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Poll: …is a translator’s best friend.
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:54
SITE STAFF
Jul 12, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "…is a translator’s best friend.".

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:54
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jul 12, 2014

A translator's best friend are her/his skills and passion.

Coffee is important, or tea for those who prefer it. A pet can be sweet, but also become a "nuisance". A good colleague is important, no doubt. Music can be helpful, but isn't always the right "friend". A good CAT tool can help in some instances and with certain projects. icon_smile.gif


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:54
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 12, 2014

A few of my professional best friends are missing on the list (in no particular order):

1. My PC
2. Internet
3. Dictionaries, glossaries, specialized texts and grammar books…

For the rest, I do enjoy the company of my dog, I couldn’t do without my espresso coffee (could I?), I appreciate enormously all the help I have received over the years from my former colleagues (specially one), but CAT tools and music are not my best friends…


 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 05:54
Turkish to English
+ ...
Pet Jul 12, 2014

If, while I am working, one of my cats curls up and goes to sleep on the little bed set up for them next to my monitor, I find this soothing and it increases my productivity.

 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:54
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
CAT tool, of course! Jul 12, 2014

A CAT tool is the best friend any translator could have. You tell it all your secrets (and maybe even those of your clients) and it remembers them all! You don't have to feed it or clean up after it like you would a pet, and unlike coffee, which can make it harder to get to sleep, CAT tools help you get your work done more quickly and therefore to bed earlier. Why have music when you can have Zen Mode, and even if you do get help from a real colleague, you can store their good advice in a TM and never have to go to them again. CATs all the wayicon_smile.gif

 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:54
Russian to English
+ ...
Definitely a cat, Jul 12, 2014

but not capitalized.

[Edited at 2014-07-12 09:15 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:54
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I couldn't have said it better Jul 12, 2014

Teresa beat me to it and said exactly what I was going to say, down to the last detail (except that I'm not a coffee-drinker).

Teresa Borges wrote:

A few of my professional best friends are missing on the list (in no particular order):

1. My PC
2. Internet
3. Dictionaries, glossaries, specialized texts and grammar books…

For the rest, I do enjoy the company of my dog, I couldn’t do without my espresso coffee (could I?), I appreciate enormously all the help I have received over the years from my former colleagues (specially one), but CAT tools and music are not my best friends…


 

Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 05:54
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
. Jul 12, 2014

I have and enjoy the "company" of all of these, but somedays I could do without them all except for caffeine!

 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:54
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
My CAT tools Jul 12, 2014

Especially Wordfast PRO - would hate to do without it

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other: Common sense Jul 12, 2014

Time pressures on the translator will now and then make him/her leave common sense aside, which could quickly point who would be their best friend at that very specific moment, or indicate when a best friend is not adequate.

For the options offered, some typical examples of best friends being inconvenient are:

A CAT tool - Sometimes we get/make awful OCRs. The text is all garbled, yet readable by a human. Your beloved holy Trados (or any other less-worshipped CAT tool) will be more of a hindrance than printing that original in hard copy and translating it in 'the old way'.

A good colleague - Sometimes the translation subject matter is beyond our knowledge. So we might abuse a good colleague by bombarding them with an endless series of questions, say, via Skype. Common sense would advise us to make some arrangement for them to do that job for us, and compensate them accordingly.

Caffeine - Sometimes we are working beyond our stamina, and keep pouring coffee in, as if it were fuel for an engine. It's not! Common sense would advise us to take, say, a one-hour nap, after which we'd have possibly regained a considerable part of our productivity.

A pet? - Only if solitary translation work makes loneliness overwhelming. A neighbor's pet might give you the noisy reassurance that you are still alive. Stray birds outside too.

Music - It's not a friend. It merely squelches noise, like the keyboard's or the computer fan's so you can focus. On the other hand, if it's really good, it will be a distraction.


Common sense may help in many other ways, for instance:

- It may guide you towards eliminating non-value-adding work, such as transcribing a video before translating it (e.g. just to be able to use that precious CAT tool).

- It may warn you that you are wasting too much time attempting to do DTP with a word processor, while getting paid to 'translate'.

- It may lead you to stop and defrag your hard disk, when you see that saving your file every time is taking longer than translating it.

(add your own, there are many, all the time)


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:54
French to English
My bank mnager Jul 12, 2014

PC in pole position, hotly tailed by the internet. Then a close third, a good bank manager. For the past few years my bank manager has been excellent and what a pleasant change that makes. That said, I'm never overdrawn. Can't afford it!

 

Laurens Sipahelut  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Dutch to Indonesian
+ ...
Other: Clients Jul 12, 2014

Speaking as a translator, my clients are my best friends.

 

Gordana Sujdovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Member (2010)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Apart from mentioned, my programmer Jul 12, 2014

I assume that we all have spare computers at home; I was once at a remote small spa hundreds km away, when everything on laptop crashed, Firefox, I could not access files, and there wasn't anybody around who knew something about computers. I sent SMS, it turned out that IE was working. My programmer restored all via Team Viewer in half an hour. Not to mention issues with a bunch of programmes we use, or almost immediate fixing of computer failures, modem, processor etc., when required.

 

Sophia Shishatskaya  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:54
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yoga! Jul 12, 2014

And any other kinds of physical activityicon_smile.gif If a translator's back is healthy, the rest is optional.

 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:54
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Best friends Jul 12, 2014

My best friends as a translator:
My PC
The Internet
Paper dictionaries (I prefer them to online ones)
Chocolate
Coffee prepared by my dear wife


 
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