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Poll: Do you keep hard copies of translations?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 16:59
Oct 14, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you keep hard copies of translations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ryan Montcalm

View the poll here

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Umang Dholabhai  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:29
English to Gujarati
+ ...
I do keep the soft copies Oct 14, 2009

I am waiting to hear the reasons, why any one needs to keep the hard copies. I do keep the translations in my archives. I regularly purge my system of all the older files and keep them on my pendrive.


Caro Maucher  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
I replied no... Oct 14, 2009

but I do in the rare cases of literary translations (a grand total of 2 so far). Otherwise I keep the files until the cows come home.


Atena Hensch  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 11:59
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Soft copy of course Oct 14, 2009

I always keep a soft copy not a hard copy. The only time that I got the hard copy at the first place and I ended up keeping it was one page document which was written 350 years ago. As the document was very old and fragile and it being kept in a museum, they had to take a picture of it and send to me in hard copy. They had to print it on an A3 sheet as there was lots of details involved. So, I am keeping the hard copy still as it's easy to read from the hard copy than the soft copy.


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Member (2008)
English to Italian
only on my computer Oct 14, 2009

I have all my translations on my hard disk and on an external hard disk.
I just keep the hard copies of the originals (when the client gives hard copies) for 2 years, because sometimes I need them for changes.


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:59
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No Oct 14, 2009

I try to be as paper free as possible ....
If any document arrives as hard copy I scan it and only keep a digital copy.
I have kept (and rarely needed) an electronic/digital copy of every document I ever produced.


keelin feeney  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:59
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other... Oct 14, 2009

I don't keep a hard copy of my translations though I do like to keep a copy of my translations on an external hard disk with a copy of all my programs.

It helps to keep the computer memory down and is good in the (touch wood) event of anything happening to my computer.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not any more! Oct 14, 2009

I still need to throw out a lot of the ones I used to keep.

At some point last year I decided that my backlog of paper archiving was just hopeless. I had everything on file and backed up electronically, so I decided to drop the piles of paper. I had not touched them, except to add to them, for several months!

I still print out at least the target file, so that I can proofread properly. But when I deliver the job and make out the invoice, the paper goes into the recycling bin, not the archive.


Carmen Cuervo-Arango  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
I keep hard copies for a while Oct 14, 2009

I have different physical folders for each client. To me, it is always easier to improve the style when I read a hard copy. It makes me go away from my computer and take some distance from the original text. I print my final computer version and walk around my flat (instead of sitting) trying to see if everything reads smoothly and it does not sound as the original version at all. I make changes on that paper, go back to the computer to enter them in the file and I keep that corrected paper in a hard folder. I don't print it again in order to avoid wasting paper, especially because it is very unlikely that I will have to go back to those translations. I do print a summary of that translation order, which I have previously sent to my client together with the translation: file name and eventual reference number, date when I received the order, date when I sent the translation, number of words x rate and final price. That allows me to check the orders from that client when I prepare the invoice at month's end. And in case my computer breaks down, I would still know what jobs I have done. (I do have a second computer, I work on an external hard disk and I back up frequently, but you never know when all the machines will work against youicon_smile.gif

When folders are full, I empty them, keep for my printer all the sheets that still have a non used side and put the fully used ones into a paper container. That's the way I work!


Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:59
French to English
+ ...
Me too - I keep them for about 3-4 months Oct 14, 2009

Carmen Cuervo-Arango wrote:

When folders are full, I empty them, keep for my printer all the sheets that still have a non used side and put the fully used ones into a paper container. That's the way I work!

I'm not quite as efficient as that but I do have a deep box file (IKEA, where else?!) where I keep hard copies of my translations until that gets full, then I recycle the bottom ones and keep adding to it. That way, if a client comes back with a query or a similar job, it's often easier for me to refer to the hard copy, whilst using my two screens for the new translation and the new source, etc. Like Carmen, I much prefer to proof-read on paper, not on screen, so I've usually got the first draft printed out anyway. I also print on both sides of the paper, so those translations go back into the system once the box is full and only get sent to the recycling bin once both sides are printed. The translation at the bottom of the box at present dates back to June, so I've probably usually got 3-4 months' worth of translations on hard copy at any one time.



Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:59
German to English
+ ...
Almost never Oct 14, 2009

...unless they are sent to me in published form.

Things like magazines are always good to see, especially when they are printed in top quality in lurid colour on luxury paper.

Of course you see the PDFs for final edit, but the 'touchy-feely' aspect of the actual product is where it's at. Together with the modest pleasure derived from reading your name in the masthead (just to make sure that it is spelled correctly, of course).icon_smile.gif



Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
No way. There is no reason for me to do that. Oct 14, 2009

If I were in the habit of keeping hard copies of all my translations, I would need an entire room filled with filing cabinets devoted to the purpose.

I do however keep the electronic versions on a hard drive for five years. If it is necesary to get a hard copy of any particular project, it is easy enough to print it off.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
No. Oct 14, 2009

Whatever for?
It's bad enough having to keep old tax forms and other useless bumf for a period of 3 to 5 years (can't remember which is the norm in Spain). I think you'll find that most things like that end up as useless clutter.


United States
Local time: 19:59
French to English
No Oct 14, 2009

I shred all hard copies. I keep soft copies, which are also regularly backed up. For one client, I don't keep the soft copies either as that is what I agreed to in a confidentiality agreement - instead I use FileShredder to destroy the soft copies.

But the point is that I do not keep hard copies of translations.

[Edited at 2009-10-14 17:58 GMT]

No Oct 14, 2009

I second for majority opinion.
What for?

I keep them in CD though.
If in hard, it is messy and resource draining!

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