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Poll: How many non-technical words can you translate per day (proofreading included)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:34
SITE STAFF
Jul 26, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many non-technical words can you translate per day (proofreading included)?".

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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:34
English to Czech
+ ...
"Non-technical"? Jul 26, 2010

If we are talking about "non-technical" texts, does it actually mean the work is easier or harder as opposed to technical translation? It always depends on the type and complexity of the text concerned, I think, so I find this poll slightly confusing...

[Edited at 2010-07-26 08:18 GMT]


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Blanka Salkova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:34
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
- Jul 26, 2010

Agree

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same as the majority Jul 26, 2010

It depends on what else I have going on at the same time.
The normal rate is around 2K words a day. If I take on any more, I risk running into problems with the delivery time due to unforseen causes such as PC/network problems, a deluge of "urgent" requests from regular clients, dealing with unexpected phone calls or even weather (in my rural area of Spain, sudden heavy storms often cause widespread electricity blackouts or wifi outages) ...
The best laid plans ...


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Agree Jul 26, 2010

What does non-technical mean? To translate a literary essay might not be easier than a technical document (for me, at least)...

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 06:34
English to French
+ ...
Technical? Jul 26, 2010

Are legal technicalities or top-notch demographics considered technical? What exactly is a “non-technical” text?

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Jana Kinská  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:34
English to Czech
+ ...
That's the problem... Jul 26, 2010

... sometimes it is just a general text, which could be translated quite easily without having to search too many things. However, it could also be a literary or journalistic text requiring much concentration, creativity, research, etc. etc. So you can end up translating a "non-technical" text at a pace of, on the one hand, more than 3,000 words per day, or half of that volume at the most, on the other.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:34
Member (2008)
English to Italian
much less than technical Jul 26, 2010

I translate only technical texts, such as patents, manuals, ... sometimes I am asked to translate something which is not technical, such as biographies, chapters of books, brochures... well my output drops dramatically. I am not used to be creative, my technical translation are more related to the exact word than to the style, so I said other because I don't know, I am usually given very short translations (non technical) and I usually do them within hours so I do not have a precise idea of a day to day basis.

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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
If possible Jul 26, 2010

particularly when I translate a long text (of any kind), I prefer to check it the following morning. So maybe what I can do is not exactly what I think is the best way to work.



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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:34
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
I think the key is in the word "can" Jul 26, 2010

Rather than getting hung up on the semantics, I think we can easily be justified in interpreting the question as asking what our maximum daily output is. IMHO the value in these interesting ProZ polls can wane a bit if people are going to be pedantic about the wording.

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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
I interpreted this differently... Jul 26, 2010

I took "technical" to mean "un-challenging" which makes more sense to me as a poll. I find "technical" texts easier because you can almost always find exactly the right term to use. Texts which require some creativity are, for me at least, more difficult and, therefore, more time-consuming.

I based my answer (more than 4000) on the easiest jobs I've had: surveys/questionnaires aimed at the general public, for example. It also depends on just how many hours you are willing to put in.

I usually won't commit to more than 2000 words per day to allow plenty of time for research.

[Edited at 2010-07-26 14:13 GMT]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:34
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I took it as "straightforward" Jul 26, 2010

If it's the kind of text I can translate fairly easily without having to look up too many words or expressions and without having to do any research, and if it's all I have to do that day, then I can do over 3,000 words, possibly even 4,000 or more (mostly because I'm a fast typist). But I really prefer not to do that many words unless it's a very urgent job.

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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:34
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Jul 26, 2010

It all depends on the text, and a technical text is not necessarily longer to translate than a non technical one. The best output I reached so far is about 5000-6000 words a day, only on a few rare occasions and only for one day, not for several days in a row.

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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:34
Spanish to English
Another pedant here Jul 26, 2010

This poll reminds of the agencies that confidently assure you that the text is easy! And that is almost a guarantee of a text that is difficult to translate.

To me, non-technical and straight-forward are not in any way synonyms, non-technical strikes me as at best literary and at worst, business speak. Literary translations I leave to those who have studied literature at university, they are not for the faint hearted. I do do articles for magazines and it takes me all day to do a thousand odd words.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 01:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
I venture to suggest ... Jul 26, 2010

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

IMHO the value in these interesting ProZ polls can wane a bit if people are going to be pedantic about the wording.


... that if you're not going to be 'pedantic about the wording' then maybe you shouldn't be a translator.

MediaMatrix


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