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Poll: When starting a new project, do you ever feel "I will never be able to finish this one?"
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:09
SITE STAFF
Oct 13, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When starting a new project, do you ever feel "I will never be able to finish this one?"".

This poll was originally submitted by EvaVer. View the poll results »



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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Oct 13, 2013

Perhaps a translator that does feel like this should take a break, or consider other employment options...

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No Oct 13, 2013

Never at the start... In 30 years I have never delivered a translation late (knock on wood!), though I had to negotiate a new deadline 2 or 3 times. I always aim at delivering before the deadline in order to have a cushion for the unexpected and to exceed my client’s expectations. Sometimes when work is not progressing as planned I may have an anxious feeling of not being able to finish the job at hand but somehow I always manage to find my way again...

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:09
Member
German to English
+ ...
No, but ... Oct 13, 2013

Sometimes I feel a little daunted or realise that it will take me a very long time due to the complicated subject matter. I may have felt I would not be able to finish a translation when I first started but not anymore.

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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:09
English
+ ...
Why would you even take on a job you thought you couldn't finish? Oct 13, 2013

neilmac wrote:

Perhaps a translator that does feel like this should take a break, or consider other employment options...


Yes, that was my first thought also.


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Patricia Prevost  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Oct 13, 2013

Sometimes I may fear I am not going to finish on time when, for some reason, I am not translating as fast as I think I should (due to complicated format, research, etc).
I agree 100% with Neilmac (as usual).


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:09
Hebrew to English
As in.......? Oct 13, 2013

I read this question as: "this project is so big that I'll never be able to finish this one" (a difficulty in seeing the light at the end of a tunnel of a mammoth project). If that's what is meant then my answer would be no, because I rarely take on massive projects, I just don't like them (some people thrive on them - personal choice).

If it's just a generic "I'll never be able to finish this one" when you are faced with a simple 500 word electricity bill to translate then yes, time for a holiday or a re-evaluation of your career choices I think


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:09
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 13, 2013

I often do large jobs. This year I had 9 big ones - the largest, over 52,000 words. Though I knew I was going to finish it, it seemed as if the end was out of sight.

Ten years ago I had a contract to translate an 800-word volume. I was about one-third of the way through when I landed in the hospital. While I believed I could still finish it in time, the client didn't want to take the chance and re-assigned the job to someone else. So it can happen.


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macimovic
Netherlands
Local time: 15:09
English to Serbian
+ ...
No Oct 13, 2013

Luckily no. At the moment I'm working on a 100k words project (biggest I've ever had) and I will be done before the deadline. No stress, fun project and the subject field is just what I am specialized in.

I guess it all depends on many things.

[Edited at 2013-10-13 11:31 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:09
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It would mean poor time/productivity management Oct 13, 2013

The question should be about the thought "I will never be able to finish this one on time".

If that possibility ever crossed my mind, I wouldn't have taken the job, period. Like a few colleagues said on this thread, I've never delivered a translation job late, and fully intend to keep my track record that way.

I tell demanding prospects what I can do. If that's good enough for them, it's all right; if not, they should look for someone else who can.

Sometimes they are polite enough to thank me for the estimate, and tell me that they will be using a faster - and often cheaper - option. Some time (weeks, months, years) later, they'll return to me, ask whether I remember them, and tell me they want *me* to do it this time. They send me a job, asking how long ir will take, and how much it will cost. Had one of these yesterday.

As I learned in my HRD consulting days: "Adults don't learn by being told; they learn from facing the consequences of their actions."


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:09
English to Spanish
+ ...
Welcome to reality TV for translators Oct 13, 2013

If I ever wondered if I could ever finish a project I just accepted (committment) and started (discipline), then I'm still in elementary school.

A dog could come up with a better question.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:09
Member (2008)
English to Italian
not really Oct 13, 2013

I have to say that it has happened once or twice, when approaching a very long patent.
I did not think "I won't be able to finish this by the deadline", but I thought "I am not going to finish this one = I'll get so bored that it will take more than usual and I really do not want to read it carefully after writing it!!!!" Anyway I finished them and delivered on time (and checked every single line before delivery).


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:09
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Seldom, if ever... Oct 13, 2013

If I believed that I won't be able (for whatever reason) to finish a project, then I will definately not accept it. Simple as that.

The only time I experienced such a "notion" was when I had accepted a large project and then discovered, about in its middle, that there were massive formatting issues which resulted in a terribly "messy" upload to my CAT tool. I contacted the client and then translated the messed-up section in the "old-fashioned" way.

Under these unfavorable circumstances being less than half an hour "late" was (sort of) acceptable for my client because, based on the messed-up source text, he didn't expect such a "fast" delivery.

P. S. Upon first discovery of that problem, I thought (only for a second) that I might need to find a new profession.


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Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:09
German to English
A trifle harsh... Oct 13, 2013

Mario Chavez wrote:

If I ever wondered if I could ever finish a project I just accepted (committment) and started (discipline), then I'm still in elementary school.

A dog could come up with a better question.


..but perfectly true. If you aren't sure you can finish the job in time, you don't accept it!

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Steve K.


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:09
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 13, 2013

I think it is a fair question, especially when the material is really complicated and the agency is pushing for completion at 'x' amount of words per day, including weekends, with no real time off.

The only thing you can do is get on with it, do your quota per day and believe in yourself and God that you'll get through it. There's no reason why you shouldn't make it, but sometimes you ask yourself that question... 'Am I capable, do I have the mental strength and resources?'.

It's perfectly natural and happens to all of us at times.


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