The best feedback I ever received was in response to a translation for a new agency several years ago. The proofreader had a problem with the terminology I had used, explaining that the most authoritative reference in this field was this particular lexicon which I had obviously not used. I was fairly new to the field, so I immediately went out and got my hands on this holy grail of terminology, which has been a life-saver on more than a few occasions since. So even though the critique stung a bit, I am grateful for it because it told me something I really needed to know in a straightforward, non-offensive way.
As a translator, I owe a huge debt to more experienced colleagues who have taken the time to give those behind them some pointers for the road ahead. If it wasn’t for your blogs, articles, forum posts, webinars and consultation sessions I might still be under the impression that bidding for 100,000-word jobs at miniscule rates is the only option for translators these days. I’m not sorry it took me a while to learn these things; it’s been a pretty colorful journey so far and I figure it’s when you start thinking that you’re too old to learn that it’s time to retire.
So do you have to be just a little bit OCD to succeed as a translator? Not to make light of the actual disorder, but I’ve wondered more than once, while triple-checking a term I’ve translated before but can’t say for absolutely sure will fit in this exact context, how obsessive you have to be, or rather, how non-obsessive you can get away with being and still deliver a quality translation.