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Poll: What is the maximum number of words that you've translated in a day?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:05
SITE STAFF
Oct 14, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What is the maximum number of words that you've translated in a day?".

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:05
German to English
+ ...
What words? Oct 14, 2013

I drive a Porsche, and my incredibly smart phone is ultra thin, too. What more do you need to know?

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 14, 2013

I don't remember. I vaguely recall doing something ridiculous like 8-10,000 words in a 24-hour period once upon a time, but it's not something I'd do again willingly, or recommend.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:05
Turkish to English
+ ...
5 - 6,000 Oct 14, 2013

I remember once doing this in a day when translating the transcripts of replies to market research questions for information purposes only. I could not achieve this volume with more demanding types of translation, though.

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Celine Reau  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:05
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
8000 - 10000 ?? Oct 14, 2013

neilmac wrote:

I don't remember. I vaguely recall doing something ridiculous like 8-10,000 words in a 24-hour period once upon a time, but it's not something I'd do again willingly, or recommend.


how did you do that ? The maximum I can do is 500-600 /hour on extremely easy text. You hardly slept nor eat that day ! This is not human...


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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 14:05
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
around 7000 Oct 14, 2013

but it was an easy excel sheet with tons of repetitions, and in any event I remember working for like 10 hours in a row. Also, I proofread the translation the following day, which took quite a while.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:05
Hebrew to English
Ten Billion Oct 14, 2013

Coz that's how I roll.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:05
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Word envy Oct 14, 2013

Dozens, gazillions, dozillions

Depends on how repetitious and simple the text is, and how many hours you're willing to squeeze into those 24 hours.

On a similar note, though, I often see "Have translated over 4 million words to date" blaah, blaah, blaah in people's CVs, which is basically the same as bragging "My CV's bigger than your's." Gasp!


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:05
English to German
+ ...
How about maximum quality Oct 14, 2013

instead of maximum quantity?

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
To be honest Oct 14, 2013

When I am translating a large file, working on a single project, I am normally slightly exhausted at the end of the day, not being Wonderwoman. Consequently, I will not spend a single minute on counting the number of words I have translated that day.

Even when a client (usually an agency) asks me about my daily output, all I can honestly say is that this depends on various factors, e. g. quality and document type of the source text, research requirements, difficulty of the subject, etc.

For this very same reason my business brochure doesn't stipulate my daily output. I'd rather focus on the quality of my translations - which does matter to me - than on the quantity - which matters only to a certain degree.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:05
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
9,000 with MT, 4,000 without MT Oct 14, 2013

Only once and never again. It was machine-translated output. That was 20 years ago, straight text, before Windows and mouse-driven input, which I have always found to be slower - though of course I got used to it long ago. Back in those days, MT output was better than it is now (there's a long explanation for that) and we used macros to speed up the typing.

Without MT, my typical peak output is now about 4,000. I might have done 5,000 in a 24-hour stretch.


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Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 14:05
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
God bless CAT tools Oct 14, 2013

I remember translating about 7000 words in a day... more than double of what I normally do! It was a set of very similar documents with lots of repetitions... so I can't say I translated them, Trados did it for me

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
One off 6,000 - 7,000 words Oct 14, 2013

I remember once translating questionnaires with mutliple choice answers with only a final comment different at the end of each one - that must have been 6,000 - 7,000 words. It wouldn't have worked otherwise.

I think when I started out I could safely manage average 2,000 words.
My normal daily output is now usually between 3,000 - 4,000 words.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:05
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
4000 words of trivial chitchat Oct 14, 2013

It was before I started using a CAT, so it was simply bashing the words out.

The text was an advertising magazine about travel, and as far as I remember was very superficial chitchat about friendly guides, comfortable hotel rooms, fantastic views and delicious food. In short, all the clichés.

I have no idea what the quality was like. I ran it past the spell checker and skimmed it myself, somewhat bleary-eyed, before sending it off.

It was early on in my career, which is why I remembered it. I decided never again, and certainly never if it was a text that mattered, and was not just intended to sound good and fill time.


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Maciej W  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:05
English to Polish
+ ...
Depends on what you mean by "translated" ;) Oct 14, 2013

On a few jobs I was able confirm several thousand words in a CAT tool in one 8-hour day. (Obviously, I only know that from the analyses). Needless to say, these jobs included many repetitions and 90-something % matches etc. Then, I would spend some hours proofreading the whole thing, as with any other job.

Clients sometimes ask about max daily outputs, and like Thayenga, I tell them about the different factors, but pressed for a number I would say something like 2000 - in other words, something I'm likely to pull off unless totally overwhelmed.

Last, @Julian: yes, this whole obsession with numbers is ridiculous in a way, but on the other hand, nearly every translator/interpreter advertises their "X years of full time experience" which is basically another way of saying the same. Just something we do "for the fans"


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