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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: Work-wise, are you as productive now as you were during the first 5 years of your career?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:18
SITE STAFF
Apr 12, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Work-wise, are you as productive now as you were during the first 5 years of your career?".

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Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:18
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
More productive but... Apr 12, 2012

Well, as far as translation work is concerned, I am far more productive (the years of experience count something) but I have to say that all these distractions (social networks visibility, software updating, Web site adjustment, on-line communication channels of any kind, passwords to be written somewhere but then changed, technical questions and tickets for the server provider, new media to send huge documents, share share share...) could really steal a whole day of translation.

I think I can be more productive, but sometimes it is difficult to find the right priorities in this jungle!


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:18
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
More productive per hour but Apr 12, 2012

I definitely can translate more words per hour (with quality at least as good as earlier) but on one hand like Susanna I am prone to distractions and on the other I would not be able to work so many hours per week as I used back than.

S


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:18
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Much more productive now Apr 12, 2012

Mainly due to a much larger organic translation memory (in my brain) but also because I have quicker access to a larger number of reference works, more and better tools and a better idea of what jobs to take on or refuse.

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Noni Gilbert
Local time: 11:18
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Organic TM Apr 12, 2012

As Simon says, the increased "OTM" is a definite plus.

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Teresa Borges
Belgium
Local time: 11:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE NOW! Apr 12, 2012

When I started translating, some 40 years ago, there were no PCs, no Internet, no email, only typewriters, and if you needed to correct your translation, as it always happens, you had to retype that page. Can you imagine how frustrating and time-consuming the whole process could be?

[Edited at 2012-04-12 10:55 GMT]


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 16:18
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Extremely more productive Apr 12, 2012

not only in terms of translations produced per day for more sophisticated hardware and software but also in terms of income I receive because now I have international clients.

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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:18
Member (2003)
German to English
Simon hit on the real key Apr 12, 2012


Simon Bruni wrote:

...a better idea of what jobs to take on or refuse.


More than anything else this is the heart of it... while everyone knows to refuse jobs you're not qualified for, I've learned over time also to reject jobs that I could handle but which (at least for me) are too slow moving. This has increased my earnings-per-hour significantly.

[Edited at 2012-04-12 13:37 GMT]


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:18
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
I hear your pain Apr 12, 2012


Teresa Borges wrote:

When I started translating, some 40 years ago, there were no PCs, no Internet, no email, only typewriters, and if you needed to correct your translation, as it always happens, you had to retype that page. Can you imagine how frustrating and time-consuming the whole process could be?

[Edited at 2012-04-12 10:55 GMT]


Yes. Translation back in the Gold Old Days before the advent of the electric typewriter (gasp!) was a physically hard slog -- very much like digging ditches. I would even say that it probably required even more commitment and dedication than now since EVERYTHING was incredibly painfully slow.

In fact, in reflection, digging ditches now seems like a much softer option.

Sigh...the kids today have got it just so easy.

With all the tools available now, I can spend more time studying and doing background research instead of worrying about how long it's going to physically take me to type a page. Which means that the quality of my work has increased exponentially.

Happy, productive translation!


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:18
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
Larger OTM = ability to focus on better translations Apr 12, 2012


Simon Bruni wrote:

Mainly due to a much larger organic translation memory (in my brain) but also because I have quicker access to a larger number of reference works, more and better tools and a better idea of what jobs to take on or refuse.


Love the phrase "organic translation memory", and Noni's abbreviation, OTM!

Not only am I more productive, but a more efficient OTM often gives me the freedom to see more than one possibility, and to choose the better (more appropriate) one. So, better productivity, and better quality with it.

I would also add that OTMs contain not only TMs, but also a good deal more general and specific knowledge (GENSK, especially for Neilmac!) than the OTM had access to when it first started out. This proves incredibly useful.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Less productive Apr 12, 2012

now that two kids are in the picture. But that's OK. I simply can't work as many hours as I used to, and in the hours I do work, I am likely also getting them ready for school, starting dinner, doing laundry, washing dishes, etc. in between translating and answering client e-mails. Then again, this is a blessing, too, because I get to actually be with my kids a lot and also because it helps my repetitive strain issues when I'm not typing for 8 hours solid.

PS Very recently, my long-time-coming switch to Windows 7, Office 2010 and Wordfast Pro has slowed me down, too, until I really truly learn the ropes. Add to that learning Trados.


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 11:18
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
YRWYS Apr 12, 2012


Allison Wright wrote:

I would also add that OTMs contain not only TMs, but also a good deal more general and specific knowledge (GENSK, especially for Neilmac!) than the OTM had access to when it first started out. This proves incredibly useful.


OK, you got me, I suppose You Reap What You Sow

Back on topic, apart from the GENSK (shouldn't that be GANSK? never mind ...) gained through experience, I reckon I'm more productive (not only because I don't"do" acronyms!) thanks to the variety of software aids available - I am currently finding speech recognition SW a big help to speed up certain types of text, and am using a mix of MT and TM as well, whereas when I started out all I had were 3 CD dictionaries and several on paper...


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Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:18
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is much easier now! Apr 12, 2012


Teresa Borges wrote:

When I started translating, some 40 years ago, there were no PCs, no Internet, no email, only typewriters, and if you needed to correct your translation, as it always happens, you had to retype that page. Can you imagine how frustrating and time-consuming the whole process could be?

[Edited at 2012-04-12 10:55 GMT]


When I started translating in the late eighties I did a lot of automotive manuals with illustrations that had text in them. I had to photocopy the original, cut out the illustrations and paste them onto the printed translation, then I wrote the text of the illustrations, printed it, and pasted it on top of the original text. After that the finished product had to be sent by mail or courier.
I remember my first scanner. It was hand-held and you had to make repeated passes and stitch images together if they were larger than the width of the scanner, it was a hassle, but even that was a great improvement. Now you just copy the image and with two clicks it appears in your translation. I know some of you will say that scanning images is not translating, but I have always tried to deliver a translated page that looks as much as the original as possible, unless I am asked to only translate the text.

Then add the experience, etc, so yes, I am much more productive than I was back then.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A bit puzzled by the question Apr 12, 2012

Other than the extraneous distractions that have been mentioned, it is hard to fathom how any translator's productivity would not grow markedly from one year to the next during the first five years of his or her career (and perhaps increase also for the next 3-5 years) before plateauing at a more or less high level.

So for me, it would be interesting to know the reasoning behind the question.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:18
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
More productive but also... Apr 12, 2012

...I get tired more easily. When I do work, I work fast and efficiently. But I need more breaks than I used to. I am more productive when I enjoy the text. Right now I'm translating a 19,000-word report of a meeting. So much of it is bureaucrat-speak.

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Poll: Work-wise, are you as productive now as you were during the first 5 years of your career?






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