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Poll: Do you feel you are more productive now than you were 2-3 years ago?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Sep 16, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you feel you are more productive now than you were 2-3 years ago?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Sep 16, 2011

I find the current obsession with "productivity" at all levels of society worldwide distasteful. "Enough is as good as a feast", said Shakespeare, and I concur.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:53
Member (2006)
German to English
Bingo Sep 16, 2011

neilmac wrote:

I find the current obsession with "productivity" at all levels of society worldwide distasteful. "Enough is as good as a feast", said Shakespeare, and I concur.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:53
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Indeed Sep 16, 2011

Michael Harris wrote:

neilmac wrote:

I find the current obsession with "productivity" at all levels of society worldwide distasteful. "Enough is as good as a feast", said Shakespeare, and I concur.




I've voted yes, but for a different reason. However, I agree with Neil and Michael.


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Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Totally agree with neilmac Sep 16, 2011

Am I a better translator? Yes, because I am always learning.

I get better but, if productivity is about speed, I don't get faster.

Some jobs of similar size take vastly different times to do. Productivity is not really an issue for me. The purpose is always to produce a good translation, no matter how long it takes.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:53
English to French
+ ...
yes Sep 16, 2011

I produced more "quality" work by learning all the times

agree with both translators as aforementioned


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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 12:53
English to French
+ ...
I agree too Sep 16, 2011

neilmac wrote:

I find the current obsession with "productivity" at all levels of society worldwide distasteful. "Enough is as good as a feast", said Shakespeare, and I concur.


Translation is not just a matter of words, productivity, speed and money.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
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Another voice in agreement... Sep 16, 2011

neilmac wrote:

I find the current obsession with "productivity" at all levels of society worldwide distasteful. "Enough is as good as a feast", said Shakespeare, and I concur.


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:53
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
Yes Sep 16, 2011

I get better and faster, thanks to accumulated experience and knowledge in my focus areas, thanks to increasing command of my CAT tools, thanks to my glossaries and TMs. And I expect this to be true for most colleagues. Of course, there has to be a plateau after many years of experience and a decline when Alzheimer's sets in...

I am not obsessed with productivity, but, hey! the more productive I am, the more time I have to enjoy what life is really about (or sleep).


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:53
English
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I also agree with Neil, Sep 16, 2011

as happens quite often, and with Gilla also ("Some jobs of similar size take vastly different times to do. Productivity is not really an issue for me. The purpose is always to produce a good translation, no matter how long it takes.").

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:53
English to German
+ ...
Define "productivity" Sep 16, 2011

Research and learning will take you just the same amount of time as it did 3 or 5 years ago. Provided that you didn't switch from dial-up to high-speed broadband just recently, or you didn't have a brain transplant from an Einstein clone.

Productivity in translation is mixed up with "output of words" all too often. How can you call propagating a file with previously translated words and phrases by means of CAT tools "translating" in the first place? Translation is a thought process, not operating some software.

I would appreciate those two approaches to be distinguished from each other.


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Angus Stewart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:53
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Not applicable Sep 16, 2011

neilmac wrote:

I find the current obsession with "productivity" at all levels of society worldwide distasteful. "Enough is as good as a feast", said Shakespeare, and I concur.


Well (and succinctly) said Neil.

However, it is next to impossible to answer this question in my case for another reason: 3 years ago I was working as a lawyer. Accordingly, any comparison in terms of productivity is rendered meaningless.


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Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:53
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Yes Sep 16, 2011

1) The AutoSuggest function in SDL Trados Studio 2009 is quite helpful.

2) The MultiTerm glossaries accumulated over the years (manual entry with prior research and verification) ensure that I spend less time researching new terms. This is especially true for a couple of on-going projects (one of them dates back to 2003).

3) Maturally, my computer skills and knowledge of specialty fields have increased over the last 2-3 years.

Combined, all of the above results in higher productivity.

[Edited at 2011-09-16 13:00 GMT]


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:53
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
On the definition of productivity Sep 16, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Research and learning will take you just the same amount of time as it did 3 or 5 years ago. Provided that you didn't switch from dial-up to high-speed broadband just recently, or you didn't have a brain transplant from an Einstein clone.


No, actually not. I now spend much less time for research and learning than I did at the beginning of my work as a translator (which was relatively not long ago). I do not have to search for a term when it is already in my glossary. I do not have to learn things that I have already learned.
This is of course only the case, when you have well defined fields of work.

Experience also helps me overcome difficulties in the text better and faster.

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Productivity in translation is mixed up with "output of words" all too often. How can you call propagating a file with previously translated words and phrases by means of CAT tools "translating" in the first place? Translation is a thought process, not operating some software.

I would appreciate those two approaches to be distinguished from each other.


Well, my definition of productivity is exactly the "output of words"/time. If my client wants me to translate a document, it means he/she wants it in greek. The less time it takes me to produce a (high quality) greek version of the document, the more productive I am.
If you do not call using already translated words or phrases "translating", don't you then charge for them?
Granted, auto-propagation and CAT tools and all the other tools reduce the creative and artistic part of translation. But they increase the productivity. It is the same with every tool in every production process.

It is productivity and creativity that have to be distinguished from each other.

[Έγινε επεξεργασία στις 2011-09-16 17:20 GMT]


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:53
German to English
+ ...
Sausage machines are for sausage factories Sep 16, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Research and learning will take you just the same amount of time as it did 3 or 5 years ago. Provided that you didn't switch from dial-up to high-speed broadband just recently, or you didn't have a brain transplant from an Einstein clone.


I am just as productive as I have ever been; no more, no less.

Improvements with age, experience - and every single translation ever done - occur in hard to measure areas such as quality, style, and the kinds of mental gymnastics one is able to perform with greater ease and alacrity than when first starting out. I have learned the subtleties related to identifying what type of gymnastics is required to hit the mark in the target text, depending on the language pair.

Like others, I actively learn all the time. Like others, I am sure, I have realised you can learn the same thing several times from several different angles. Like others, I have become more rigorous about my own mental discipline. I am also aware that my concentration span is longer than it was say, 20 years ago. I have acquired the fine art of blocking out noise in my immediate environment, rising above fatigue and the physical aches and pains I did not have as a newbie (!) All these things I rate above "greater output in less time", my basic definition in this context for "productivity".

Do I imagine the number of words I "produce" as little sausages emerging from a machine at an ever speedier rate in order to reduce costs and maximise my profit margin? You must be kidding|!


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