to form a kind of support group for translators and interpreters dealing with dyslexia or ADHD, maybe readers here could just send you a private message and you could start a small mailing list amongst yourselves.
If you are open to also including people who are struggling with issues and "symptoms" that are very roughly related to some aspects of ADHD but do not have a medical origin, I would personally be interested in participating in a group like that,
... See more
If you are additionally looking to form a kind of support group for translators and interpreters dealing with dyslexia or ADHD, maybe readers here could just send you a private message and you could start a small mailing list amongst yourselves.
If you are open to also including people who are struggling with issues and "symptoms" that are very roughly related to some aspects of ADHD but do not have a medical origin, I would personally be interested in participating in a group like that, if it were private and not public.
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Andrea Gonzalez
 

Andrea Gonzalez
Local time: 01:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Everyone welcome! May 19

Thanks so much for the idea, Michael. I would LOVE to start some sort of support/refuge group/page (something) where everyone is welcome, but to be honest, I don't know where to start! And yes, I think that making it private would be the best way to go because the most important thing, in my humble opinion, is to create a positive space where we can all feel comfortable and safe and no be exposed to judgment or feel afraid.

That's why I started here. Sometimes I feel like I need som
... See more
Thanks so much for the idea, Michael. I would LOVE to start some sort of support/refuge group/page (something) where everyone is welcome, but to be honest, I don't know where to start! And yes, I think that making it private would be the best way to go because the most important thing, in my humble opinion, is to create a positive space where we can all feel comfortable and safe and no be exposed to judgment or feel afraid.

That's why I started here. Sometimes I feel like I need somewhere to rant and find people who are experiencing similar situations and who can TRULY understand what I'm feeling and going through to find my way to get back on track, and I KNOW that I can't be the ONLY ONE around who is going through this.

Is anyone willing to help me start or find a space specifically for translators who are struggling with, may have, think they could have, have some, many or few symptoms or would just like to help in this sense? Or at least, point me in the right direction?

I really appreciate everyone's openness and willingness to discuss these issues, because I know first hand how difficult it can be to disclose. You have all really helped me to feel better about choosing a career path that is the complete opposite of what the "experts" (most of whom, by the way, do not have ADHD or dyslexia) think are good career choices for us.

[Edited at 2020-05-19 16:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-05-19 16:20 GMT]
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Michael Wetzel
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 07:52
Member (2015)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I have found something, May 21

Andrea Gonzalez wrote:

Is anyone willing to help me start or find a space specifically for translators who are struggling with, may have, think they could have, have some, many or few symptoms or would just like to help in this sense? Or at least, point me in the right direction?



but I don't know if I am allowed to post it here, so my apologies if I am breaking any rules.
I have found a translator who suffers from dyslexia by searching for dyslexic professionals on the Web.
She seems to be a very proactive person.
Perhaps you can reach her, and who knows this can be a good start?
Good luck and don't let dyslexia stop you!
http://j-entranslations.com/translation-and-dyslexia/


Andrea Gonzalez
 

Andrea Gonzalez
Local time: 01:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much! May 24

expressisverbis wrote:

Andrea Gonzalez wrote:

Is anyone willing to help me start or find a space specifically for translators who are struggling with, may have, think they could have, have some, many or few symptoms or would just like to help in this sense? Or at least, point me in the right direction?



but I don't know if I am allowed to post it here, so my apologies if I am breaking any rules.
I have found a translator who suffers from dyslexia by searching for dyslexic professionals on the Web.
She seems to be a very proactive person.
Perhaps you can reach her, and who knows this can be a good start?
Good luck and don't let dyslexia stop you!
http://j-entranslations.com/translation-and-dyslexia/


I will look into it!


expressisverbis
 

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 09:52
English to Romanian
Dyslexia May 25

I don't know of any translators with dyslexia, I only know of a writer with this condition.
Their creative mind is impressive and their command of the English language is great.
But they are also highly interested in getting all the vocabulary and grammar right. So they actively encourage their readers to point out any errors they might encounter.


Andrea Gonzalez
 


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