The great printer debate - how essential is yours?
Thread poster: HRiley

HRiley  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 7, 2003

Over the last few months I have been really surprised to read various postings from ProZ members who state that they don't need, use or even own a printer.

Now, perhaps I'm some kind of old fashioned translator, but I can honestly say that I couldn't do my job properly without a printer - it was the first thing I bought when I went freelance, and I get through reams of paper and gallons of ink.

Maybe it's because, when I started out as a staff translator, it was drummed into me by my superiors: you've not checked your translation till you've printed out the source and target copies, and gone through the thing with a red pen.

For some reason, I can't manage to proofread my translations on screen (apart from very short texts, quick powerpoint presentations, one-liners, etc). No matter how many times I read through the text on the computer, and despite using the spelling and grammar checker, when I read the printout I usually notice at least one error that had previously escaped my notice

As soon as I print the text out, it's as though all the words are falling into place and I can easily correct and tweak my work until it sounds as good as I can get it

I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions on this matter. Do you use your printer every day? Or do you reckon they're an obsolete item in the translator's workplace?


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Louise Dupont  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:15
English to French
Same thing for me Jul 7, 2003

[quote]HRiley wrote:
For some reason, I can't manage to proofread my translations on screen (apart from very short texts, quick powerpoint presentations, one-liners, etc). No matter how many times I read through the text on the computer, and despite using the spelling and grammar checker, when I read the printout I usually notice at least one error that had previously escaped my notice


(I begin by printing the original document as a reference, and my translated text to proofread. I save money on ink by refilling my cartridge with a kit sold in stores.It gives me the equivalent of 6 cartridges for 20$ instead of 50$ a single cartridge. And I use my paper on both sides.....
All the best
Louise)


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
English to Polish
+ ...
neither obsolete nor essential Jul 7, 2003

I try to keep all my work "soft", but sometimes the odd person asks for a printout.
What I use my printer for is to print (sometimes) the source text.
I find it easier to translate from a piece of paper, writing over the source document on the computer.
I have found that working with two documents side by side on my screen (and I recently splurged on a 19" screen) I miss the odd line or two. So I just keep a printout of the text in front of me.
Actually, I have a bigger problem with clients who only have a paper copy of what they want done and I get to charge extra for all the additional formatting

As to fax - even if you have a mega connection, keep your fax-modem in the computer. Never know when you might need it and doesn't cost anything to run except phone time.

Besides, don't you need a printer to print your invoices, tax returns and all the other assorted bureaucratic stuff?

Pawel Skalinski


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:15
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Printer Usage Jul 7, 2003

I must say that I use my printer less than when I started using printers, but I do use it.

I have a couple of clients who want a hard copy of the document together with the file on a floppy. And I also handle a number of birth certificates, marriage certificates that need to be printed out. But I do urge clients to send me documents on-line. I lose time and they incur extra costs if I have to do extra formatting.

I fully agree with you: I need to have the text printed out to proofread and I always print out my source text to have next to me when I translate. I translate over the source text on-line, but still like to have the hard text in front of me.

And yes, I fondly remember my teachers telling me that you have to print out the text to proof (with a red pen, yes.)

I also recycle my paper by using both sides.

I would say, hang on to your printer. And if you have to buy a new one, there are some good ones for under $100.

Lucinda


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:15
English to Chinese
+ ...
I have two printers Jul 7, 2003

A mono laser is for work and a color inkjet is for non-work.

I have 2 monitors so I can display the source document on one monitor and translate into Word on the other. I have cut down printing dramatically this way. Dual display is available in Windows 98 and up. You do need a second video card.

As you can buy a good quality laser printer for about US$200 (Brother and Samsung models), it is a good idea to have one. Documents printed on a laser printer look more professional.


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invguy  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 01:15
English to Bulgarian
We're still too far from the paperless world... Jul 7, 2003

... MHO, of course - and I don't mean technologically. I mean that a sheet of paper does feel different from a screen, and I presume this is how it will stay for a long time.

Admittedly, I check my translations on-screen, and have no problems with that. However, a computer without some kind of hardcopy output does not make much sense to me. I certainly want to be able to print out some interesting reading for my weekend escape to the countryside (or other places where I do *not* take my notebook PC with me ). Then, there are always things you'd like to print out for someone else to look at, or just for your paper archive (yep, paper archives are still here, and don't tell me you don't have one ).


HRiley wrote:

... and I get through reams of paper and gallons of ink.




Then you'd better buy a laser one, HRiley. If you print 1,000 or more pages per month, your expenses with a laser printer would be significantly lower than with an inkjet. Especially if it is a refurbished second-hand one - might last for years. HP4P/4L, 5L, 6L are highly recommendable, I've owned or operated all of them. HP4/4V/4Plus are true workhorses, it's like having a printing shop on your desk. Newer SOHO-targeted models are more fragile, IMHO... I now own an HP1100, and have experienced glitches.

No, I'm not an HP sales agent - I've just happened to use mostly HPs, starting from a IIp back in the early 90s. But there are also Xerox, Epson, Minolta, Optra...

Altogether, a laser is considerably faster, and the price per printed page can only be beaten by dot matrix printers. Just do a Google search on price-per-page reviews. In addition, print quality is excellent on normal (i.e. cheaper) paper.

You can always have a cheap inkjet side by side with your laser, for the occasions when you'd really need to print something in colour - and it would be feasible to use *only* coated inkjet paper for it, which would guarantee both better quality, and less problems in operation.


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Nina Engberg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:15
Member (2003)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Great when you need to be away from your computer Jul 7, 2003

I use my printer a lot. It's especially nice when I need to watch my kids -- I can print out my first draft of the translation and work on it away from my computer. I also seem to notice typos better on hard copy..

I actually purchased a duplex printer a while back, and it's working really great. It's a Brother HL-1850 and it was only $350.

HRiley wrote:

Do you use your printer every day? Or do you reckon they're an obsolete item in the translator's workplace?


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:15
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
For proof-reading and other things. Jul 7, 2003

A printer is certainly essential for me. I also find my proofreading from a print-out is more reliable than from screen. But apart from that, I have one regular client who wants work from me not only in a file sent by email but also on paper (Why? No idea - but we are certainly a long way from the paperless office, as someone else said).
I also often translate birth certificates, diplomas etc. for which I am required to provide a certification of the translation, signed by me. These are also required for translations of patents for another client, who recently required TEN such certifications for one patent! A facsimile signature on an emailed document is not acceptable for this purpose.
It is still necessary to correspond by snailmail with a lot of official bodies, including on matters connected with translation. And then there are private uses too - printing photos, for example.
No, I couldn't manage without a printer.

[Edited at 2003-07-07 22:15]


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Editing and proofreading from a hard copy Jul 8, 2003

I do editing and proofreading with hard copies, even with a red pen (perhaps it is a habit from when I worked as a school teacher.) For me, editing and proofreading with a hard copy is a lot better than using the screen. So I use my printer.
Monika


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:45
English to Tamil
+ ...
I used to own a printer but sold it Jul 9, 2003

I have been translating for more than 24 years but I got my computer only in Feb 2002. I was resisting the purchase of computer as I felt a 56 year old man is too tired to master one. But then events overtook me and I had to purchase a computer. At that time I bought a printer too but to my dismay I did not take out one copy. I managed everything online with tiling 2 files horizontally and overwriting the top screen with the translation while reading from the bottom screen. Now I have become a 57 year young man (yes, young) and have sold the printer. As for the invoice, I prepare them by hand only in a proforma bill form in the hard copy, which I have purchased. If a client insists on a hard copy I gently suggest that he get it done at his end. I don't even provide floppies. Everything goes through email. Only one client wanted a Tamil copy in a printout form, which I got done on a cybercafe printer by paying 10 cents a copy.

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HRiley  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Laser printer...? Jul 9, 2003

invguy wrote:
Then you'd better buy a laser one, HRiley. If you print 1,000 or more pages per month, your expenses with a laser printer would be significantly lower than with an inkjet.


I actually have an excellent Canon i850 inkjet which prints extremely quickly and economically - and fortunately, its ink cartridges are among the cheapest on the market (and the colour comes in 3 separate cartridges too so no need to replace the whole thing when one colour goes). I've not had it for long so it's still going great guns, but I guess my next printer will probably be a laser one

[Edited at 2003-07-09 15:49]


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 00:15
English to French
+ ...
No printer Jul 9, 2003

I translate and check from the screen. I find it much easier, I split the screen in two horizontally, and the file source is above the translation file, in Word.
I use print preview when I want to see the general layout.
Lien


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Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No printer either. Jul 10, 2003

lien wrote:

I translate and check from the screen. I find it much easier, I split the screen in two horizontally, and the file source is above the translation file, in Word.
I use print preview when I want to see the general layout.
Lien


Same here! I don't use the printer for proofreading at all. I use it to print final version that need printing... most of them don't because I receive them and give them back via e-mail.


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Kurt Hammond  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:15
Japanese to English
I have two Jan 7, 2004

I have two printers.
A brother Laser which is networkable - it's fast, prints on both sides of the paper, has cheap running costs. It can even print 2 pages on each side of the paper by reducing the size by 50%.
A Canon 550i. I use this for documents where color is important, but it's most often used for private applications, such as making postcards or printing photos. I never use it for b/w printing.

As for translation printing, I usually print the source because I can make highlights on it for difficult areas where I want to be careful in the translation. I also use this hard copy to read the first proof when I'm riding the train or some other place where using the computer is not an option.

I haven't been printing the final target proof but from everyone's comments I think I should be doing this. I'm sure I'm missing some typos. . .


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