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Poll: Can you translate while listening to music?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:44
SITE STAFF
Aug 4, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Can you translate while listening to music?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 4, 2012

Although, it's not really "listening", which implies an active process. I usually work with the radio or a CD on quietly in the background (it's located in another room). I might occasionally prefer silence for a while, especially when proofing (like right now!), but in general I like the accompaniment of the music, and even the presenters' blathering between tunes and the hourly BBC news updates.

Right now, they're playing an old favourite from the 80s, "World Shut Your Mouth" on 6 Music...


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 22:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends, sometimes Aug 4, 2012

Silence may be golden, but I need some background noise, my TV is always on, except when I'm revising my work or proofreading others' work: I press the mute key!

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on several factors Aug 4, 2012

I listen to music depending on my mood, the type of work at hand and whether I'm feeling a particular pressure.

Instrumental (soundtracks, jazz, chillout, etc.): Whenever I'm working on a document, writing or translation that requires intense focus, I prefer instrumental 100 times better than music with lyrics. Opening my active listening to lyrics takes up more brain bandwidth that I need for writing or reading intently.

Lyrics-laden music: If I'm in a very good mood or if I'm doing something mechanical, such as CTRL+DOWN ARROWing with 100% matches in Deja Vu X, or writing a personal letter in a lighthearted tone, I go for lyrics. Nothing too heavy like opera or loud pop, though.

Silence: If I'm facing a technical problem that requires concentration to solve, not just hitting the Undo button, or if I feel the need to insult my equipment, I need silence. Also, I need silence if I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to do transcriptions of medical documents. Well, any dictation is an intense mental exercise so, no music allowed.

I do like TV, but as I have my big flat screen in front of me but the twin 23-inch monitors hinder my view, I'd say that my TV viewing has to be concentrated in order to be enjoyed...unless I'm in need of TV voices to remind myself that I'm still a member of human society. Otherwise, I watch TV away from my desk during my frequent breaks.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:44
English to French
+ ...
yes Aug 4, 2012

but I usually don't

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Marc Cordes  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:44
English to German
+ ...
Yes Aug 4, 2012

I actually use an application on my work machine which infuses binaural beat signals into the music I listen to which helps me to focus immensely. It is perfect for jobs with extremely tight deadlines (e.g. you are a substitute for someone who jumped ship at the last minute etc.) in which you often suffer from sleep deprivation.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Aug 4, 2012

Mario Chavez wrote:
Also, I need silence if I'm using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to do transcriptions of medical documents. Well, any dictation is an intense mental exercise so, no music allowed.


Oops, I'd forgotten about Dragon... although I find I can actually use it with music on unobtrusively in the background. However, in summer (36ºC yesterday) I usually have the window beside me open and the breeze coming in seems to really interfere with it, often with very amusing results.


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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Yes, all the time... Aug 4, 2012

I actually use music (through an earphone) to block out the noises when I am working in a public place.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:44
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
No Aug 4, 2012

Can't do it. It's like when you are trying count and someone starts saying numbers.

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Terry Richards
France
Local time: 23:44
French to English
+ ...
The other way round Aug 4, 2012

I can't listen to music while I'm working!

I put a CD on and, several hours later, realise that it is finished and I didn't hear any of it.


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Derrio  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes... Aug 4, 2012

… preferably my own, but more often than not that of the neighbours, especially this time of year. The down-side of living in Ibiza. Fortunately I live in a predominately Spanish block. Unfortunately, in July and August they tend to disappear and rent their appartments out, thus earning enough to pay their mortgage for the whole year.
Touch wood, there hasn't been a problem so far this year, but everyone who comes here on holiday thinks they're an aspiring DJ when clearly they're not.
The problem then comes when I start trying to type in time with the tune and the beats per minute exceeds my typing speed (which doesn't take much).

More often than not I'll have music on, but with a very difficult text I prefer silence.


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James A. Walsh
Spain
Local time: 23:44
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, all the time... Aug 4, 2012

Pretty much every waking hour, in fact. Usually online radio in the daytime, which I interchange between Radio 3 (Madrid), Radio Nova (Paris) and XFM (London). The only thing I find annoying about the radio is the ads, and I often turn the sound off for a few seconds for some of them that really irk me (like the McDonalds one on Nova - God above!). I actually hate working in silence. Not sure why (probably just pure habit), but it just feels like something is amiss if there's no music on. Almost as though there's a massive void that needs to be filled, and that void distracts me more than when the music is on...
By the way, funky tunes on Nova of a Saturday around this time, if anyone's interested: http://www.novaplanet.com/radionova/player

I forgot to add, I'm usually not listening to the music - it's just on.

[Edited at 2012-08-04 10:54 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:44
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Pretty much all the time Aug 4, 2012

I usually listen to my favorites on YouTube or insert a CD. Music helps especially when I get stuck with a certain term or a phrase.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:44
Member (2006)
German to English
Always Aug 4, 2012

my webradio on as background music, also for the latest news, etc.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:44
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No problemo Aug 4, 2012

I need some kind of background music (i.e. not tool loud) without lyrics occasionally. Otherwise, the sound of the machines humming and my grumbling would probably drive me bonkers.

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