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Poll: Could you work without a computer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:55
SITE STAFF
Jan 15, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Could you work without a computer?".

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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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
GIGO Jan 15, 2007

How can people that are not using computers select the option "I do not use a computer" in an Internet poll?

Siegfried


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 18:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oldies but... Jan 15, 2007

I HAVE worked without a computer.



If, for whatever reason, I had to translate without a PC, yes, I would do it (would probably charge more).

Two years ago, a client contacted me by telephone. He wanted me to translate HIGHLY confidencial documents. (No problem, I replied. I will sign an NDA). "Not enough," he said, "I will go to your office and will hand deliver the document and you will not use a computer." Client wanted me to deliver a handwritten translation, which I did.

I was really surprised by the request, but when I started translating (wow...) I understood. That was really confidential stuff. (To be honest, I couldn't wait to get rid of the document. )

Au


[Editado a las 2007-01-15 19:27]


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Of course Jan 15, 2007

Any ATA-certified translator is obviously capable of working without a computer, since the tests are conducted in longhand without the use of electronic devices.

Throughout my university training as a translator in the 1980s, I drafted my translations in ballpoint pen and then typed them up on an electric typewriter.

I've used work processors for translations since the late 1980s, and Trados only since 2003.


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Chantal Kamgne  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:55
Member (2006)
English to French
Could I use any other tool than a computer? Jan 15, 2007

No. Since I graduated from university, I do not remember having had to handwrite anything (that is, if I ever knew it before - my handwriting was illegible). my generation has not been introduced to typewriters and I am not an interpreter, so...

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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 22:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
been there, done that Jan 15, 2007

I *could*, because I've done it before (back in the pre-PC days when I wrote things out by hand and then typed them on an electric typewriter)--but I wouldn't want to do it again, so I said NEVER. I'd refuse any job that required it.

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:55
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Is there a version of Trados for paper pad? Jan 15, 2007

Thanks for this poll! I reckon we do need a lot of things to be able to do our usual work. Lack of any of them could easily take us out of business. Here are the main ones, in order of importance:
1) Electricity
2) Computers
3) Local area networks
4) Internet
5) CAT tools
6) Google
7) Phone/mobile phone
8) USB memories
9) "Ergonomic" keyboards
10) A gallon of latte coffee per week
11) Five gallons of mineral water per week

Would we exist in case we could only use a typewriter, pens, paper, eraser/liquid eraser, and the phone? Probably, but with 10% of our current translation volumes.

Translating without a computer... well, yes, we'll do it, but only if everybody commutes to work on a donkey...


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:55
Italian to English
Work, yes. Survive, no. Jan 15, 2007

I would imagine that most of us can do the business on paper or computer at more or less the same speed, although I would certainly be more accurate in the long run with my translation memories and search engines available as well as my traditional, paper-based assistance.

But the hugely reduced turn-around times that computers have brought us by eliminating the menial side of our work - no more Tippex (white-out for Americans); no more stuffing sheets of paper into jiffy bags/padded envelopes and queuing at the Post Office when you can email everything in a few seconds - in effect means that I could not work fast enough to make a living without a computer and internet access.

Average rates per word have gone down over the past decade or two (I mention this in case anyone hasn't noticed). This doesn't bother me at all because I can deliver much more product per hour now than I ever could in the 1980s. Thanks to computers and CATs, my consistency has improved as well.

So yes I could work without a computer but why should I?

FWIW

Giles


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:55
English to Arabic
+ ...
Another related interesting question would be... Jan 15, 2007

...Could you work without the internet?

But that's really the subject of another poll.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I answered "Never", but of course I COULD Jan 15, 2007

Giles Watson wrote:

I would imagine that most of us can do the business on paper or computer at more or less the same speed, although I would certainly be more accurate in the long run with my translation memories and search engines available as well as my traditional, paper-based assistance.

But the hugely reduced turn-around times that computers have brought us by eliminating the menial side of our work - no more Tippex (white-out for Americans); no more stuffing sheets of paper into jiffy bags/padded envelopes and queuing at the Post Office when you can email everything in a few seconds - in effect means that I could not work fast enough to make a living without a computer and internet access.

Average rates per word have gone down over the past decade or two (I mention this in case anyone hasn't noticed). This doesn't bother me at all because I can deliver much more product per hour now than I ever could in the 1980s. Thanks to computers and CATs, my consistency has improved as well.

So yes I could work without a computer but why should I?

FWIW

Giles


I agree entirely with Giles. I could work without a computer and produce everything by hand - heaven knows, we had to when we sat exams in an examination room, didn't we? And back in the Stone Age, I even typed translations on a MANUAL typewriter and sent them to the client by POST, but these days almost all clients want the work by email and FAST. And computers have taken the tedious labour of typing out of the job - it's bliss compared to how things used to be, believe me!

Jenny Forbes.


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joanna_j
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:55
English to Polish
+ ...
:) Jan 15, 2007

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:

How can people that are not using computers select the option "I do not use a computer" in an Internet poll?

good point

To put it shortly I can't imagine working without the computer at all ...


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:55
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sure ;-) Jan 15, 2007

I believe I'm among a small minority of translators that would know how to cut a quill pen and use it, so if computers (and typewriters, ball point pens, fountain pens and metal dip pen) ever go out of fashion and we return to the good auld days, I'm all set up.

Seriously? I started with a typewriter, but would not go back.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:55
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
The options don't cover it all Jan 15, 2007

I put "yes, easily", since I did so from 1953 to 1991; however, "yes, but not easily" would have been nearer the truth. I would not like to have no way of correcting my work apart from Tippex and correction papers, and I would hate to lose Google, Multitran, and perhaps most of all, ProZ! Yes, I could do it, but I'm glad no-one is likely to ask me to do it.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never Jan 15, 2007

Was my answer from the standpoint of today. but I worked with pencil and paper for over 15 years, so yes, I CAN do it.

I suppose I could go back to it, too, just like I could give up my vehicle and cell phone if everyone else went back to riding donkeys and using smoke signals. But they're not about to do it, so neither am I.


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:55
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Work with All India Radio... no choice Jan 16, 2007

Hi,

Guess it might sound strange but it's true. In spite of the fact that All India Radio has really good computers and other machines. And they've recently upgraded all their informatics systems. Still they insist that all translations should be handwritten in their premises.

And the test to qualify as an AIR translator is "Without Dictionaries" !!!

I tried requesting them to send matter by e-mail but they've refused. Strange as it is written on a computer so why not make our lives easier by sending us by e-mail especially when one can go and record it later (in case it's for the weekend). It's interesting but...

Anyways, Government of India still insists on printed invoices with revenue stamps!!!

It just shows their lack of belief in these systems... anyways, I don't believe that what I translated was confidential because it was broadcast on the radio

Regards,

Ritu


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