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Poll: Do you accept handwritten documents for translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:30
SITE STAFF
Feb 12, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept handwritten documents for translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Joan Berglund

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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Oleg Osipov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:30
English to Russian
+ ...
From local clients Feb 12, 2009

Basically, I accept them from some local clients.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Prefer not to Feb 12, 2009

... but sometimes it can't be avoided. For example, certain documents for sworn translation need to be handled as seen and certified as such.

[Edited at 2009-02-12 15:28 GMT]


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:30
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Imagine if ... Feb 12, 2009

Doctor's typed their medical notes .... or notaries .....
Life could be so much sweeter ....


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:30
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Only if it's easily readable, or if I can get help Feb 12, 2009

I have an arrangement with a native Russian speaker whose sister and mother are both doctors, so with his and their aid, I can usually cope even with doctors' handwriting. In return, I proofread his translations into English.

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:30
French to English
+ ...
Goes with the territory Feb 12, 2009

I do get some handwritten doctors' notes occasionally. French doctors' handwriting tends to be slightly less awful than British doctors', but only slightly. I try to make sure I charge by the hour, a.k.a. danger money.

Thankfully, though, it doesn't happen very often.


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Barbara Turchetto  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
German to Italian
+ ...
I generally do Feb 12, 2009

Of course it does not happen very often, but sometimes even typed documents have some handwritten notes. Before accepting I make sure I can easily read the handwriting!

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 19:30
English to French
+ ...
Depends Feb 12, 2009

Some of the documents I get have handwritten notes... I don't leave them out!

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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:30
Member (2005)
French to English
It depends how badly they're handwritten Feb 12, 2009

I think PDFs are worse

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Constanze Deus-Konrad
Germany
Local time: 19:30
French to German
+ ...
it depends Feb 12, 2009

If I can't read it, I refuse - as simple as that

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Constanze Deus-Konrad
Germany
Local time: 19:30
French to German
+ ...
yes, indeed Feb 12, 2009

IanDhu wrote:

I think PDFs are worse


Oh yes, of course, especially if they contain many figures, tables and bad fax copies! aaargh


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:30
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
One of my specialities Feb 12, 2009

Pre-20thC handwritten documents.

Prior to the 20th C, you get broad trends in handwritten scripts instead of individual, idiosyncratic scripts, or doctors' notes (shudder). Once you get used to the handwriting from a certain period, it is fairly easy. And the texts tend to be personal letters, church records, etc, which can be interesting in themselves. And a nice change from operating manuals.

pdf files can be bad, but I hate seeing what OCR tries to do to Fraktur... I'd rather have a pdf/xerox at that point.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 13:30
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
I always like a challenge Feb 12, 2009

I confess that I like the challenge of deciphering chicken scratches that remotely resembles someone's handwriting. And written documents are usually Mexican, and they are usually letters or notes to different United States welfare agencies.

I especially enjoy translating these documents when I have a little extra time because a person's handwriting tells a lot about his or her personality, and these particular documents tell a story about a family's life. I am happy to know that I am helping out in what is usually a difficult situation.


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:30
Member (2009)
French to English
Maybe I'm crazy Feb 12, 2009

I actually enjoy working with handwritten documents, although I am even *more* thankful that I do not handle medical translation when I think about deciphering a doctor's handwriting. I am usually pretty good at reading people's handwriting, so I think it gives me a strategic advantage. When something is handwritten, it is often the only way that the information contained is available. Translation always involves discovery, but handwritten documents can hide some rare gems.

That being said, I agree that I usually do charge a bit extra for the time involved in transcribing. While I enjoy deciphering the handwriting, I cannot say the same for trying to work with poor quality copies. I do have to be able to tell the white pixels from the grey in order to work!

-Jenn


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Elena Novski  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:30
Partial member
Russian to English
+ ...
Not Any More Feb 12, 2009

I used to, in pre-computer era - these days, however, no one asks me to! even medical reports are up to the mark

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