Deformación profesional

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by kuleshov, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. kuleshov Senior Member

    Spain Spanish
    My bilingual dictionary tells me "To be obsessed with one's work".
    I remember Woody Allen in one of his films using the expression
    "professional deformation", perhaps translating from French.
    What do native speakers say?
    An English teacher who can't help correcting their students' mistakes would be an example of "deformación profesional", or a GP who takes your pulse when they handshake.
  2. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    Hello, Kileshov.

    This is quite funny, for I use the same expression in Spanish quite often: "deformación profesional".

    For instance, when one of my friends says: "I went to Los Angeles last month", I authomatically start asking:

    -Did you go via London or via Paris?
    -Did you fly with American Airlines or British Airways?
    -Did you pay a full fare? How was the Economy Class? Did you like the catering?Was there any delay? Where they nice at the front desk? What was the state of you luggage at arrival? How would you rate the service of XXX airline? And so on...

    I suppose you can guess about my work field. Now, that is what I call professional deformation!!!

    Does it have the same meaning for English speakers?

  3. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    I'm struggling to find an accurate translation. One (very informal) translation that springs to mind is anal. Someone who pays unnecessarily excessive attention to detail could be described as being anal. Be careful who you say it to, though.
  4. cristóbal Senior Member

    Haha, "anal" is perfect! However, "professional deformation" doesn't sound familiar to me, and what's more, it sounds rather weird, so, no, it doesn't have the same meaning for me... That said, the best thing I can think of (that's not a bit vulgar) is the translation that the dictionary gives...
  5. funkwalter

    funkwalter Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentina - Spanish

    would it be also possible to say "he is biased by his profession" , please correct me if I'm wrong :)

  6. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    Then it obviously does not mean the same in English than in Spanish. "Deformación profesional" is a tendency to address any subject from your professional point of view, rather than a "neutral" one. For instance, after having specialized in Marketing at college, I find it hard to watch/read an advertisement of any kind from a consumer's point of view only, I always reflect on the marketing strategy, the message, the image, the colours, etc., from a "professional" perspective. I hope that does not account for being "anal". :(
  7. Chaucer Senior Member

    US inglés/español
    occupational idiosincracy
  8. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    I believe this is a Spanish word game that comes from "formación profesional" (this is an educational alternative to high school, for people who doesn't think they will be attending University, so they specialize in a particular job (car mechanic, plumber...)

    So I have the feeling "deformación profesional" comes from that.

  9. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    You are right, Belén, "deformación profesional" started as a joke derived from the term you have explained; however, nowadays it is widely used in the sense I explained above.

  10. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Oh yes, of course, it is widely used, I use it, you use it...I was only explaining where it comes from to give some light into the subject.
  11. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    And very well you did, Belén. I have lost count of the hundreds of things I have learned reading messages like yours! I was only doing a little bit of explaining for Spanish learners, so that they know, not only where the expression comes from, but also the meaning to which it has derived.

    Anyway, if I bothered you I am truly sorry. :)
  12. Luke Member

    U.S. Virgin Islands
    US - English
    Nobody has mentioned "workaholic" yet. It's someone who is addicted to working, like an alcoholic to alcohol.
  13. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    That is a good one, Luke, although when you have "deformación profesional" in Spanish, you don't have to be a workaholic necessarily (I am not, I swear). :)
  14. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca

    No bothers at all LadyB, I apologize as well if I seemed angry or something :)
    As you very well say, the most important is learning!!
  15. Amapolita New Member

    Español / España
    Hello everybody,

    I've learnt today that the expression used in England for "deformación profesional" is "professional training". I hope to have been of help.

    Thank you for all the information you all provide.
  16. superkukito Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Hi Amapolita,

    The term "professional training" means "formación profesional". As they explain earlier in the dialogue, the term "deormación profesional" comes from that term, and is used for those people who take their professional habits outside of their work sphere. It's the first time I write here, but I find this is truly a tricky term...
  17. spanishtoenglish Senior Member

    USA English
    maybe "professional weakness" would work.

    Or a longer explanation, like "That's one of the downsides of working as a XXX."
  18. stagbeetle Senior Member

    Eastern US
    Castillian - Peru
    Hola foro, hace unos días estaba viendo una película española y uno de los personajes dijo, "es un defecto profesional", que tradujeron a "professional defects". ¿Signifíca lo mismo?
  19. Greensleeves New Member

    Argentina Spanish
    I find this expression more accurate. I agree and thank Funkwalter for this.

  20. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
    Personally I don't think 'bias' is the right word here.

    "It's an occupational hazard" would work in some situations.

    You could also say "they're the perks of the job" in the same way you could say "son gajes del oficio", if you see what I mean.

  21. doncarlos Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi, I see this is a very old thread but I've just thought of one that I think might work better:

    "That's the .........(your profession or trade) me", like

    "Sorry, I can't help it, it's the teacher in me"
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  22. spanishtoenglish Senior Member

    USA English
    Thanks, doncarlos, that is a good option!!
  23. Curatica New Member

    I was searching the Internet for a translation of this idiom, which is used in my native language with exactly the same meaning as it is in Spanish or French. Thank you for this solution! It seems excellent to me; that is, it reflects exactly the idea and it is expressed in a beautiful literary manner.

  24. doncarlos Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thank you for thanking! :)
    All the best
  25. aurilla Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Am Eng/PR Spanish
    Been there, too. Same profession. :)
  26. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Yes, the thread was old, and now it's even older, but a student asked me for a non-exact equivalent, but something that could be said in the same situation. I was stumped, and I think yours is a very good option.
    I was in the very same situation a few days ago. A native English speaker and a Spanish person with near-excellent English were having a conversation in English. When the Spanish girl made a minimal mistake, I nearly jumped in, but then excused myself saying that it was only because of "deformación profesional" (I'm a language teacher). It was harder to explain to the native English speaker in words, though she intuitively knew what was wrong with me!
  27. doncarlos Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thank you, Inib, that's encouraging!
  28. nilart New Member

    I know this thread is old and it's been brought back twice but I just came to this same question and was wondering it would be correct to use for example:

    "We, computer engineers, tend to have an opinion just about anything, quirks of the profession..."

    Thanks you :D
  29. spanishtoenglish Senior Member

    USA English
    Hi nilart:
    I like "quirks of the profession." I would change the first part of your statement to something like: "Those of us who are computer engineers tend to have an opinion about just about / pretty much everything, quirks of the profession."

  30. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
    Correct, yes, but surely a strategic error. Why are you implying that computer engineers are more likely to have opinions about everything than other people, and why should that, true or not, have anything at all to do with the nature of the job, 'quirk' or not?

    You are in danger of sounding smug, arrogant, or just a little.... disconnected from reality.

    "We computer engineers tend to see everything in hex/in binary/as on or off/in terms of objects/as nodes/as a web of connections/etc. It's something that comes with the job."

    "As computer engineers we tend to see........" would probably be less confrontational.


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