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Poll: Do yout think a scanner is a useful tool for translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:20
SITE STAFF
Aug 21, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do yout think a scanner is a useful tool for translators?".

This poll was originally submitted by Tamer Mekhimar. View the poll results »



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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 06:20
English to French
+ ...
Yes Aug 21, 2011

... in my case, but not really for translation purposes, rather for admin and accountancy, to comply with the requirements of some clients.

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:20
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, unfortunately! Aug 21, 2011

Getting work printed on paper is my bete noire, but unfortunately many still (in the 21st century!) stick to this antiquated way of handling documentation.

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Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:20
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Yes... Aug 21, 2011

Not for the translation per se, but every once in a while I need to print a contract, sign it and then quickly return it, signed, to the client by e-mail and I know of no other way to do that quickly and efficiently than to scan the signed contract.

I use it for other types of administrative tasks as well, and I remember that I had a very hard time coping without one, when I was starting my business. I have a multi-task machine now, which prints, copies and scanns so it is no problem, but I would NOT want to do without the scanner.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:20
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Absolutely. Aug 21, 2011

Maria Drangel wrote:

Not for the translation per se, but every once in a while I need to print a contract, sign it and then quickly return it, signed, to the client by e-mail and I know of no other way to do that quickly and efficiently than to scan the signed contract.

I use it for other types of administrative tasks as well, and I remember that I had a very hard time coping without one, when I was starting my business. I have a multi-task machine now, which prints, copies and scanns so it is no problem, but I would NOT want to do without the scanner.




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Michal Surmař  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:20
Member (2010)
English to Czech
+ ...
Yes ... Aug 21, 2011

... I sometimes find my old glossaries written on paper. I prefer scanning them and converting them to a PC-compatible format (using OCR), to save time and energy.

Michal.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 21, 2011

A scanner can be a handy tool for anybody, not just translators.

However, I get by fine without one and in the past 18 months would have used it only maybe 3 or 4 times if I did have one, so I don't regard it as a pre-requisite.

As some other posters have noted, they are usually required by clients who don't realise that there are other ways to skin a cat.

[Edited at 2011-08-21 09:21 GMT]


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:20
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, but primarily for admin. Aug 21, 2011

Fortunately, I have a multi-purpose device, as I do not think that I would invest in a stand alone scanner.

Admittedly it is useful, but as Interlangue pointed this is primarily in the context of admin related tasks. In my own case I use it for invoicing and also to sign and return contracts. Less frequently, I use it to scan source texts prior to translation, but would prefer to use other methods where possible.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:20
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Handy, but not essential! Aug 21, 2011

neilmac wrote:

A scanner can be a handy tool for anybody, not just translators.

However, I get by fine without one and in the past 18 months would have used it only maybe 3 or 4 times if I did have one, so I don't regard it as a pre-requisite.

[Edited at 2011-08-21 09:21 GMT]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:20
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Essential Aug 21, 2011

In my translation work it replaces a fax machine for sending signed documents. I also use it (actually an all-in-one) a lot for my music work.

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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:20
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
I wouldn't run out and buy one specifically Aug 21, 2011

It came as part of my new printer unit (which I did run out and buy when the aging one died), along with fax capabilities. Like the others, I use it primarily for admin. Although my daughter has plans to scan old photos.

The wifi on the printer was more important to us than the scanning capability, because then any of the computers in the house can print from anywhere.


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JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 06:20
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Handy tip for dead scanner... Aug 21, 2011

If you only need to use a scanner for returning copies of signed contracts, and your scanner should happen to die, then it is quite feasible to take a photograph of the contract with your digital camera and return the resulting image instead. You have to be a bit careful about lighting and angle, but once you've done it a couple of times, it's pretty easy. Very helpful if your scanner packs up when the shops are shut and you have to return a contract in a hurry - and the reason why I answered "No" to the poll.

Jane


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:20
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 21, 2011

I miss having one when a client wants a quick return on a certified (signed and stamped) document. In that case I can send the original by regular or express mail. A digital photo would not work for that purpose. As it is now, I have to go to the print shop to get it scanned and it costs extra to have it put on a CD or USB.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
For the client Aug 21, 2011

A scanner is handy for the client, who can scan paper documents and send them to me for translation. However, for legal purposes I must provide certified originals on paper, so for me the scanner does not work. Paper must change hands.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Unfortunately... Aug 21, 2011

... scanners are no longer what they used to be. Before buying a multifunctional to replace my two dead fax machines, I researched a lot, and all the scanners I saw would only take A4 paper, working at snail pace. Of course there are large and faster ones, however these have 4-digit price tags attached.

I have an old speed-demon scanner. It's SCSI, not USB, and it takes up to legal-sized paper. However the last driver for it is compatible with Windows 98 or older.

When a publisher sent me a 400-page bookin hardcopy to translate, I rummaged through my e-leftovers, quickly put together a Pentium I from scratch, installed W98 and the scanner, and put it to work. The entire operation of assembling the computer, installing the software, and scanning the 400 pages (two at a time) to get an OCR-able PDF @ 300 dpi took me less than 3 hours.

Most present scanners have the carriage running on plastic rails, or directly on a gear rack. In this old one, the carriage on one side has rollers that run on a stainless steel rod, on the other it runs on a 2" bycicle-like wheel (with a rubber tire!).

So it's a closed loop. As several colleagues here have stated that they only use their scanners now and then for admin purposes, possibly 2-3 pages at a time, scanner manufacturers didn't see a reason to invest in making such machines faster, only cheaper, to keep their sales volume.


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