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Poll: How many words (non-technical) do you feel happy translating in a day (8 hours)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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Mar 11, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many words (non-technical) do you feel happy translating in a day (8 hours)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Frances Bramer

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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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
This confirms (again!).... Mar 11, 2007

That this US agency hiring Argentine translators for 800USD/month to translate 3,500/day is @":%¿Ç!ª_.:¿!!!

Useful poll. Thank you!

Au (1,500 - 2,000 final quality that makes me happy... or as happy as a translator can feel )

[Edited at 2007-03-11 14:17]


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Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 01:37
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
As they say: we may be happy or ... happy Mar 11, 2007

I am really happy when I can translate 3000 words a day. That makes me proud: yesssss!!! I did it! Especially when the rate adds up to that happiness.

Sometimes a tricky text brings that figure down to 1000 words. A lot tends to depend on the text. The last one I did contained 7-9 line sentences written by an expert in cubism and futurism, and the deadline was pretty tough. So the usually comfortable 1500/ day suddenly became a real challenge...
Conclusion: Einstein was right, everything is relative


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
My be... Mar 11, 2007

I misunderstood the poll?

Does happy here mean 'comfortable' or does it imply: well, boy, I was able to do it'? (the latter implying a special effort).

I am 'happy' when I deliver final good quality after a normal working day (because I know I have worked under my own standards and was able to produce the best possible translation. [OK, if I go over the translation I will make adjustments to it, you know what I am talking about]).

Every time that -for different reasons- I am 'obliged' to deliver more words than my average (1,500- 2,000), the feeling I have after clicking on the SEND icon is more related to satisfaction and relief than to happiness.


Au (under mouse arrest on a Sunday)


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Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
How...? Mar 11, 2007

I simply can't believe no one translating 4000+ words a day.

How do they do it?

On my side, I have to take my time to think and rethink what am I doing, and doing it well!

My average: not more than 1500 a day (non-technical) and that makes me feel good.

My question: how do they... how can they??

Any advice, please??

Tadzio


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 17:37
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
+ 4000 - Quality Mar 11, 2007

Tadzio Carvallo wrote:

I simply can't believe no one translating 4000+ words a day.

How do they do it?

On my side, I have to take my time to think and rethink what am I doing, and doing it well!

My average: not more than 1500 a day (non-technical) and that makes me feel good.

My question: how do they... how can they??

Any advice, please??

Tadzio


This is just my guess, but I would tend to thik that the more the translated words per day the less the quality of the work. I would not mind an outsourcer telling me that he/she can only do 1500 words a day than 4000...It's just a gut feeling...


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Calculations Mar 11, 2007

According to my calculations, on an ideal day I can do about 2800. That's a 350-word page, 1 page an hour for 8 hours.
That figure varies according to many, many factors. Even non-technical translations can involve looking up words, faulty original texts that baffle you, technical problems (computer, etc) that can really slow work down and on and on the list goes.
As for people who can do 4,000 words a day, I suppose they're experts on the subject and have great experience, use CAT, etc.


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Frances Bryce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:37
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Quality over quantity Mar 11, 2007

I'm glad to see it's not just me who seems to think somewhere between 1500 - 2500 words a day is reasonable, depending on the text.

I would far prefer know that a 1500 piece is perfect (checked, double-checked and even triple-checked if need be) when I press the send button, rather than whizz through 3000 words in the same time but feel rather 'nervous' after sending it off. That really doesn't make sense to me (or help the stress levels).

I generally do not take on work from agencies who somehow expect super-fast turnaround times.


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Me neither... Mar 11, 2007

Tadzio Carvallo wrote:

I simply can't believe no one translating 4000+ words a day.

How do they do it?




However, if I could translate more than 4000 words in 8 hours, I would definitely be happy, and that was the word used in the poll...

David


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Agua  Identity Verified
Spain
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree with John Cutler Mar 11, 2007

Hello,

Although personally I do not usually reach 4,000 words, I do know at least a translator who, without a CAT tool, does at least that amount per day, polished, good translations.

The secret? Those are mostly steel industry texts in which he is an expert, only needs to check one every three thousand words (approx.) and the texts deal with processes he has seen or experienced first hand.

Of course, for other texts, the amount would be much less.

Best,

Mar


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
4000 + Mar 11, 2007

Tadzio and Roberto wonder how, and I can't say how, but I do it and yet much more (in an 8 hour period), even for difficult work such as legal documents. The only things that can slow me down are difficult formats, technical (computer-related) problems and interruptions.

The daily figure actually goes much higher because with large projects I do marathon sessions, much more than 8 hours. I work well under pressure and have discovered that my quality increases under such circumstances.

I have interpreted solo for up to nine and one half hours non-stop and have been able to remain intelligible, though believe me, it is extremely tiring. I have been able to develop very good concentration over long periods of time and that helps a lot.

Of course I also get plenty of respite from work because I don't need to spend all my time working to make a living. The sooner I get the work done, the sooner I can kick back.

All I can say is that it takes years of hard work.

And I might add: NO CAT TOOLS. Never.

[Editado a las 2007-03-11 17:53]


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:37
German to Polish
+ ...
Does an 8-hours-day really exist? Mar 11, 2007

I know at-least-12-hours-days only...

Regards

Andrzej


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:37
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Me too Mar 11, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

Tadzio and Roberto wonder how, and I can't say how, but I do it and yet much more (in an 8 hour period), even for difficult work such as legal documents. The only things that can slow me down are difficult formats, technical (computer-related) problems and interruptions.

The daily figure actually goes much higher because with large projects I do marathon sessions, much more than 8 hours. I work well under pressure and have discovered that my quality increases under such circumstances.

I have interpreted solo for up to nine and one half hours non-stop and have been able to remain intelligible, though believe me, it is extremely tiring. I have been able to develop very good concentration over long periods of time and that helps a lot.

Of course I also get plenty of respite from work because I don't need to spend all my time working to make a living. The sooner I get the work done, the sooner I can kick back.

All I can say is that it takes years of hard work.

And I might add: NO CAT TOOLS. Never.

[Editado a las 2007-03-11 17:53]


I'm the same as you, Henry. The question said "non-technical" texts. I've been at it for many years and am pretty familiar with my special subjects. Of course I, too, am slowed down by complicated layouts - PowerPoint, for example, is slow and laborious and I decline it when I can.
But the reward when a job is done and sent and I can do something else, or even take a holiday, makes it worthwhile.
No, no CAT tools here, either. I have BECOME a translating machine ...
Kind regards,
Jenny.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
That's it, Jenny Mar 11, 2007

You say "I have BECOME a translating machine".

So have I. That describes it so well. Some of my friends have called me a "maquiladora" (our name for an offshore manufaturing plant).


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Silvina Matheu  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:37
Member
English to Spanish
1500-2000 non-technical & without CAT-tools Mar 11, 2007

I have a question for Henry and Jenny: When you say "4000+", are you referring only to translation o are you including reviewing and proofreading?

I have reached 4000 words a day but when the TM is mine or when I fully agree with the one I was sent.

But the poll says "non-technical"; for me this implies no TM. And I am specially happy when I can work on a text that does not need a TM, where I can work freely, review it and proofread it, think and research, and finally have a product, if not perfect (it never is for me), at least as perfect as possible.

Regards,

Silvina


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