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Poll: Can you translate and think about other things at the same time?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:39
SITE STAFF
Apr 17, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Can you translate and think about other things at the same time?".

This poll was originally submitted by Niraja Nanjundan

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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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I don't know! Apr 17, 2007

I put N/A because I've never noticed whether I think about other things or not! I'll be sure to pay attention to that today....

Amy


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Romina Bona  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:39
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same here Apr 17, 2007

Amy Duncan wrote:

I put N/A because I've never noticed whether I think about other things or not! I'll be sure to pay attention to that today....

Amy



I agree with Amy. I haven't thought of that before! I'll also try to pay attention.

Romina


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 17, 2007

My answer is that "no, I can´t, but I do". I won´t go into the predictable several paragraphs about interruptions, multitasking and the like....

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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:39
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sure Apr 17, 2007

Yes, when the translation text is a well-known matter I can sing or think about thing I'll be doing in the following hours.

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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
English to Arabic
+ ...
At the VERY same time? Apr 17, 2007

..probably not.
I do tend to think about things, watch TV or listen to the radio while I'm translating, but the attention keeps going back and forth. I don't think it's possible to do these things at EXACTLY the same time.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
German to English
It depends Apr 17, 2007

As Yaotl says, if the subject matter of the translation is very familiar, I can do the translation and think about other things as well, although it slows things down considerably, so I try not to.

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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends... Apr 17, 2007

Many times I just can't avoid it because phone is ringing, people is asking things through messenger (I hate it, but sometimes I need to use it), and....

But I definitely don't like it. I prefer to finish my job and then have the time to do other things.

... music or singing while working is out of my scope, but from time to time I try to share a comment or a joke with my office mates!!!

Ruth @ MW


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
English to Polish
Depends... Apr 17, 2007

While translating another "press PLAY button to start playing" my thoughts keep wandering... But if a text is interesting, then no - that text is good enough to think about it

Anni


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Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I am a woman so, yes I can multi-task Apr 17, 2007

... but if I start thinking about chocolates, I'll simply leave the room and start looking around for my chocolate stash. So I guess it's one of those questions I would have to answer: Depends on the other things!



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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
No Apr 17, 2007

Even for very simple translations where speed of translation = typing speed I still need to fully concentrate on the task at hand. Whenever there is a distraction I almost always try to finish the sentence I'm working on before attending to it.

[Edited at 2007-04-17 15:42]


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Food Apr 17, 2007

I don't want to sound food-obsessed (!) but usually the back of my mind is thinking about what I am going to have for lunch or dinner. Or whether I have the time or the energy to go to the gym. I can't concentrate when there is music playing or if the television is on, so I doubt I could really think about anything else while I'm translating something.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:39
Dutch to English
+ ...
I can but avoid it as far as possible ... Apr 17, 2007

... which is why I eventually had to block someone from my Skype list recently: constant interruptions for assistance/small talk with no respect for my need to focus/deadlines.

At the end of the day - and as "cold" as this may sound - I am running a business and the more I can remain focused and translate per hour, the better my bottom line. It also means more time for proper revision before delivery.

I'd rather stop and choose to have a break (like now) and to think about other things than be interrupted. If I catch my thoughts wandering, I know it's time to have a short break.

Is also the reason I prefer agencies to e-mail than phone, although I appreciate they sometimes don't have a choice.



[Edited at 2007-04-17 16:34]


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Voted "Depends on the translation", but... Apr 17, 2007

...normally thinking while I translate is what happens if I am concerned about something in areas other than translation work. I try to avoid it as much as I can as it slows me down, but sometimes there is no escape.... :-/

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Francisco Pavez  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
guy + multitasking = disaster Apr 17, 2007

"I cannot do it. It wouldn't be prudent"

It's hard enough to chew gum and walk at the same time.

Whenever I'm translating I need to block out everything else; I usually listen to classical music or at least music in a language I can't understand.

The few times I've forgotten and tried to do something else at the same time I've ended up doing neither properly and have had to stop to do both again from the beginning.

Multitasking is one of those things that men are just not equiped to do.


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