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Poll: Which is the greatest amount of text you've had to retranslate due to any kind of computer issue?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:29
SITE STAFF
Aug 28, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which is the greatest amount of text you've had to retranslate due to any kind of computer issue?".

This poll was originally submitted by Edward Potter

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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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:29
Portuguese to English
+ ...
So glad no one has had to retranslate 30,000+ words! Aug 28, 2008

I had to redo around 1500 words one time, shortly after I switched from PC to Mac. It had nothing to do with the Mac -- it was an open source Word-type program that caused the problem. I translated the text, closed it for the night and planned to do the rest the following day. When I opened the document, around 1500 words that I had translated had simply vanished. I tried everything I could think of to get them back, but to no avail. After that, I bought Microsoft Office for Mac!

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Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 17:29
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Less than 3k-4k words, but a lot more than just words was lost.. Aug 28, 2008

I don't remember the exact number of words, but it was everything I had translated during the day, plus all the DTP I had done.

Every evening, the last thing I do before leaving my desk is to backup all the work that I have done during the day on a different computer. But, alas! One day, just as I was about to do this, the hard drive I was working on failed miserably, never again to be recovered.

Needless to say, I now perform two backups per day

Have a great day!!

Laureana


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:29
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
3000 to 10000 Aug 28, 2008

of a document that required a lot of concentration. However, due to the concentration, I was still in the right frame of mind for a re-write (which turned out loads better given the retrospection). That was the longest I had to do without a TM. I don't suppose lost documents count if you used a TM, or do they?

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:29
Flemish to English
+ ...
+10000 Aug 28, 2008

In 1989, there were not so many backup possibilities as there are today.
Only 5 1/4" diskettes and a small hd.

I was working on a translation of about 100 pages from English>Dutch (part of a 1000-page project of a translation from English>10 different languages).
When I thought the translation was finally finished, it turned out that only 4 pages remained and the rest had been "eaten" by a virus.
The agency asked me to translate the entire 100 pages again during the weekend.
However, it took me three days to deliver. Now, I always backup translations on-line.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Probably about 200 words Aug 28, 2008

I make backups a couple of times a day (more often if I'm working quickly), so I rarely lose a lot of work. Backups are our friends.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
French to English
Curse my enthusiasm for polls Aug 28, 2008

I was so keen to answer, I completely overlooked the fact that this poll comes under my "tempting fate" category, which I usually refuse to answer.

I wonder which 30,000 words are going to so be cruelly wrenched away from me.... (and my back-up)


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 21:29
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
My system to safeguard against redoing Aug 28, 2008

I print every page as soon as done, and whenever I save my work due to an interruption or at the end, I also save it on a ZIP-disc.

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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Check your Word temp file... Aug 28, 2008

Just so happens that last week I was working on a fairly large document, doing edits to my own work, and I inadvertently worked on the backup copy on my USB thumb drive. After several hours of work the drive failed, and the file was completely erased! As you can imagine, edit changes are impossible to reproduce completely, but I noticed Word's .tmp file, and decided to open it. In the past, I have never been able to make much use of what is in these files, but this time, all but my last 10 minutes of work were in the file.

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Mark Nathan  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:29
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
One of the perks of using a CAT tool Aug 28, 2008

I have had files become corrupted, work get lost due to a power cut etc., only to get it back again within a few minutes thanks to the translation memory.

I look forward to the day (is it here already?) when you can work directly from your own TMs that are safely on line somewhere.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:29
French to English
+ ...
Yes, an unsuspected bonus! Aug 28, 2008

Mark Nathan wrote:

I have had files become corrupted, work get lost due to a power cut etc., only to get it back again within a few minutes thanks to the translation memory.



I quite agree - I've been saved on a number of occasions too by my TM. It's a wonder the promoters of CAT tools don't sing the praises of this particular feature more than they do. It certainly hadn't occurred to me quite how useful this would be before I had cause to need it.

I suppose if you actually added your translations to the VTM (in the case of Wordfast), they would still be available to you on-line even if you lost all your own files. I can't do that for reasons of confidentiality, unfortunately, but I suppose it is a possibility if you work on non-sensitive stuff and you're happy to "donate" your translations.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
3000 to 10000 Aug 29, 2008

It was a whole day's work, anyway, that's all I can recall, somewhere in that word range. It was a very primitive computer well over 20 years ago, shuffle 4 1/4 disks back and forth and no hard drive at all.

It blew up the entire file and it could not be recovered so I had to do it all over again. Since then computers have improved and gotten a bit friendlier so I have never had such problems again.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:29
Member (2008)
French to English
Other - I don't remember Aug 29, 2008

I did lose most of a medium job, probably around 5000 words due to a Trados glitch the last time I moved house. I don't remember the details because it was just one more thing among many that went wrong trying to work immediately after moving. I am planning on moving again soon, too, I am going to try to take a few days off completely. Just recently I had a series of power cuts working on a rush job due to severe weather, but I had my autosave on 1 min so I didn't lose anything to speak of. I was also periodically backing up onto a flash drive, and then very carefully removing the drive from the computer so it could not be damaged by a lightning-strike induced power surge. Of course I was in contact with the computer, and would have been damaged myself by a lightning-strike induced power surge, so I don't think it would have mattered. We should get hazard pay.

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:29
Italian to English
+ ...
About 3 hours' work Aug 29, 2008

I voted 500-1500, but it was actually a long revision with a few bits of Italian thrown in (one of my university clients often sends me files like this), which is why I wasn't using a CAT. I'd opened it straight from the email attachment, worked on it, saved it, closed it and went to send it - and couldn't find it. I managed to work out that I must have hit "save" instead of "save as" and so it was still in one of the temporary folders, but then made some mistake when trying to get back to it, and overwrote my revision with the original document - wiping out all of my work.

It's actually one of my major bugbears with MS Office. IMO it should be impossible for the user to save a file in a temporary folder - if you try to, the option "save as" should pop up automatically. Of course, I'm a lot more careful since it happened, but I do still occasionally make the same error with some translation or other and have to rely on my CAT's TM to get me out of trouble.

I also had my hard disk die on me once, but by sweet chance it chose the best possible moment to do it - when I'd just sent the last of the day's jobs to the client and hadn't started on any new work.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:29
Italian to English
+ ...
Joan, why don't you get yourself a UPS? Aug 29, 2008

Joan Berglund wrote:

Just recently I had a series of power cuts working on a rush job due to severe weather, but I had my autosave on 1 min so I didn't lose anything to speak of. I was also periodically backing up onto a flash drive, and then very carefully removing the drive from the computer so it could not be damaged by a lightning-strike induced power surge. Of course I was in contact with the computer, and would have been damaged myself by a lightning-strike induced power surge, so I don't think it would have mattered. We should get hazard pay.


I've got my computer and monitor working through a UPS, as we had a lot of problems with our mains supply a few years back. It sounds like you could do with one too!


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