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Poll: Has your health been affected since you became a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:11
SITE STAFF
Nov 7, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has your health been affected since you became a translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Angela Arnone

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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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:11
Member
English to Turkish
Not only less healthy, but in lethal danger! Nov 7, 2005

After all, translators are all curious cats, right?

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Arabella K-
Local time: 08:11
Arabic to English
+ ...
Not at all Nov 8, 2005

I think this question is a kind of joke

I am as healthy as a blessed new-born child.

And yes, Xola, we are all curious cats.. but do you know that curiosity at cats is a good sign of being healthy ?


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amritha
Local time: 10:41
English to Malayalam
+ ...
not really Nov 8, 2005

I must say it has not really affected my health.

Since i began translating, i'm a happier person.It
stimulates my brain and gives an oppotunity to interact with specialists. i'm enjoying the experience.


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Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 08:11
English to Romanian
I am healthy, but... Nov 8, 2005

I've put on a lot of weight ...which is not good for my health!

[Edited at 2005-11-08 13:47]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 07:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I'm happier, but I've put on weight too... Nov 8, 2005

Maria Diaconu wrote:

I've put a lot of weight ...which is not good for my health


I've put on a little weight too, though not necessarily because of translating. And in one period I did lose some of it again.

This goes to prove that it can be done. I'm trying, but not hard enough just now, probably because as long as I don't put on any more weight, I feel it's all right!

I have to admit it's difficult between elderly friends and relatives who offer cake and can't take walks (and it was just as bad with children...) but quite honestly, even very small amounts of fresh air and exercise help me translate better. I take two minutes roughly every two hours, and do exercises by the open door if it's too wet to go outside! Don't think about it, just do it is the secret.

Besides, I have far fewer migraine attacks - and even with medication, translation + migraine = complaints from clients - it's that simple!

On the plus side, I'm happier, because I feel I have found my place in life. I liked my earlier jobs, but they were just jobs, and I went through some grey patches. Things like that make a big difference, and you have to know when to move on.

Take care, folks, you owe it to yourselves and your families.
Happy translating!


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:11
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Needs a "Don't know" option Nov 8, 2005

I have been a translator for 52 years, so of course my health is not the same as it was in 1953, but it's pretty good on the whole, and as far as I know, translation has not had any effect on it, but who can tell?

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Pernille Chapman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:11
Member (2004)
English to Danish
+ ...
Living in a pod has its advantages... Nov 8, 2005

Very useful tips, Christine! I'll definitely try exercising in the doorway while looking out at the rain

I voted 'somewhat more healthy', as I very rarely, if ever, catch colds, flu or worse these days. As a student, I got a chest infection at the start of every academic year, and it took several weeks to get back to normal. My theory is that working from home keeps you 'protected' from all the nasties flying about the average office Still, my children are bound to bring home lots of bugs from school, so living in the countryside and eating a relatively healthy diet must help, too. I agree with Amritha, too, that doing a job you enjoy and stretching your brain in the process will have a positive effect on your health. The one thing that would make this job ideal is if obligatory exercise was part of it...

So, thanks for a very interesting survey - health is anything but a joke


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Sylvain Leray  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:11
Member (2003)
German to French
Well said, Jack ! Nov 8, 2005

Jack Doughty wrote:

I have been a translator for 52 years, so of course my health is not the same as it was in 1953, but it's pretty good on the whole, and as far as I know, translation has not had any effect on it, but who can tell?


For one of the first polls here, which was about the same issue, someone (I don't remember who) made the remark that there was no obvious link between translating and health.

What if the question was "has your sexual life improved since you began translating" ?

I found it a great remark.


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:11
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
No joke at all Nov 8, 2005

It's a very serious issue and not a joke at all, nor would site staff have authorised it if they thought it was "joke".
A recent poll asked if we ate in front of the computer. Did you think that was a joke too? It was deadly serious and is linked to health issues.
Why would I make a joke about something like this? Perhaps your own good health does not allow you to perceive that there are many others who do not have your good fortune?
I suffer from RSI and I know many translators who suffer from back problems, from stress, from eye strain, to mention but a few. Even excess weight and excess smoking lead to poor health and I'm fairly certain that many of us eat badly and smoke too much.
When I take a break, even just 2 or 3 days, the symptoms improve and my doctor has suggested I change jobs. Do you think he was joking?

So Sylvain, I'm not sure where your information comes from about translators/health and being flippant about physical problems and ailments that may be due to the kind of work we do and can be improved hardly seems constructive to me.
Many years ago no one saw any link between lung cancer and working in coal mines. Seems that there was a link.
Are you sure that 8 hours a day in front of a plasma screen isn't damaging your eyes and that you can offset it by wearing protective specs? Or that the excruciating headaches you get may be caused by your chair being the wrong height or shape, so you need to buy the right kind?

My poll was intended to stir debate about how to improve health or keep healthy with suggestions from those who have been successful in doing so.

Regards
Angela


[quote]askadour wrote:
I think this question is a kind of joke

I am as healthy as a blessed new-born child.quote]


[Edited at 2005-11-08 09:25]


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:11
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Good point, Jack Nov 8, 2005

Sorry I missed this one!
I've only recently started freelancing and I am happier and more fulfilled but my neck, back and shoulders are giving me hell!!!
So, I don't want to give up the work as I love it so much, but, as Christine suggests, I need to fragment my day to offset the bad effects.
At least I don't smoke and I do go and eat at a properly set table (most of the time anyway), although that may be to do with not getting crumbs in the keyboard rather than to do with any health reason!
Angela


Jack Doughty wrote:

I have been a translator for 52 years, so of course my health is not the same as it was in 1953, but it's pretty good on the whole, and as far as I know, translation has not had any effect on it, but who can tell?


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:11
Member (2004)
English to Italian
less healthy Nov 8, 2005

I've put weight on and my backache is worse. Not to mention my nerves... those deadlines are killing me! No joke!

Giovanni


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Differentiate Nov 8, 2005

Health has been affected, yes, in a positive but also in a negative way: Less stress, as I can plan my work just I want to, but eyes suffering from too many hours in front of the screen and aching hands because of too much typing. So which alternative should I choose in this poll?

**********************************
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Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Am Birkenwäldchen 38
D-01900 Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany
Phone +49 - 3 59 52 - 321 07
Fax +49 - 3 59 52 - 322 02
E-Mail info@hansson.de
Internet www.hansson.de
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Internet www.technical-translators.net
ProZ profile http://www.proz.com/pro/21654
***********************************


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'll grant it's possibly related Nov 8, 2005

to how some people may tend to stress themselves out: http://www.proz.com/topic/25177

Otherwise, I imagine controlling one's own time can only mean a power to influence health factors favourably. (Not always taken advantage of).


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's a sedentary life... Nov 8, 2005

Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle takes a long-term toll on our health. Sooner of later we pay the price.

Much as I love translating and feel stimulated by it, I have to admit that it is a sedentary life with late hours, especially for the free lance working from home.

I used to work as an office employee, and that environment was less sedentary, between the commute, frequent breaks and interruptions, and the need to run errands here and there. My schedule was structured, and when I came home in the evening I left my work behind and did other things.

By contrast, free lancing as I do now, I work very intensely. Knowing that my income goes up the more time I spend translating, I work much longer hours. Also, I am more of a perfectionist because my reputation/client base is on the line, and that can be stressful. It's easy to get glued to my chair. My eyes start burning. Time goes by quickly. And then it's too late to take that overdue break.


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