Poll: How many different translation/proofreading projects do you usually work on at the same time?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Aug 15, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many different translation/proofreading projects do you usually work on at the same time?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nicole Johnson

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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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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 02:08
English to Russian
+ ...
At the same time... Aug 15, 2006

I assume that means jumping back and forth, right? So I voted "only one". I might have 2-3 jobs on my desk but each has its designated place in the food chain and the deadlines are separated at least by a day or two for short ones, and appropriately for the long ones. Sometimes it would be 3-4 presentations for the same meeting, often with interconnected subjects. Well, then it can be said "3-4" because the research for 1 is also good for another one or two. But I would still prefer to count this type of job as "one only".

I absolutely hate really long translation projects that would normally go in parallel with many small ones, they make me sick:-), I do not accept them. 2 to 10 thousand words for a complete deal are my favorites. Plus, I could never devote that much time and effort in advance, such committment would be a terrible phycological burden on me, I'd feel "trapped" and deprived of my freedom! I always make sure that I shall not miss any exciting interpretation assignments and be able to take a couple of days or a week off within a reasonable time interval. I know, this may sound strange and even silly, so this is strictly personal, no recommendations here:-).

[Edited at 2006-08-15 23:44]

[Edited at 2006-08-15 23:45]

[Edited at 2006-08-16 00:01]


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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:08
German to Dutch
+ ...
Basically one, but... Aug 16, 2006

...when working on a project and a regular client comes up with a smaller translation, I often do it in between.
And when working on long-time projects, sometimes running several weeks or even months, I spend 3 or 4 days a week max. on those to have time for other clients as well.
But I usually do not have two jobs "activated" on my computer simultaneously, IMO meaning that I work on one project AT THE TIME.


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:08
Member (2003)
German to English
At the same time? Aug 16, 2006

I answered 4-5 because I understood the question as: how many active assignments do you have working at any given time, but that always includes a couple of long term ones.

If the question was intended as, "assuming today is an average day, how many projects will you work on," then 1-2 max, I don't like flipping between work.


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:08
Italian to English
+ ...
How about proofreading? Aug 16, 2006

For IreneN and avantix: Are you also considering proofing and/or editing jobs in your count? Do you put those in line as well or do you handle those contemporaneously if and when they come up?

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:08
Dutch to English
+ ...
Unfortunate wording ....... Aug 16, 2006

I suspect the question should have read more along the lines of "within a given time period" (e.g. a week) and that the intention was not to create the impression that you have 2-3 files open and are flipping between them at the same time.

From my side I normally have a long(er) project on the go each week but build in time when agreeing deadines to assist my regular clients with smaller/urgent jobs.

I personally find breaking away to a smaller translation/proofreading job during the day helps speeds things along with the larger project as you have no time to get into a rut/waste time etc.

I find having 2-3 jobs on the go within a given time period a more productive way of working.

To paraphrase Irene, each has its designated landing and take-off slot.

D


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:08
Italian to English
+ ...
Clarification Aug 16, 2006

Steven and Deborah understood the question in the way I intended... "at the same time" meaning "at any given time" not "in the moment" (sitting at a computer and actually working--I doubt too many colleagues would flip back and forth between projects). I didn't want to put a specific time period down, because many colleagues have long-term projects or ongoing work that cannot be squeezed into a specific time frame, so I simply phrased the question as "at the same time".

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
uhm... Aug 16, 2006

IreneN wrote:

I assume that means jumping back and forth, right? So I voted "only one". I might have 2-3 jobs on my desk but each has its designated place in the food chain and the deadlines are separated at least by a day or two for short ones, and appropriately for the long ones. Sometimes it would be 3-4 presentations for the same meeting, often with interconnected subjects. Well, then it can be said "3-4" because the research for 1 is also good for another one or two. But I would still prefer to count this type of job as "one only".


Maybe a perception inherent to interpreters? I once asked my mentor, what if you have to do two source languages? And she gave such a self-evident answer, I shut up: "one at a time, you have only one mouth".

Otherwise, I tend to agree: one research serving two or more jobs is practically like doing just one job, unless it's for two clients with different in-house terms.

Otherwise, some of us may have dedicated hours (I used to), whereby one working day always involves at least two jobs.



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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Multitasking.... Aug 16, 2006

Unfortunately/fortunately (?) for me, I have to work with various agencies/customers (usually at least 2 per week), and at least one has a different local time.

So I tend to dedicate mornings to the assignments from the same local time customers/agencies, and afternoons to the later local time customers/agencies.

Also, some customers/agencies tend to send you multiple assignments per day, either short or longer, so I usually have to distribute these according to the "spaces" I have at a given moment....



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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:08
German to Dutch
+ ...
Answers Aug 16, 2006

Nicole Johnson wrote:

Steven and Deborah understood the question in the way I intended... "at the same time" meaning "at any given time" not "in the moment" (sitting at a computer and actually working--I doubt too many colleagues would flip back and forth between projects). I didn't want to put a specific time period down, because many colleagues have long-term projects or ongoing work that cannot be squeezed into a specific time frame, so I simply phrased the question as "at the same time".


If this was meant, my answer should be "5 or more", I guess.
At this moment, for instance, I have 5 short-term translations jobs on hand for delivery 17th, 18th or 21st this month, 1 proofreading job for delivery 22nd and 3 other jobs running one or more days a month over a long period.

For IreneN and avantix: Are you also considering proofing and/or editing jobs in your count? Do you put those in line as well or do you handle those contemporaneously if and when they come up?


The answer above may also answerthis question.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 03:08
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
A help rather than a hindrance Aug 16, 2006

I find that working on three or four different jobs (in the same timeframe) is helpful. They are usually different subjects as well as different formats, e.g. scanned image file, Word, SDLX. I am able to rest my eyes from the scanned document for a while and maneuver in SDLX.

I also like to alternate between different stages in the translation process (translate part of one document then pop out for a stroll, come back and proofread a different document).

Reed


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Ma. Fernanda Blesa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:08
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
diversity please :) Aug 16, 2006

Reed D. James wrote:

I find that working on three or four different jobs (in the same timeframe) is helpful.


yes, I think so, too. In my case, I tend to manage my time better when I'm working on 2 or 3 parallel different projects. And it also helps me not to get bored with longer texts. I suppose all translators must have a taste for diversity, after all, its inherent to our profession, right? (diversity I mean)


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 02:08
English to Russian
+ ...
No, but for a different reason Aug 17, 2006

Nicole Johnson wrote:

For IreneN and avantix: Are you also considering proofing and/or editing jobs in your count?


Hi Nicole,

I do neither. For the last 4-5 years I have N/A for Editing/Proofreading in my resume. I'm getting farther and farther away from generic and occasional jobs and stay with 3 fields - certain aspects of space exploration and oil/gas, and legal around both, primarily oil/gas. I have never done much of E/P anyway - contrary to my firm belief in good translators without formal education in translation or a narrow subject, I also believe that only people with serious technical background can be technical editors. I am pretty good at what I do in my fields:-) but I feel that editing would simply be wrong, moreover, unethical on my part.

On top of all, I hate both editing and proofreading:-).


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