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Poll: Do you find it difficult to concentrate on translating?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:41
SITE STAFF
Sep 15, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you find it difficult to concentrate on translating?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 15, 2017

(Usually written as one word).

If I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on translating, it's usually because there is something else worrying me, perhaps something that needs to be done which is going to require taking time away from my work. Like administration, tax returns, family business, vehicle maintenance... etc. Or, occasionally, because I have too many requests for translation coming in at once (like yesterday)... However, I can't complain really, because most of the time I would rather be working than doing all that other stuff.


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Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:41
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 15, 2017

Can be harder to concentrate at times, for various reasons - we're all human.
Good question, though!
Concentration is key to working fast and working well (the main factors that allow us to make a living from translation, in my view). I find that those people who seem to find it a little harder to concentrate (because they're easily distracted) are pretty unflapplable once they're in "that zone".

OK, enough distraction for now...


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:41
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 15, 2017

When I'm tired, particularly. Or when there are a lot of interruptions.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:41
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Sep 15, 2017

Sorry, but this is a pretty stupid question. Do you feel hungry when you are translating?

If I had not slept the night before then I would probably have problems concentrating, but otherwise....


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Depends what's in the fridge Sep 15, 2017

Michael Harris wrote:
Do you feel hungry when you are translating?


Right now, yes!

Hunger and concentration are most definitely inversely correlated chez moi.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:41
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Rarely Sep 15, 2017

I live alone and I’m not sidetracked by frequent interruptions (my clients prefer emailing me as opposed to using the phone). Though I live near the center of Lisbon and my street is quite busy, my office is on the rear quite separated from the rest of the house opening to a small patio. It’s a very calm and peaceful environment suitable for work. So, it’s all set up and ready for me to concentrate on my work…

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david mcfegan  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 01:41
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Deadline approaching? Sep 15, 2017

Sometimes - it depends how close the deadline is!

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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 09:41
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Sometimes Sep 15, 2017

When I did not sleep well, in the evenings (I am a morning person) or just when you have one of those days with individual clients calling every 20 minutes.
I also have an opposite problem - sometimes I am so engaged with the text I am working on that I forget to get some rest and even drink water. I have to remind myself to do it because drinking at least 2L per day is essential in Australia.


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:41
Member (2012)
French to English
Sometimes Sep 15, 2017

Actually, no, never (in case any potential clients are watching...).

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:41
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Rarely Sep 15, 2017

But of course, when you start to get too tired you have to stop.

And on a rare occasion, when my mind is preoccupied with some serious (personal) issue.

[Edited at 2017-09-15 16:06 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
An even stupider question Sep 15, 2017

Michael Harris wrote:

Sorry, but this is a pretty stupid question. Do you feel hungry when you are translating?

If I had not slept the night before then I would probably have problems concentrating, but otherwise....


Try this one for size, Michael: Do you feel sleepy if you only slept for 2 hours the previous night?

They go as the movie Dumb and Dumber…



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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 19:41
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Always... Sep 15, 2017

Allow me to explain. I think that concentrating means that I'm not very familiar with the subject. Since I specialize in business and legal documents, it is very likely that I've seen similar texts in the past. So what I do is not concentrate but rather not concentrate and let the text flow from my fingers and onto the screen.

Kind of like thinking too hard about walking or riding a bicycle. If I tried that, I would be sure to fall.


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Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:41
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never Sep 15, 2017

Since after many years of experience translating different kinds of texts I have found literary ones to be the most complex, and because the latter are what I have created exclusively, on an almost constant basis, for the past several years, I would say that I never have any difficulty concentrating on my work.

Almost constant concentration is a necessity in my case, to meet the needs of my clients.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Concentration Sep 15, 2017

Reed James wrote:

Allow me to explain. I think that concentrating means that I'm not very familiar with the subject. Since I specialize in business and legal documents, it is very likely that I've seen similar texts in the past. So what I do is not concentrate but rather not concentrate and let the text flow from my fingers and onto the screen.

Kind of like thinking too hard about walking or riding a bicycle. If I tried that, I would be sure to fall.


Concentration, I believe, goes by degrees, and it is a deliberate act spurred by a variety of factors or a combination of factors, not simply by familiarity or unfamiliarity with a subject.

The phrasing of the question, “Do you find it difficult to concentrate on translating?” is so poor as to deserve the attention of third graders rather than professional translators. But I'm aiming too high.



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