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Poll: Would you still be a translator without the aid of the Internet & PC?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:38
SITE STAFF
Aug 25, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you still be a translator without the aid of the Internet & PC?".

This poll was originally submitted by Manuel Martín-Iguacel

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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Sundar Gopalakrishnan
India
Local time: 00:08
English to Tamil
+ ...
Why do you need PC and Internet? Aug 25, 2008

No need for PC and Internet. If you have pen and paper, you could become a translator.

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Αlban SHPΑTΑ  Identity Verified
Albania
Partial member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
:) Aug 25, 2008

Let me try to put this differently:

Hey, would you still be an electrician, had electricity not been invented?:)

Just kidding, I just wanted to show how depended we all have become on internet and computers. I would definitely be a translator, certainly not even 10% as productive as I am with my dear gadgets. I hate handwriting, and typewriters are not very practical. I would probably invest in becoming a very good interpreter. That doesn't require much handwriting does it.


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:38
Spanish to English
No Choice in the matter Aug 25, 2008

The chances of finding a millionaire who will keep me ran out a long time ago.

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:38
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Of course! Aug 25, 2008

I have been one for 38 years with neither, then with PC only for five years, then with both for 12 years. But it's certainly a lot easier with than without. I recall the days of Tippex fluid and papers for corrections with no great enthusiasm. They were also the days when if you made quite a minor omission or error, you might have to retype a whole page or more in order to produce copy which you could post off by snailmail (no emails in those days of course). Sometimes you would have to take pages to a print shop to get copies made (few translators had their own copiers then, they were much too bulky and expensive), because a copy would not show all the glaring white blobs of Tippex disfiguring the page.
And of course, your reference material meant only the collection of paper dictionaries and reference books on your own shelves, with maybe a visit to the library occasionally to look something up in an encyclopedia.
So even though they were also the days before spam and computer crashes, no, I wouldn't want to go back to them; but I'm sure I would still be translating even without these modern conveniences.

[Edited at 2008-08-25 14:53]


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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:38
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Was before, would still be Aug 25, 2008

I became a translator in the mid-70's, before PCs and the internet. Dictated onto tape, had it transcribed and then edited (slightly) and delivered.

Primitive, but the best there was then.

Things are better now. Editing is much simpler and the texts can be more consistent.

Now I dictate onto the PC, edit it more extensively as required, do more research. All in all, I can now offer a better product due to the technology.

Enjoyed the job then, still enjoy it.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Aug 25, 2008

The answer is yes, because I was a translator without the aid of the Internet & PC for about half my career starting in 1971. No need to repeat what Jack says, his career and mine are about the same. I've gone througn it all except for the typing. I always worked with pencil and paper and someone else always typed it, I am a terrible typist.

Of course now that everyone else has Internet & PC, I must have the same also in order to compete. I don't mind it at all.


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Luciana E. Lovatto  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
English to Spanish
Of course, I would Aug 25, 2008

Internet & PC are only tools that shorten the distance between clients and translators, and among colleagues themselves, and also they help reduce the time it would take to handwrite a document, or to open one your reference books or dictionaries to look up a word.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:38
Italian to English
+ ...
No idea Aug 25, 2008

I came in through the back door, as it were, having gained experience in another industry, and then quite by chance learned a second language and moved to another country. It was a combination of circumstance and opportunity. I think it's unlikely that I'd be a translator in a world without PCs and the internet, as I probably wouldn't have considered it as a possible career. But really I have no idea. Certainly I take my hat off to those of you who did it in the old days - the terminology problems alone must have been horrendous.

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xxxSaifa
Local time: 20:38
German to French
+ ...
Of course! Aug 25, 2008

I began in 1992... And what do I do when I have a to finish work and there is a power cut during a couple of hours? Take a pencil, a sheet of paper and work only with paper dictionnaries.

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:38
English to Spanish
... Aug 25, 2008

Without the Internet, definitely yes.

Without a PC, probably not, since it is doubtfull that I would be able to write by hand or even on a typewriter due to health problems.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:38
English to Spanish
True Aug 25, 2008

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

think it's unlikely that I'd be a translator in a world without PCs and the internet, as I probably wouldn't have considered it as a possible career. But really I have no idea. Certainly I take my hat off to those of you who did it in the old days - the terminology problems alone must have been horrendous. [/quote]

On the other hand , I can't help but wonder if deadlines were longer (no to say "more reasonable") back then... it seems that the perceived inmediacy of the Internet is one of the factors that feed some clients' harebrained expectations.


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:38
English
+ ...
with Jack and Henry Aug 25, 2008

I'm in the same category as Jack and Henry because I already WAS a translator sometime before PCs became practically useful and long before the Internet was even thought of. I checked terms in dictionaries and various resources (painstakingly collected, here and there, over years and years), wrote everything out by hand and, if need be, had someone else retype it. The Internet simply increases our access to resources and the PCs make the job somewhat easier but I'd be a translator with or without them.

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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:38
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No way! Aug 25, 2008

I was trained on computers in a newsroom back in the early 1970s, so I've never done much of anything on a typewriter or by hand. It would absolutely drive me nuts to have to use whiteout, retype pages, NOT HAVE PROZ, or Google, and other stuff like that!

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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:38
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Too naughty a question, this one! Aug 25, 2008

Of course!
What about clay tablets or animal skins? Who would stop us?


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