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Who talks to themselves when translating?
Thread poster: Edward Potter

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 28, 2005

Instead of listening to music or the T.V., I will speak out the words as I translate them. I "talk to myself" even more when the text is especially difficult. I find this facilitates the translation greatly. I think it is because since you are experiencing the language in a different way, more and better ideas come into your head.
Furthermore, when I get stuck on the source text I will also start reading it out loud.

By the way, I am all alone when I do this.

Does anyone else do this?


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Bilore  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:36
English to French
+ ...
you're not alone! May 28, 2005

let's say I talk to the computer making believe I don't talk to myself yet

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
Member (2004)
German to English
When the going gets tough May 28, 2005

Sometimes you just can't tell any more from the words on the screen whether the sentence is right or wrong and then I tend to read it aloud to check.

Which reminds me of something else I was meaning to ask. I have one customer who insists that the translators print the document out and proof-read from the printed copy as "you can't check it properly on the screen". What do you think of that? Do you get a different result if you proofread on screen or on paper?

Gillian


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Sormane Fitzgerald Gomes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:36
Member (2004)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I agree with your customer. May 28, 2005

Gillian Noameshie wrote:

Which reminds me of something else I was meaning to ask. I have one customer who insists that the translators print the document out and proof-read from the printed copy as "you can't check it properly on the screen". What do you think of that? Do you get a different result if you proofread on screen or on paper?

Gillian


It is true. You’re more likely to catch typos and mistakes looking at a hard copy. The eye tends to scan information on a screen, but actually reads it when it’s on a printed page.

And yes, I talk to myself when translating, especially if I am proofreading my work. One should read the text out loud and slowly, articulating each word as it is actually written. We have two senses – seeing and hearing – working for us. What one sense misses, the other may pick up. When you read silently or too quickly you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections. That's my experience.

By the way, I am NOT alone when I do this. : - )


Sormane Gomes

[Edited at 2005-05-28 14:57]


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Alone / not alone May 28, 2005

Sormane,

I'm not sure is more suspicious, being alone or not. If others in your household hear you they might start thinking you are a little crazy. If you are all alone then you are left wondering for yourself :0.

I ususally print out my translations. I find a lot more changes to make when I "read with my pen". Speaking out loud when proofreading also helps.


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 16:36
Swedish to English
+ ...
yup... May 28, 2005

...I sometimes have to read out loud as well - and I agree about the proofreading, but it's not just printing it out that helps. I got a translation back yesterday for the final check after it had been foramtted into the pdf - it's amazing how many faults a formatting change makes obvious; not just mistakes/typos, but possible rephrasing.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Talking, on Screen May 28, 2005

When I proofread there is no talking by me or anyone else and I always do it on the screen. I had to get used to doing it on the screen at first merely because of being conditioned to reading off paper. But as computers and type fonts have improved that baggage has disappeared. Additionally, an increasing proportion of the work I do is delivered as an electronic file only so there is no need to print anything out.

One thing I have found is that type font selection is important; for instance Arial seems to be one of the easier fonts to read and one that I prefer. The good thing is that fonts can be changed at a whim, along with type size, to make proofing easier. Then they can be changed back again to the final format.

Another advantage to proofing on the screen is that you have your spell-checker right there, something I have never encountered in hard-copy documents!


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
... facilitates the translation greatly May 28, 2005

As Edward Potter says:
I "talk to myself" even more when the text is especially difficult. I find this facilitates the translation greatly.

I totally agree. That is why I stick a microphone in front of my mouth, and my voice recogition software obediently transcribes my words.


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María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 12:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do! May 28, 2005

Edward Potter wrote:

Does anyone else do this?


I do Especially when there is a difficult or tricky sentence. The funny thing is that, when my husband is around, he always thinks I am talking to him. When I tell him I am speaking to myself, he says: "You're crazy!". Well... I might be

Rgds,

Alejandra


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 10:36
English to German
+ ...
Yes, I do too May 28, 2005

but very quiet more like a whispering. I feel totally dehydrated after an hour of translating and I think its because of this.

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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
ditto May 28, 2005

María Alejandra Funes wrote:
I do Especially when there is a difficult or tricky sentence. The funny thing is that, when my husband is around, he always thinks I am talking to him. When I tell him I am speaking to myself, he says: "You're crazy!". Well... I might be


Exactly the same here
And many times, while doing something at the computer (just anything) that is giving me trouble, I also start talking/complaining/thinking aloud.

Cheers,
Grace


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:36
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
To talk or not to talk aloud when working May 28, 2005

I also speak out tricky sentence structures and read the text aloud when I proofread.

My dog usually sits with me, so it seems that I am talking to her and not into space. If she is not there, I happily speak to myself.

Do I print out material to proofread? Sometimes. I agree that it makes you see things better moving along with the pen and it allows you to proof layout as well. Still, at times, I do not do it. I guess that I switch back and forth.

Good topic!
Lucinda

[Edited at 2005-05-28 18:03]


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Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
Member (2001)
French to English
+ ...
Translation is a noisy business.... May 28, 2005

Between the clicking keys and reading the translation aloud, it's amazing how noisy we can be!

As for proofing on screen or on paper, I definitely recommend proofing with printed copies, especially for large projects. I had a very unfortunate experience once when I proofed onscreen. The translation read beautifully, no grammar or spelling errors anywhere to be found. But there were words missing due to a computer problems that I experienced during the translation, that would have been caught had I printed both the source and original texts and proofed them side by side. The other big problem was that the text that I sent in to the agency sent it on to the client without having it proofed by another person, contrary to what the agency advertised! So the final client complained about the missing words here and there (adjectives actually) in a 20,000 word project that I had given so much time to. There were no other complaints at all and it could have been taken care of immediately if the agency had proofed it also. The end result: I was not paid at all, and I learned a very valuable lesson.

Gayle


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 17:36
Italian to Danish
+ ...
No, just reading aloud INSIDE my head ;-) May 28, 2005

For me, translation is not a noisy business, I'm actually always surrounded by silence and concentration, but I need to read the phrases aloud in my head, not just scanning them with my eyes, so I guess that counts for speaking with yourself!

Proofing always on paper, I have noticed far too often that when I think a document is OK several strange little things might pop up when I print the document "just to make sure" before delivery.

It gives me the chill to think about not being paid on account of missed errors while proofing. But I guess it might happen one day for some reason or the other. I recon I should feel lucky that I never had this experience so far, but since it appears to happen to most people at least once, I guess I will see that one coming as well sooner or later. I'll probably go down the drain when it happens.


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
Member (2004)
English to French
I do too, but alone May 28, 2005

If my spouse's is around, I don't do it.

Still it helps me enunciate one translation possibility at once. When I think about translating segments, a few possibilities pop into my mind simultaneously, which sometimes lead to mixing them into something that doesn't make any sense. As I can't do verbally what my mind does, I'm able to get my sentence right the first time with no mix up.

Nina


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