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Poll: Do you listen to music while translating?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:57
SITE STAFF
Jul 28, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you listen to music while translating?".

This poll was originally submitted by Evan Wilson. View the poll results »



 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 21:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
No, never ... Jul 28, 2013

... unless you count the chirping of birds outside.

 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Always Jul 28, 2013

Just cannot listen English music when translating in pairs not involving English, in this case (given that I virtually like English rock music only), I go for television.

 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:57
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes, always Jul 28, 2013

as background music - Radio

 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:57
Member (2012)
French to English
Sometimes, to drown out intrusive noises Jul 28, 2013

It has to be something bland, such as Radio 2, so that it doesn't distract me, and I switch it off as soon as possible.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Jul 28, 2013

I prefer silence (but for the inevitable traffic noise, occasional siren or overhead plane going by as I live in an urban environment) or at the most a very low volume TV on in the background.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, often Jul 28, 2013

However, I distinguish between "listening to" music, which to me suggests actually paying attention to the music, and "having aural wallpaper" in the background. It's just something pulsing away in the background to fill in what I often find to be the disconcerting void of its absence.

I sometimes also work with the TV on, but without "watching" it. It's just there.


 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 21:57
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Rarely.. Jul 28, 2013

Only -and not always- when I'm translating an easy subject. However, the music must be without lyrics.. I almost exclusively go to Yanni's music, I have chosen a few dozens of his "calmer" pieces and put them all in one folder.
I can't listen to stimulating music or music with lyrics when I translate, my brain just shuts off, or worse.. Produces baby babbling!


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, never Jul 28, 2013

Language has its own rhythm, and it's important to capture that. I find music very distracting when I'm working.

 

Cindy Presne  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:57
English to French
+ ...
Most of the time Jul 28, 2013

I couldn't live without music!
But rather instrumentral pieces (often symphonies) than songs, I find lyrics very distracting.
Interestingly however, music tends to bother me when I proofread...


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 04:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, often Jul 28, 2013

I need something to drown out the hyopnotic, mind-numbing, incessant drone of the computers.
However, like Cindy, lyrics are definitely distracting. So, it's easy listening Jazz or fusion, or termed differently by an old acquaintance "elevator music."

@Muriel
"Language has its own rhythm,"
Since I translate only technical stuff, the language would only translate into the bashing and clanking of metal icon_smile.gif


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:57
English
+ ...
I have a special "Work Music" iTunes playlist Jul 28, 2013

that I play low as background (can't really say "that I listen to") when I proofread, edit or translate. Soothing, unobtrusive classical music, obviously with no lyrics to distract, such as Beethoven piano sonatas, Bach cello suites, and Mozart. Funny thing is, I am now conditioned to go into "work mode" the moment I hear the first note.

Edited to add that final proofreading of all work is done in absolute silence... (except for the sound of me reading out loud.)


[Edited at 2013-07-28 10:53 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:57
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I can't stop my husband practising Jul 28, 2013

But, like neilmac, I don't actually listen. Hubby often asks if it was OK and he's exasperated when I say I wasn't listening. Apparently, my body language says I'm really into the music. It just shows that mind and body aren't always on the same page.

 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sometimes Jul 28, 2013

If I have to cover annoying noises from the outside or when the text is particularly boring and technical.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Sometimes Jul 28, 2013

Sometimes the radio is on. Other times "Taps" or "Il silencio" float into my office from the cemetary. Sometimes there's nothing but silence, rare in this city. Other times the song "within" takes over and "plays" on while I'm working. And then there's this sound that can best be covered by White Noise.icon_smile.gif

 
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