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Poll: When I don't understand a phrase in the source text, my first reaction is...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:21
SITE STAFF
Oct 5, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When I don't understand a phrase in the source text, my first reaction is...".

This poll was originally submitted by Henrik Pipoyan

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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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:21
Member (2008)
English to Italian
re-read and then the fridge Oct 5, 2009

I re-read it, then if I can't understand I open the fridge and eat something, while I am eating I ask for help....

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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:21
Italian to English
+ ...
keep away from the fridge Oct 5, 2009

Re-read it, highlight it in purple and go on to the next bit.
When my husband gets home I ask him if he can enlighten me. It often turns out that "it was written by an idiot", which makes me feel much better !
When I'm really stuck with a text and decide to abandon it till later, I do a bit of housework (not too much.... !) or go to the supermarket.


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Anna Katikhina  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:21
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
move on Oct 5, 2009

Agree with Alexandra:

Re-read it, if it's still unclear, highlight it and just go on working. That's something they teach you at school if you can't figure out something, just move on and come back later.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:21
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
... reach the end of the text Oct 5, 2009

THEN if it's still unclear I ask the client. Often, they change the part.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:21
Member (2006)
German to English
Re-read and Oct 5, 2009

Parrot wrote:

THEN if it's still unclear I ask the client. Often, they change the part.


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RichardDeegan
Local time: 02:21
Spanish to English
Re-read it, and then.... Oct 5, 2009

Re-read it, and then take a break, a glass of fruit juice and ten minutes of TV. Then I resort to the most useful thing learned in fourth grade from the Sweet Sisters of a Vengeful Lord -diagraming sentences.
For the small percentage of instances that survive this process as still unintelligible, I wait 'til the end, during print review, and may even check source-language alternatives in Google, to see if there's possibly a typo or two (or something missing).


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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:21
Italian to English
+ ...
client should re-read too Oct 5, 2009

Michael Harris wrote:

Parrot wrote:

THEN if it's still unclear I ask the client. Often, they change the part.



In fact, very frequently it's unclear because the client didn't re-read the text properly before sending it to us!


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Jennifer Gordon Taylor  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:21
Czech to English
+ ...
Where's the 'I check my Scrabble games' option? Oct 5, 2009

I re-read it, play a move on Scrabble, make a cup of tea, go back to it, realise why I stopped in the first place, and then go through the whole cycle again or highlight it and move on...

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Reread Oct 5, 2009

Then move on. It can become clearer when I understand the context. All else failed, I would ask the client. Although 90% of the time the case closed before going to that route.
I need to remember this --- the author is not necessary a master writer.:cool:


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule
xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 08:21
English to French
+ ...
Move on Oct 5, 2009

Perhaps I will get it after reading some more of the text, or the next day...

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:21
English to Spanish
Reread Oct 5, 2009

Then take a short break (which sometimes includes a quick scrabble match, like Alexandra).

If it doesn't make sense after that, I move on and read the rest of the text in case the added context clarifies it.

It it still doesn't make sense, I add it to the query log for the client.

Greetings!


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:21
Member (2009)
French to English
Ok, maybe some panicking Oct 5, 2009

I will admit to a small amount of panic, but I find that this reaction has become so routine that I am not truly alarmed. It is almost like I see the panic from a distance and then move on. True story: while still studying for my French degree, I checked out a book on the Gauls for a book report. It was a bilingual text and I was having the worst time reading the non-English part until I realized that it was Latin instead of French.

Nowadays, I usually highlight the text and read further hoping that the rest of the document will give me some context. Either it does, or rereading the passage afresh helps me to notice some small word that clarifies the troubling bit.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:21
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
(1) consult a couple of specialized dictionaries, (2) post a question on KudoZ, (3) then move on Oct 6, 2009

(1) Depending on the subject matter, I may also consult one of my technical dictionaries. Then for Spanish/English, Marina Orellana's "Glosario Internacional" is full of terminology that doesn't appear elsewhere. I am often always pleasantly surprised.

(2) If my usual resources don't work, I consult colleagues. While my fellow Prozians are tuning in, I move on. Sometimes it was simply a term I wasn't familiar with, so consulting colleagues is always a good idea.

(3) Subsequent text often reveals the answer, or at least provides more clues.

The challenges that send me to the fridge are convolunted passages that simply don't lend themselves to being rendered in another language.


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