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Poll: Have you ever used a typewriter for working on your translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:57
SITE STAFF
Aug 23, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever used a typewriter for working on your translations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Oleg Delendyk. View the poll results »



 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:57
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 23, 2014

I've been freelancing since 1965, so there was no other option till around 1990.

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Aug 23, 2014

way back in the last millennium (icon_wink.gif ) when I started out as an in-house translator. It took some 13 years until the first computers arrived in our office, which could only be used for the regular translations, no Internet connection. Those were the days... that I don't really miss.

Although I've heard rumors that some companies (governments?) begin to dig out their old typewriters for top secret materials... the only way to be safe from "spies".icon_biggrin.gif


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:57
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No, but I regularly use a pencil Aug 23, 2014

My father - now aged 93 - gave up on typewriters because they did not handle the alphabets he was using well - translating from New Testament Greek to Marathi.

He did use a typewriter for English.

There are many ways in which all the smart technology is more a hindrance than a help. I have learnt to type on a computer - where the delete key is the one I use most... but simply do not have the manual dexterity and coordination to use a mechanical typewriter.

However, my handwriting is fast and legible - I pride myself on it.

Apart from very short texts, I print out the source and go through it, noting terminology or drafting tricky phrases with a pencil before I begin typing.

Then the translation flows, because I do not have to stop and look everything up, and I have already 'pretranslated' it in my head. This also reduces the numbers of typos.

It is a question of using the technical aids automatically, so that what brain I have can concentrate on translating... and a typewriter, with its awkward qwerty design and the extra Danish letters where I have to use my weakest pinkie, would simply be a nuisance. I had not begun translating when that was the only option, and indeed, had to choose a career where I could get others to do the typing!


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, absolutely--twenty years ago, when I first started. Aug 23, 2014

I have a small collection of typewriters-- really old ones--like about five, but I don't use them anymore, even though two or three are functional. 1937- the oldest one.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes! Aug 23, 2014

That was the only tool of the trade when I started translating professionally in the late 1970s. I used to write my first draft by hand, then type it up very carefully on a manual typewriter. Those were the days when correcting the slightest mistake seemed like an almost insuperable task: re-typing all over again (before the age of the correction tape and the correcting fluid). Still remember the day I could buy an IBM electric typewriter (a Selectric) with all those special typeballs!!!

What a change we “oldies” have witnessed… and enjoyed!


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
As you say Aug 23, 2014

Jack Doughty wrote:

I've been freelancing since 1965, so there was no other option till around 1990.


 

Oleg Delendyk
Ukraine
Local time: 15:57
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes Aug 23, 2014

Since 1985 till 1995

 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 14:57
German to English
+ ...
YEs Aug 23, 2014

but them, I'm old, and began in the days of communication by letter, translation by typewriter (end devleoped the art of reformulating sentences to fit what I'd already written!) and really long deadlines! (and much much lower earnings, btw)

 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
Yes Aug 23, 2014

When I started in 1973. Then came a typewriter with a screen and a disc drive, that costed USD 10,000, and then a small PC that costed USD 4,500 and so on.

Rolf

[Bearbeitet am 2014-08-23 18:57 GMT]


 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:57
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Aug 23, 2014

At first on an IBM selectric I - I actually loved it; we did not know better in those days, and those typewriters were very expensive, by the way. They cost much more than a pc today.

Then while working in-house I got an Olivetti, one of the first with a memory (6 pages).
At first I hated it, but finally after mastering the different functions it grew on me, and then came the big desktop computers.........

[Edited at 2014-08-23 12:05 GMT]


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
Yes. Aug 23, 2014

Ages ago. Sometimes the typing took longer than the translating.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 21:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Aug 23, 2014

This poll really gives away our ages, doesn't it. Aaaaaaaaaaah, the good ol' days. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes, it's a generation thing! Aug 23, 2014

I note the younger translators are conspicuous by their absence.

In my early days as a translator I used a manual typewriter I had bought myself when I was still at Uni with the money I got for my 21st birthday. Unfortunately it only had a good old British keyboard, so all accents had to be added afterwards by hand.
It's still in the garage somewhere, if I ever want to dig it out, but I don't know if we can still get typewriter ribbons ... there might even be some Tippex in a drawer somewhere, probably dried up.
Later I progressed to an electric machine, with two different balls of characters, remember those?
That one was scrapped when the computer came on the scene.


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:57
German to English
Typewriters until the 1980s Aug 23, 2014

I started out using a portable typewriter, then bought an IBM memory typewriter that stored a small amount of text (about a short paragraph). In the early 1980s when personal computers became available, I bought a CP/M-based computer with a daisy-wheel printer. The ensemble – with a laughable amount of software – set me back about $3500. Together, the last two computers I've purchased haven't set me back $3500!

 
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Poll: Have you ever used a typewriter for working on your translations?

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