Does length of file affect your concentration?
Thread poster: Phil Hand

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:15
Chinese to English
Aug 10, 2012

I've got a couple of jobs on at the moment which involve lots of short files rather than long ones. It's absolutely killing my ability to maintain a schedule. I'm a procrastinator at the best of times, but with a single long file, I can divide it up into chunks and say - this chunk of X thousand words is my target for today.

But with shorter files, nothing I do seems to help me see beyond the end of the current file. Whether it's 300 words or 3000 words, my concentration and speed always stabilise at the level to complete 1 file per day. But I need to do 10 of them to get the job done!

Anyone have similar problems? Anyone have any solutions, ways to reset my psychological tics?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
Same here! Aug 10, 2012

Hi Phil,

I am glad to see that there's one more person on Earth who faces this similar problem !!! I thought I was the only one doing like this...yes, even I have trouble with shorter files rather than the long ones, and its really strange though!

Although I have not found any solution until now, I have no option but to self-motivate myself so heavily just to finish it off!! But, it always happens that the shorter ones end up taking more of my time than the larger ones which I seem to finish well before the deadline!!

Even I would be glad if someone can give ways to "reset" our minds!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:15
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Opposite Aug 10, 2012

I prefer short files rather than long ones. I can concentrate better on each one at a time, more so than on some mind-numbingly long thing where I am more likely to miss a sentence or two in error, at least until I read through the translation at the end.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:15
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
CAT? Aug 10, 2012

Dear Phil,

Are you using a CAT tool? Many of them offer a function to merge source files into one single working document. I'm doing this quite often (Studio 2011). This way, you have one single source file to translate. This might be a solution to your problem (and to some others as well: autopropagate across several source files etc.)

Kind regards,
Erik


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Pacing yourself with small files Aug 10, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:
I've got a couple of jobs on at the moment which involve lots of short files rather than long ones. It's absolutely killing my ability to maintain a schedule. I'm a procrastinator at the best of times, but with a single long file, I can divide it up into chunks and say - this chunk of X thousand words is my target for today.


I'd say do a word count analysis of all the files (is that possible in your language?) and then assign a number of files to a day of which the total word count is roughly what you want to achieve in a day. Using Excel and sorting by word count helps. Place those files in subfolders with the days' date. I do this when I have to split a large number of files among a team of translators and have to set daily or weekly deadlines.

I don't have your problem, though. When I get multifile jobs, I simply start with the smallest ones and work my way towards the longest one.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

rziegler  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:15
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Short files Aug 10, 2012

I prefer short files as well. Why? I like the feeling to finish a file. And when you work with a lot of short files, you can finish more in short time and this gives me a great feeling. When I have a long file, I get concentration problems. I then sometimes start from the end (if it's an Excel document, for example) and work myself up. I feel the same way like you, but concerning very long files, not short ones.
But there are always tricks you can do outsmart your brain. Have you ever tried to just copy different files to one long file? This works for word documents, for example. So you can do the same like you'd work with a normal long file. Maybe you can try to mark the texts (which will later be short files again) in different colours so you don't mix them up while translating. I would try that, maybe it helps.
Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Per word is going to take roughly the same time Aug 10, 2012

So, if you can't merge the files into enough words for a day, what can you do? You can break the day down! I suggest yoiu have this conversation with yourself in the morning:
"This file is quite big, so I'll do that before lunch; this one's really small, so I'll fit that in before I have a mid-afternoon break; then there's that one that should finish off the day; if there's spare time left at the end, then I'll be able to fit this tiny one in last thing today."


I prefer doing small jobs too. I like being able to tick them off - and prepare the invoices!icon_smile.gif I find it a bit daunting sometimes when I work for a couple of hours before having a break and finding that I've done 0.5% of the job. But I don't often have jobs over 10,000 words, even for editing, so I think it has more to do with familiarity than anything else.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:15
Hebrew to English
I like to see the light at the end of the tunnel..... Aug 10, 2012

And that's difficult with huge files, it starts to feel like an abyss of never-ending words and I start to spiral into my translation-hating mode....icon_smile.gif ....which definitely affects my concentration.

So all in all, much prefer small-medium sized files.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 01:15
English to Croatian
+ ...
Typical dynamics Aug 10, 2012

What you are describing Phil is typical. This is why (among other reasons) small jobs are charged higher rates (plus a minimum rate).

From linguistic /discourse point of view this is because with a small file you have much less context involved, while with a large file the context spreads. So you basically need to fill in those contextual gaps in various ways. Particuarly if a large file is split among several translators and you get just one chunk.

There are no tricks, you simply need to review each file/ job you get specifically. This is why many small jobs are mentally exhausting.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:15
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
short Aug 10, 2012

Jack Doughty wrote:

I prefer short files rather than long ones. I can concentrate better on each one at a time, more so than on some mind-numbingly long thing where I am more likely to miss a sentence or two in error, at least until I read through the translation at the end.


The same with me. It's not even about concentration, but about getting bored with a text. Like right now I'm completing a long text. I'm almost there, just checking my translation, but it's still 50 pp to go and it feels like never ending storyicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2012-08-10 11:35 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:15
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, great comments Aug 10, 2012

Lingua - I think you're right, short files are harder than long files. Especially the projects I've got on now: I'm doing some work for an art gallery, and artists, lord love 'em, aren't always the clearest writers in the world.

Erik & Almanca: I like your suggestion. I'll try combining my files next week and see if that helps me to focus and bring my daily output back up.

Thanks to everyone else for your comments as well.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
word count analysis worked for me! Aug 13, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:
I'd say do a word count analysis of all the files (is that possible in your language?) and then assign a number of files to a day of which the total word count is roughly what you want to achieve in a day. Using Excel and sorting by word count helps. Place those files in subfolders with the days' date. I do this when I have to split a large number of files among a team of translators and have to set daily or weekly deadlines.


hi samuel, i liked this idea of yours, and this exactly what I did for a project which i finished this morning. i thought that maybe by seeing the word count i can try to make it work faster...and in a way it did! maybe i will stick to this method for a while and see how things progress.....


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Does length of file affect your concentration?

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €495 / $595
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €495 / $595 / £425 / ¥70,000 You will also receive FREE access to Studio 2019 when released.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search