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e-readers instead of paper
Thread poster: Olly Pekelharing

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:37
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Aug 31, 2009

Does anyone use an e-reader instead of paper?

I always print my translations for final editing because I almost invariably see mistakes in print that I missed on screen. This consumes huge amounts of paper and ink, which is environmentally unfriendly and the ink in particular is very expensive. So how about e-paper? Does anyone use it and is it the same as reading from paper? The latest readers allow editing on touch screens, so theoretically they could be ideal for editing text...

I'm very interested in hearing users' experiences.

Thanks,

Olly


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Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:37
Polish to English
+ ...
No experience with e-readers... Sep 3, 2009

and just curious about one issue: why use an e-reader to edit your job? What is the difference between reading from an e-reader display or from your computer display?

A different option, if you're not going to read, is conversion of the translated text to PDF and hearing it being read by Adobe Reader (function Read Out Loud). The voice is, so to say, mechanical - not a human voice talent, for sure and reads - AFAIK- English texts only.

Regards

AM

[Zmieniono 2009-09-03 10:53 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A better screen? Sep 3, 2009

Honestly I share Andrzej's view: I don't see the difference between reviewing on-screen (where you can also make edits and notes directly in the document or a PDF of it) and using ePaper...

Maybe what you need is a better screen, with a higher resolution and the possibility to see the text with more quality and in a bigger format?


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:37
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
E-readers just like paper Sep 3, 2009

Hi Andrzej,

Apparently e-readers 'read' just like paper, because they are not backlit, among other reasons.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Why do you... Sep 3, 2009

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
I always print my translations for final editing because I almost invariably see mistakes in print that I missed on screen.


Why do you miss mistakes on screen? Could it be because the resolution of a screen is much lower than the resolution of a printed page? If that is so, then, wouldn't you miss mistakes on an e-reader also, which typically has an even lower resolution than your average screen does?


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:37
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
I have no idea... Sep 3, 2009

I have no idea why I miss mistakes on the screen. Whether it has to do with resolution, back-lighting, screen quality, or some other factor, I don't know. Both my laptop and desktop screens are 'state-of-the-art', so I assume that's not the problem. As I understand it, the point of the e-reader is not its resolution (although this is sure to be important) but the fact that it is not backlit. You can say what you like about tft screens, but not that they look like paper, which apparently the e-reader does.

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Julie Dion  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:37
English to French
e-reader Sep 3, 2009

The quality of an e-reader screen is fantastic (the one I have seen anyway, Sony I think). It is just like paper. A nice mat finish, comfortable contrast, crisp letters. I was impressed. However, I find that just changing the font type or making a pdf out of the soft copy helps me spot the typos right on my computer screen. Also, I read my translation outloud when I am finished. That also helps spot missing words, letters, awkward sentences without printing.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
An electronic device... a lot more environmentally unfriendly Sep 3, 2009

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
I always print my translations for final editing because I almost invariably see mistakes in print that I missed on screen. This consumes huge amounts of paper and ink, which is environmentally unfriendly and the ink in particular is very expensive. So how about e-paper?

Of course you know what you prefer to do, but I thought I'd comment on the following:

A) An electronic device like an e-paper product requires the use of dangerous substances at manufacturing time, generates a big environmental problem at the end of its life (more particularly a miniaturised device like that, which is very difficult to disassemble to separate the components for proper recycling). Furthermore, the device will have to be constantly supplied with energy, in the form of discardable batteries (awful for the environment) or rechargeable batteries (even worse).

B) When you say that you print a lot and use ink... shouldn't you perhaps change technologies here to print with a laser device? Any regular laser device today with toner saving mode (all machines have it in some form) will produce thousands of pages with one toner cartridge, a cartridge which can be recycled. A laser printer can be disassembled and recycled easily with today's technology.

C) Papermaking is not what it used to be 50 years ago. Pulp plants not only consume very little water today, but they also generate electricity for the public. They also make sure forests are planted as part of their production cycle (they usually plant 10 times the surface of forest they consume every year, so at any moment in time you have 90% of growing forest, with all the CO2 benefits associated).

D) Paper itself is not environmentally unfriendly at all: it is basically just wood fibre and mineral fillers which, when recovered at paper recycling plants, is used by industries like tile makers. If you feel like it, you can also burn the paper in your stove as part of your heating needs and dump the ashes in your garden, thus contributing to a better soil for your plants.

All in all, maybe the idea that e-paper will be more environmentally friendly is based on incorrect facts.


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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:37
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Food for thought Sep 3, 2009

Thanks Tomás,

I have considered that, however the official Dutch environmental awareness site in fact proclaims that the ink-jet printer is more environmentally friendly, among others because it consumes much less power. I have no idea where the truth lies, and I know its a complicated business to make a reliable comparison between one technology and the other, based on ALL factors. But thanks to your comments I am going to have a rethink of the way I work anyway. I haven't, for example, tried creating pdfs and reading through these yet (Julie's suggestion), although the immediate drawback that comes to mind is that you can't edit or annotate them.

Olly


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 06:37
Member
Spanish
+ ...
DNS Sep 3, 2009

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking to proofread my work. It works fantastic because your brain can trick your eyes, but if you're listening to your translations, there's a higher chance that you might catch your mistakes or typos.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:37
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
WOW!! Sep 4, 2009

Claudia Alvis wrote:
I use Dragon Naturally Speaking to proofread my work. It works fantastic because your brain can trick your eyes, but if you're listening to your translations, there's a higher chance that you might catch your mistakes or typos.

Claudia, I did not think about that, but indeed it can be used for that!! Thanks a lot for the hint.


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:37
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
I also wonder about e-reader experiences Sep 21, 2009

I tried PDF and DNS; they help a bit but do not even come close to a printout on my (physical) desktop. My best possible correction method is reading out loud the translation at least 12 hours after finishing the translation and in front of a another person who is following the original document.

Unfortunately current translation rates and lead-times rarely allow for this procedure. If I cannot wait 12 hours, I do not have a another person and I cannot take the time to read aloud, I still get much better results just by reading on paper rather than from a PDF onscreen. As far as I know this is universally true, and is not just my preference. I guess our eyes move differently on paper and on screen, and our minds works differently.

I also wonder about Andrzey question. It would be interesting to know what could be the effect of "electronic ink" on my eyes and my mind. The objective would be combining the advantages of word-processing with the precision of checking and proofreading on paper.

[Edited at 2009-09-21 01:27 GMT]


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elena_patineuse
Local time: 14:37
French to Russian
+ ...
just change font/scale Jun 28, 2011

If for some reason you don't want or can't print the document just for reading the translation, you can just change font and/or scale of the document. The change of document appearance will allow you to have a fresher view of it, while you can make corrections to the translation. After you finish reading it, you obviously need to change the scale and font back. Even if it is not as good as reading from paper, it is still better than nothing.

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Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:37
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
E-readers (Kindle) are fantastic Jun 28, 2011

A backlit screen is hard for eyes due to high contrast against background. The actual reaction is depending on an individual but generally it is stressful to eyes and not good for long focused reading. Generally one is more likely to overlook more mistakes compared to paper printouts.

E-ink is a reflective screen technology that is almost as good as paper. Although the contrast is still not as good, in some aspects it is even better than paper, for example, I can easily change the font size or use a dictionary. As I already have a Kindle I have been using it quite a lot for proofreading with very good results. It allows me more time to work outside my office where I have no access to my laser printer.

Perl e-ink is good enough but generally all current e-readers in the market are still immature. First of all, 6 inch screen is way to small. Another issue is limited number on file formats supported. I usually email a document to a Kindle address and receive a converted text wirelessly on the device. It adds unnecessary delay and requires access to WiFi or 3G. I can also convert the file manually (via Calibre) and copy it via USB. Honestly, it is a hassle that I would like to avoid. Why not implement some Bluetooth connectivity with my laptop?

Making notes in Kindle also could be improved. The keyboard in nice but I still have to reenter all marked corrections into the work file. Would an ability to work directly in doc files be too much?


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Daria Bontch-Osmolovskaia
Australia
Local time: 21:37
English
+ ...
Nice ideas! Oct 23, 2012

I'll have to try that trick with the Dragon, haven't thought of it! Actually, didn't even know you can do that at all

Personally, I prefer a BN Nook to Kindles, but each to their own. For me, the advantage of a Nook is that it has native PDF support, and it runs on a cut-down version of Android, unlike a proprietary and severely restricted Kindle. Also, it doesn't have a silly little keyboard under the screen, just a little touch screen (I've got an older model), which is fine for my needs. I use it constantly, for reading books or university lecture transcripts or reference books. Haven't tried it for proofreading translations, but will give it a shot soon!

It has a few issues - if the PDFs were created from scans (i.e. a collection of images rather than text, printed from Word), it won't resize the font size, which can be an issue as the text can be too small to read. Also, the size of the screen is smaller than the A4 paper, so a PDF page takes one and 2/3 of its 'page'. The refresh speed takes time to get used to, though that's probably an issue with all e-book readers. But these are all minor issues.

Otherwise, I love it. I try to stick to an 'electronic sunset' at home - i.e. turn off all glaring screens, TV, computers, tablets, phones 1-2 hours before sleep, to rest the brain before sleep. An e-book reader isn't backlit, so it's fantastic. And besides, I'm a bibliophile - we already have 3 overloaded bookshelves, and please don't let me near a booksale with money in my wallet! At least ebooks don't get dusty!


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