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Poll: Is a second monitor necessary for translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:01
SITE STAFF
Jul 29, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Is a second monitor necessary for translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Yaotl Altan

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:01
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Not necessary, but some may find it advantageous Jul 29, 2008

As I have been translating for many years, but only acquired a second monitor a few months ago, I certainly can't say it's "necessary", as I managed well enough for a long time without one. But now that I have it, I think it makes things a lot easier to be able to have full screen displays of the source text and my target text alongside each other. It's very easy to switch between them.
I still occasionally have to work from a source text on paper, and the second screen is even a help with that. I stick the paper up over the second monitor screen, which is an easier position to work from than flat on my desk where I used to have it!
Others prefer working on a split screen of normal size; someone was also posting in a forum recently about the benefits of really large single monitors, 22" and more.
So I like mine, but de gustibus non est disputandum.


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:01
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanx for sharing Jul 29, 2008

Thanx for sharing this poll.

My answer was No.

I have a desk with the basic things I use: some dictionaries, the phone and the source text. Nothing else.

I think a high RAM is necessary to run properly a word processor and a speech recognition system (or TRADOS for those who use it). Sometimes I don't need the on-line dictionary as I use an Excel-based dictionary with the most frequently used terms in my fields. I've been collecting tohse terms through years and it speeds up term researchs.

I consider the need of a second monitor a created need for translators unless translators need a lot of video requirements which consume too many RAM (more than TRADOS) and and intensive exploitation of our PC processor. Digital cinema?? Graphic designers?? Cartoons and animation designers?? Some guys focused on dubbing?? Yes, I agree. But not the typical translator. What about portability when translators need to go out? Do they take along their second monitor too?

I use a 17" monitor and it's enough to me. A second monitor would increase our visual range and I guess our eyes and neck would reflect so much movements resulting in pain. Most of the time, we just need to order our desks. If there's no order, then all the monitors found in the CNN facilities won't suffice our needs. Two or more monitors could be a headache as we see in the following image:



But, I agree with Jack. Some would like it, some would not.

[Edited at 2008-07-30 13:42]


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 21:01
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Secondary use of secondary monitor Jul 29, 2008

Loved Jack's practicality:

"I still occasionally have to work from a source text on paper, and the second screen is even a help with that. I stick the paper up over the second monitor screen, which is an easier position to work from than flat on my desk where I used to have it!"

But I prefer my lovely wooden "atril" on aesthetic grounds....

Whoops, sorry, atril = book stand (or music stand in another context) in Spanish.


[Edited at 2008-07-29 16:33]


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Heike Reagan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2004)
German to English
Not necessary - but nice Jul 29, 2008

I've worked with a "normal" (one) monitor for several years. Earlier this year, my husband gave me a "double wide" monitor and I LOVE IT! It makes things sooooo much easier. So - it's not neccessary, but it sure made work a lot nicer for me!

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Lise Smidth  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 21:01
German to Danish
+ ...
not necessary... Jul 29, 2008

... but it makes life much easier

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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:01
German to Dutch
+ ...
Very convenient Jul 29, 2008

As said: not absolutely necessary but very convenient.

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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 21:01
English to German
+ ...
Not necessary Jul 29, 2008

I say no, but it might be convenient, if you really know how to handle it, and I am too busy to have time to learn such things.

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Otmar Lichtenwörther  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 21:01
English to German
+ ...
What is absolutely necessary is ALWAYS up to you Jul 29, 2008

Of course, a second monitor isn't really a must. I agree with that. For me, one had been fine for years. But since I bought a really big 22" bastard and plugged it to my laptop my work has indeed become a little bit easier and I'm not really willing to do without it anymore. Full stop.

[Edited at 2008-07-29 21:00]


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Otmar Lichtenwörther  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 21:01
English to German
+ ...
Er, too busy to learn how to handle a second monitor?? Jul 29, 2008

Rolf Kern wrote:

I say no, but it might be convenient, if you really know how to handle it, and I am too busy to have time to learn such things.


Well, this is a weird point of view as there's no need to learn anything. Your work space is larger, you needn't switch so much between windows - that's more or less it. No learning effort involved.


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Luciana E. Lovatto  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:01
English to Spanish
Maybe Jul 29, 2008

Although I have a 19” monitor, I wish I had one more sometimes. In some projects when you have to work with PDF as a reference a second monitor would be a treasure.

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Esempi  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
Chinese to English
Now a luxury.... Jul 29, 2008

I was saving my pennies for a second monitor (I currently have a 22" monitor), but a recent switch to Ubuntu has made the need less urgent. The ability to switch back and forth between workspaces (i.e., complete virtual desktops) really makes life easier. I keep a browser on one desktop, dictionaries on another, and XP open in VMware on a third for any MS-dependant software (like CAT programs). In all, I keep 4-6 desktops open at any one time.

I would still like another monitor, but now I need to scratch my head to think of a good reason to justify buying one.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:01
German to English
+ ...
I know peers with three or more Jul 29, 2008

With a CAT tool on the right (depicted in the background of the right screen here) you have two "working columns". With an extra monitor on the left, you can go wherever you want or need to.



With a stolen Leonardo on the wall a little higher up, you can sit back now and then to relieve back, neck and eye strain.

Paper originals? Sorry, I don't do them. Paper is for proofreading.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:01
English to Polish
Other Jul 29, 2008

I would not speak for translators, I can only speak for myself, and it's not necessary for me. But others have other method of work and may find it necessary.


Anni


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sometimes Jul 30, 2008

Now that I have a laptop I can place it in front of my desktop computer. I have raised the desktop's monitor so the bottom of the screen is about 11" above the desk, and in that space I normally put a clipboard with paper documents. I translate a lot of those, including legal size, which does not fit that 11" space well but I get by.

I have also found that if someone sends me an image, especially one of those that can be seen on the screen but not printed too well, I can put it up on the desktop monitor and then work on the translation below on the laptop.

In all cases when not working directly on an electronic file, my source text and target are strictly up and down. To go from side to side would be a killer on the neck, so it's all up and down.


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