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Poll: Can you touch type?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:46
SITE STAFF
Nov 1, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Can you touch type?".

This poll was originally submitted by Hynek Palatin

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 19:46
French to English
+ ...
touch type Nov 2, 2005

what exactly does that mean?

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Luciano Monteiro  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:46
English to Portuguese
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Definition Nov 2, 2005

Touch typing is typing using the sense of touch rather than sight to find the keys. Touch typing places the eight non-thumb fingers in a horizontal row along the middle of the keyboard and has them reach for other keys. Most computer keyboards have a raised dot on either the F/J keys or the D/K keys (or the keys in the same position, for non-QWERTY keyboards) so that touch-typists can feel when their fingertips are over the correct "home row."

htp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_type


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Steve Yates  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:46
German to English
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Not just about typing speed Nov 2, 2005

Teaching myself to touch type over 15 years ago was one of the best investments in time that I ever made. Now that the use of computer keyboards is so prevalent, I am surprised at how few people cannot touch type. Even though I have seen people who can't touch type achieving high typing speeds, the main drawback for them is that they can't look at the screen and type simultaneously. When it comes to translating, it is surely much more efficient to be able to read the source text and type the translation at the same time.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Also, I do my best work when not looking at the screen, either! Nov 2, 2005

A few years ago I discovered that my work is much better and much more accurate when I close my eyes completely and touch type. I only make typos when I have my eyes open and am looking at the screen. If you are a good touch typist, try closing your eyes and see if the same thing happens with you!

Javier wrote: So, how do you read the original?

I grab a chunk of text in my mind--as much as I think I can handle easily. When I'm finished, I open my eyes and look at the screen again. Everything I have written in this message was with my eyes closed, and I d idn't make a single typo--I don't think. I will check and see. (One mistake: the extra blank).

[Edited at 2005-11-03 07:09]

[Edited at 2005-11-03 07:11]


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
So, how do you read the original? Nov 2, 2005

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

A few years ago I discovered that my work is much better and much more accurate when I close my eyes completely and touch type. I only make typos when I have my eyes open and am looking at the screen. If you are a good touch typist, try closing your eyes and see if the same thing happens with you!


I think this is becoming a rare skill now that word processors correct what you write.
However, I agree it's extremely important for translators because it allows you to read and write at the same time, something we could genuinely call "simultaneous translation". I do do that.
J.


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Timothy Barton
Local time: 04:46
French to English
+ ...
I didn't realise I could until someone asked me and I tried Nov 2, 2005

I had tried a couple of years earlier and generally wrote with lots of mistakes. Then a couple of years ago someone asked me whether I could, and I tried and realised I was much better, though I still had too many mistakes. But I persisted, and before long I was able to completely touch type. Of course, occasionally I hit the wrong key (or more often, I hit the key I want but also an adjacent key, adding an additional letter to a word), but then I just hit the delete key (again without looking) and go for the right key again. This is much quicker than looking down at the keyboard all the time, especially when translating.

So if you think you can't, give it a go. If you spend most of the day typing you must already know you're way around the keyboard fairly well.

It is great fun to be with people who can't touch type and to look at them (ie, neither the screen nor the keyboard) while you're typing.


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2004)
Russian to English
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I usually need a visual point of reference Nov 2, 2005

I can touch type and do it very fast but since I never learned it properly (I simply had to type a lot as an editor) I still need a visual point of reference when I start typing. For example when I was typing the previous sentence I had to look at my keyboard to find the first "I" and then touch typed my way through to "visual" where I stopped, went back to the end of "properly" looked at my keyboard for the "(" and kept touch typing from there...

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:46
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
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Touch typing Nov 2, 2005

SYates wrote:

Teaching myself to touch type over 15 years ago was one of the best investments in time that I ever made...



Same here! I actually cannot type fast enough if I look at the keyboard. I look at the monitor when I touch type, not only to see the source text, but also to check any typos on the way. Thanks to touch typing, when I make a typo, it is easier (for me) to delete the whole word, rather than going back and fixing only that typo.

Interesting results from this poll.

Have a nice day everyone,
Monika




[Edited at 2005-11-02 15:32]


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 19:46
French to English
+ ...
thanks for the clarification Nov 2, 2005

Hi everyone

we usually call it keyboarding in the U.S. and we learn it at school early on. It didn't used to be required but now I'm pretty sure it is.

In any case, it was interesting to read about your experiences!


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:46
Difficult learning experience in secondary school... Nov 2, 2005

It was one of those things that, at the time, I thought was useless. Teachers used to cover the keyboard letters of old Remington typewriters with non-transparent adhesive tape, so we could not see them and have to memorize their positions.

Our tests consisted of copying texts without looking at the keybord, and in a determined period of time (no backing off to correct allowed). If by mistake you aligned your fingers one letter to the right or one letter to the left, the text came out illegible. Needless to say, I failed most of the tests. However, with time, I got better (I still make a lot of mistakes, though) and the value of the skill became quite apparent... Thanks to Miss Blanca for all the pressure she put on me!

The one that is still beyond my abilities is the ergonomic keyboard that is cut in half and slightly inclined. That one just messes up my sense of where all the letters are!

PS: The same happened with shorthand, I hated to have to learn it, but it came really handy when I was taking notes in university. Unfortunately, it has been such along time since I learned it, that I have forgotten 95% of it!

[Edited at 2005-11-02 17:17]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:46
English to Spanish
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Never Learned Nov 2, 2005

Just like Carlos Fuentes, I never learned how to type, but when I got my first typewriter upoon graduating from high school I just started doing what I could the wrong way and thus I have continued ever since. My typing speed is nothing great, but it is enought to keep up with the translating process because I have to be thinking about what comes next, not just copying.

Through the years I always kept a typewriter at work and used it even though I was in a supervisory position, and I often wondered whether I could ever make a living typing if I had to.

Now it turns out I can.

Once I saw Carlos Fuentes on TV, and if I recall correctly, his typing style was just the index finger on the right hand dancing all over the keyboard, with the left hand used only for the carriage return.

But then Carlos also found he could make a living with it, so if we cannot touch-type we should not despair.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 22:46
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, but not the top row! Nov 2, 2005

Typing was a required course at my high school (small-town Illinois, grad 1967) but my Dad was the teacher, he taught me at home, and I "proficiencied out" of the class. Mistake; I never properly mastered the numbers and symbols, so I have to look down for most of them. Otherwise I keep my eyes on the source text, usually switching to the monitor at the end of each paragraph for a quick review/proofread.

A friend let me try her split, angled, "ergonomic" keyboard and after the first 5 minutes, I loved it! Next time I buy a keyboard I'm getting one. A far cry from the bulky manual typewriter I learned on!


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Daphne b  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:46
Member (2003)
Swedish to Greek
+ ...
Same for me Nov 2, 2005

Monika Coulson wrote:

Same here! I actually cannot type fast enough if I look at the keyboard.


Yes, isn't it funny? My speed is enormously reduced if I look at the keyboard, and mistakes start creeping in. Seems like our fingers "think" for themselves, and if you start looking at the keyboard, they lose concentration!

[Edited at 2005-11-02 19:20]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:46
Member
English to Turkish
It's like cycling Nov 2, 2005

Daphne Theodoraki wrote:

My speed is enormously reduced if I look at the keyboard, and mistakes start creeping in. Seems like our fingers "think" for themselves, and if you start looking at the keyboard, they lose concentration!


You look down at the road, you fall down!


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