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Off topic: Cursed project? Has anybody had these before?
Thread poster: Burrell

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:38
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
May 2, 2007

This is my first "cursed" project and if it had not happened to me I probably would not have believed it.
I was sent a project by an old client. The first translator had cut her hand while translating and could not continue with it so the original deadline had to be moved so I picked it up from where she left it. On the morning when I had to deliver it my laptop crashed, I had to restart it and when I tried opening the file .... it was gone. The only trace left was a tmp file. How is that possible? I saved and closed the file before restarting it! And yet it was gone. I did have almost all of it in my translation memory however I many some changes without opening translation units as it was quicker that way. So I had to go over it again.
The same day the agency (client) lost all communications they had - Internet, phone. So they could not send me answers to my queries I had sent earlier so I could not finish the project.
Next day when they finally managed to get online and when I sent in cleaned and uncleaned files it turned out the uncleaned file was... partially cleaned! The part which was translated by the first translator was in fact cleaned while the part I translated was not cleaned. The file I cleaned was fine though.
At the moment I am very curious if proofreader will meet some obstacles as well.
Maybe somebody else can share a story of their "cursed" projects.

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Tatiana Neamţu
Local time: 04:38
English to Romanian
+ ...
I've had one such project ... May 2, 2007

I can share my experience. It was a 50 pages English-Romanian translation. I did not use a CAT Tool, it was an essay for an end client from Romania. When I finally finished it (the deadline was tight) I renamed the file - stupid idea- and when I tried to open it just before sending it, there was nothing there. One blank page. Pretty stupid. It was 10 o'clock p.m. I called an IT friend and we worked until 1 o'clock a.m. He downloaded several programs from the Internet; File Scavanger finally got all my temporary files for a week or so behind. And there it was. The problem was more complicated, because I didn't have the option of saving backup files checked. So I never had any temps or anything of the sort. I managed to deliver the file at 1,30 o'clock a.m. and promised to God and myself I shall never work that much on so short deadlines. It had all happened because I was extremely tired ...:)

[Editat la 2007-05-02 13:08]

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
Italian to English
+ ...
What was it about? May 2, 2007

Something spooky or completely mundane?

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Local time: 03:38
English to Serbian
+ ...
Story of my life! May 2, 2007

I specialize in rush jobs and, as a freelancer, my clients' further recommendations are what brings me business. So, I have to be very careful to deliver translations checked, proofread, and on time. Computer glitches, bad connections and lack of sleep are all constant problems. I used to shake over my PC when anything went wrong, but after eight yrs at this, I've learned a thing or two. As lack of sleep and R&R time are present in any job these days, if anything goes wrong - take a break. Seriously, take five, brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee, then take a breath, sit down to your PC again and solve the problem calmly. From personal experience, trust me - if you panic, one mistake will lead to another and so on. Good luck!

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Francis Kastalski  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:38
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I had something of the kind May 3, 2007


Yes i had something like those situations you guys mentioned. Fortunately everything was fixed at the end...but it exhausted me a great deal.

Just a word on backups, with the aim of saving a heart attack:

I am not fond of backups for they usually turn into highly time-consuming tasks. The last time i carried out a backup was a year ago. Presently, however, i make use of a very rudimental, though effective tool: i usually send an email to my email account - webmail account - at the end of the day. It is also true that i do not 'run' these backups everyday, but i do it very often. Specially if what is concerned is a biiiiiig project.


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Noha Kamal, PhD.  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Always happens at the end! May 3, 2007

The problem is that such annoying mishaps always tend to happen by the end of projects right before delivery time! I remember I had to redo literally "all over again" a Gilmore Girls episode and a movie which I do not quite recall now. The problem is that temp files could be pretty useless. You have them right there before your eyes. Yet, you either cannot open them, or you open them and they are the identical copy of the cursed file

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Marion Lurf  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:38
English to German
+ ...
Power supply May 9, 2007

Interesting topic!

Even though I have not experienced any major crashes or data losses so far, I wanted to share a rather funny story with you:

A few weeks ago I translated a website about power supplies - on my laptop instead of the PC, for a change. All of a sudden, as I was happily typing away, my very own power supply of the laptop died!!! How ironic. Luckily I was able to buy a new one the next day. In addition to that, my laptop shut down due to overheating just as I had finished writing my delivery email, so I had to type everything again. (Not to mention all the "usual" problems of not being able to clean the .ttx file and having to run the Word file through the TM again...)
All in all, I found this experience quite amusing - as long as my car doesn't break down with all the automotive texts I translate!

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