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Please complete a quick survey on typing and keyboards
Thread poster: Emma Goldsmith

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Jan 22, 2016

Hello,

I'm preparing a webinar on 'Typing Tips for Translators' and would like to learn about translators' typing skills and keyboard types.

Please complete my 3-question survey here:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BB9ZFH5

I'll share the results at the webinar on 19th February:
http://www.translationzone.com/events/webinars/2016-02/2016-02-19-Typing-tips-for-translators.html

Thank you in advance for your contribution!
Emma


 

Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:03
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Done! Jan 22, 2016

It'll be interesting to see the results.

 

Richard Foulkes (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
German to English
+ ...
Done Jan 22, 2016

While we're on the subject...I answered 'no' to the question on wrist/shoulder problems but I do sometimes get involuntary twitching of certain fingers, which obviously doesn't help with typing! I think this particularly happens when I have large volumes of work. That is probably also correlated with drinking large amounts of caffeine, although I also drink a lot of coffee even when I'm not snowed under.

Has anyone else experienced this?


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Done! Jan 22, 2016

I do have some shoulder problems (frozen shoulder/ adhesive capsulitis) but these are not related to typing. The cause for frozen shoulder is not known, but people with thyroid disease like me are more susceptible to frozen shoulder. After my surgery some 10 years ago I still have pain episodes but nothing like it used to be...

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Repetitive Strain Injury Jan 22, 2016

I used to get rather serious attacks of RSI. Severe pain going all the way up my arm that could last for days.

First, I tried using a trackpad but I hate the unresponsive hardness of trackpads and I find it impossible to move and point the cursor quickly and accurately.

So I tried Dictation (it comes free as part of the MacOS) and was amazed (once I'd got a decent microphone).

Dictation is now my primary tool. The keyboard has become much less important. And the RSI has gone away - although I still need to be careful.

My typing skills have always been terrible anyway -so using Dictation has also had the beneficial effect of not making typos.

I'd like to know a bit more about the purpose of this questionnaire. What's it for?

[Edited at 2016-01-22 16:45 GMT]


 

Andrea Garfield-Barkworth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:03
Member (2015)
German to English
Interesting survey Jan 22, 2016

Looking forward to the results.

 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:03
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Jan 22, 2016

I had the initial symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, many years ago. I switched to a MS natural keyboard and have been completely fine ever since.

 

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Done Jan 22, 2016

Nice and short!
Keep us posted.
Cheers
Bea


 

Elif Baykara Narbay  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:03
German to Turkish
+ ...
+1 Jan 22, 2016

Beatriz Ramírez de Haro wrote:

Nice and short!
Keep us posted.
Cheers
Bea


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
and the mouse Jan 24, 2016

I have a Toshiba laptop but I hardly ever use its keyboard or trackpad/mouse. My exernal keyboard is a Labtech "Ultra Flat" keyboard, that connects through a USB port, because it's more comfortable to use and has a separate keypad (useful for typing accented (& other "non-English") characters such as ß, ü, é and °, that I need sometimes).

Also important for me is that I use a "real" mouse: mine is a Microsoft optical mouse, which I find comfortable to use (well shaped and the buttons don't need much force). There is no obvious "wheel" on the laptop itself, and I use the mouse wheel fairly frequently. (Perhaps there's a keyboard shortcut to emulate the wheel but I haven't even bothered to find out.)
Oliver


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
A few comments Jan 27, 2016

Thank you everyone, for your responses so far.

@Richard: I've had odd twitches when I'm physically very tired, but not while I'm typing. I haven't read of other reports of twitches so far.

@Tom: The purpose of the questionnaire is to carry out an informal study of translators' typing habits and keyboard choices so I can offer some figures at the webinar I mentioned in my opening post. For example, how many respondents have never had any keyboard-related aches, pains or injuries.
But the survey won't reveal whether ergonomic keyboards prevent RSI. There are too many factors involved to draw that sort of conclusion.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Bump and blog post Feb 15, 2016

Bumping this thread in case anyone didn't catch it a few weeks ago.

Please complete a 3-question survey about how translators type and what they type on:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BB9ZFH5

To learn more about the survey and this Friday's webinar (where I'll be sharing the survey results), please read this blog post:
http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2016/02/02/typing-tips/



[Edited at 2016-02-15 16:13 GMT]


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Survey results Apr 4, 2016

I've just got round to writing up a blog post on the survey results:
http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2016/04/04/survey/

I discussed the results at the webinar in February (there's a link to a recording of the webinar in my blog post), but there were so many useful comments in the survey - 198 to be exact - that I wanted to share some of them too.

Hope you find it interesting!


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:03
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
A subject close to my heart. And hands. And wrists. Apr 4, 2016

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
I've just got round to writing up a blog post on the survey results

Thank you Emma, this was indeed interesting. I was probably the Maltron user in your survey. Although there was much to like, I returned that because I could not get used to some aspects of the layout and the layout could not be changed (at the keyboard level).

I am surprised that so few people use ergonomic keyboards. Even an inexpensive and non-mechanical keyboard like a Microsoft Natural 4000 prevents excessive pronation. I shifted to something like this over a decade ago when I first got wrist pain and it helped immensely.

You make an important point in your post which is that although most people use their keyboards all day, 76% accept the default keyboard. And yet this is arguably the most important part of their physical interface with the computer.

I am looking for a fully customisable mechanical keyboard that can be split, tilted or tented. To my mind the leading candidates are the following. None are cheap, but if you suffer from RSI then one medium-sized job more than pays for the investment in a device that could lead to dramatic improvements in health and typing comfort for many years.

I like to type slightly pushed back from my desk, with my keyboard on my lap and my hands resting naturally on the keyboard. Having a pointing device actually on the keyboard (as the Maltron did) is important, otherwise you have to raise your hand up and to the side to use a mouse or trackball, which in my case causes shoulder pain.

An onboard pointing device like this is a very rare feature and that means that I'm probably going to sign up for the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. This can split into two and the halves can be tilted or tented to avoid pronation. Just as importantly for me it has provision for a little trackball (or trackpad or trackpoint) under the right thumb of the right half of the keyboard.

This means that you don't have to move your hands from the keyboard to move the pointer. And you can move the pointer using the keyboard even if you don't opt for the trackball / trackpad / trackpoint (the Keyboardio and I think the Ergodox also allow this).

Regards
Dan


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:03
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Maltron Apr 4, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

I was probably the Maltron user in your survey. Although there was much to like, I returned that because I could not get used to some aspects of the layout and the layout could not be changed (at the keyboard level).


In that case there were two of you! I had an email exchange later with the translator who left the comment about the Maltron, who has now been using it for some 25 years!

Thanks for your other interesting comments. I agree that a centrally-positioned trackball makes good ergonomic sense. Sometimes I simply place my mouse in front of my keyboard. I find it very comfortable in that position. I'd also like to try a Rollermouse one day, although I'm not sure how precise I'd be with it.

The idea of basic mouse control via the keys themselves is also a great idea.


 
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