Perfectionism and Translating Career

Posted On: 3/13/2019


Some researchers say there is adaptive, or ‘healthy’ perfectionism (characterized by having high standards, motivation and discipline) versus a maladaptive, or ‘unhealthy’ version (when your best never seems good enough and not meeting goals frustrates you). In one study of more than 1,000 Chinese students, researchers found that gifted students were more perfectionistic in the adaptive ways. (Maladaptive perfectionists, on the other hand, were more likely to be non-gifted). And while research shows that maladaptive attributes like beating yourself up for mistakes or feeling like you can’t live up to parental expectations make you more vulnerable to depression, some other studies have shown that ‘adaptive’ aspects like striving for achievement have no effect at all or may even protect you.(1)


Theory of Ideas written by Plato (428- 348 B.C.)

I see significant orientation from the Theory of Ideas. According to the theory, physical world is not as real or true, and it is changing all the time. Only absolute, unchangeable Ideas (=forms) are true and timeless, because, those Ideas are perfect and do not change in time. So, Perfection is raised as Ancient Greek Value that should be reflected on 
Ancient Greek architecture, sculpture, army, government etc. in an effort to reach the perfection. It was thought that 'Perfect Social Order' would not change.(2)

Joy of Life

I started my career as English-Turkish legal and business translator. As I mastered in translation around 25 years ago, I clearly remember that at some point of time, I had began to translate as perfect as I could which was a bit different from “just translating”. Because, “just translating” was a heavy and boring job whereas “translation for perfection” was something beyond translation, relating to Joy of Life.

Perfectionism is a knife that cuts one way as mentioned under “maladaptive perfectionists”. We must remain at adaptive, or ‘healthy’ perfectionism which we adore at Greek Art.

In the following years, as Global Operations Manager, I have contacted an enormous number of professional translators of different language couples from 7 continents. Today, I am able to pick the translators who are translating for perfection, thanks to our Vendor Management Platform.


I’d like to claim that the career journey of the translators features similar patterns towards perfectionism, of course in a positive manner.


Author: Volkan Güvenç 
General Coordinator 

at Alafranga Language Solutions