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Your Soundtrack to Translation
Thread poster: Dylan Jan Hartmann

Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
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MODERATOR
Jan 22, 2016

What's your 'soundtrack to translation'?

There are certainly some sorts of music that cause me to lose all concentration while translating, others that I find help my concentration and improve my productivity while translating.

I'm sure there is a lot of personal preference in the music tastes of translators, but is there one style more than others that benefits our sort of work?

When the deadline is looming and I have to focus 100 per cent, I can only listen to the Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach. I find most Baroque music non-intrusive to my chain of thought, some Classic is also good, other times Drum & Bass if I have to work fast!!!

What do you play when it's crunch time?


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:30
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
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Nice topic! Jan 22, 2016

Well, it all depends, as you said, on the work flow.

If content is somehow simple I block external 'noises' with some good electronic music and my fingers will do their best to follow the speed of my thoughts, but when the level o technical language is too demanding, I might opt for classical music or ended up switching to silent night shifts, between 20:00 to 03:00.

Best.


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Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:30
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
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My favorite background soundtrack for technical translations: Jan 22, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeujeOsHn0g&list=PLDE5A91029A8AB73E&index=69

It may also help colleagues when translating unknown technical concepts.
A prolonged listening to the mentioned sequence in your office background therefore can prevent unnecessary KudoZ questions in almost all fields of engineering, physics, etc.



[Edited at 2016-01-22 07:44 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Nothing that I like or that reminds me of anything Jan 22, 2016

DJHartmann wrote:
What's your 'soundtrack to translation'?

For 20 years I worked in large, open-plan offices where a "noise-blocking" strategy was crucial.

Typically I played natural sounds that are similar to white noise - rainfall or waves, for example - using in-ear earphones with custom moulds.

However, I avoided music and I still do. If I put music on, I listen to it rather than treating it as background noise. That in turn puts into train a whole sequence of associations and in many cases, memories.

When I'm trying to concentrate that kind of distraction is the last thing I want.

Regards
Dan


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Nothing Jan 22, 2016

I'm a musical person. I'm extremely interested in music. If there's any kind of music playing, I stop whatever I'm doing and listen carefully, thinking about the music, analysing it, savouring it in every detail.

For that reason I cannot work, or do anything else, if there is any kind of music. I'm too interested in music to just let it play in the background like wallpaper. Even "drone music" like Philip Glass or Erik Satie. Too fascinating not to drop everything and concentrate !

I don't understand the kind of person who thinks music is something to play whilst doing something else. That's most people. I don't understand most people. I understand Dan, though !

If someone sings, that's OK. Singing while one works is almost a lost art.

I once cleared a very annoying noisy party off my neighbour's roof terrace by opening my window and playing Ornette Coleman's recording "Free Jazz" very loud. They all went away. So some music can be useful for that.

Here's the great Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza working whilst singing along to the Beatles:

https://vimeo.com/33774361

[Edited at 2016-01-22 08:02 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Others agree Jan 22, 2016

Tom in London wrote:
If someone sings, that's OK. Singing while one works is almost a lost art.

My mother often says that when she was growing up in the early 1950s people used to sing as they worked or walked, all the time. Her hypothesis is that it was because radio was not ubiquitous as it is now, and not at all portable. So people made their own music.

Dan


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:30
Spanish to English
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So... Jan 22, 2016

I most often have BBC Radio 6 (or "BBC 6 Music") on in the background, from the other room so that it doesn't interfere with my Dragon. It's on right now...
And other times, when my Wi-Fi crashes and I can't access the BBC, I might put on Spain's Radio 3, but they tend to have a lot of talky programmes as well as music, which I find distracting. They say that classical music such as Vivaldi is the best aural wallpaper when working or studying, but I suppose it's all down to personal tastes. Personally, I sometimes find silence disturbing and usually like some background fuzz going on.

[Edited at 2016-01-22 14:53 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Singing Jan 22, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
If someone sings, that's OK. Singing while one works is almost a lost art.

My mother often says that when she was growing up in the early 1950s people used to sing as they worked or walked, all the time. Her hypothesis is that it was because radio was not ubiquitous as it is now, and not at all portable. So people made their own music.

Dan


Singing is a way of getting an onerous or dull job done. But is there a Singing Translator? I don't think you could translate and sing at the same time.

Here's what happens when Google Translate sings "Somewhere over the rainbow":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtNbDCaulRg&list=PLGnYtw5ezZI-BnVCUhMOcBqi9KggS1fhD&index=4

[Edited at 2016-01-22 09:17 GMT]


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:30
Member
French to Spanish
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No music Jan 22, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

Typically I played natural sounds that are similar to white noise - rainfall or waves, for example - using in-ear earphones with custom moulds.

However, I avoided music and I still do. If I put music on, I listen to it rather than treating it as background noise.

Regards
Dan


I'm in the same situation. Even music without words lead my thoughts to elsewhere. So I have to listen to sounds of nature, that have a relaxing effect on me, specially to sounds of water (fountains are my favorite).

Have a good day everybody!


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Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:30
English to Dutch
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Some choir music Jan 22, 2016

I'm a singer in my free time but I don't sing while translating (I must admit I do occasionally stop working because I feel the urgent need for a karaoke session). In general I can't listen to anything with vocals as I will try to sing along or be distracted by the lyrics. Nevertheless I have found choir music that I can listen to while translating and that I enjoy a lot. This is my playlist on YouTube (I am now using Apple music though): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8RfvgyGqEDaVv0w8puC88W7AYaDMnpSD Also, I never like to put music on before noon as I feel it is more of a distraction, while in the afternoon it is calming and makes me feel happy. Weird.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Thanks but Jan 22, 2016

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

Have a good day everybody!


The standard answer to that is

"Thank you, but I have other plans".

or

"Don't tell me what to do".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Have_a_nice_day

[Edited at 2016-01-22 09:33 GMT]


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
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Two different things, really: Jan 22, 2016

listening to the music on the one hand side and working on the other.

If I listen to what I like (opera), I stop working or slow down ridiculously. If I listen to what I do not like, what's the point?

Unfortunately both, listening to the music and working, imply effort. Doing both at the same time would be something like trying to fix your broken umbrella while eating a hamburger that falls apart (they always do).


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:30
English to Croatian
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Depends... Jan 22, 2016

Often times it's instrumentals (no lyrics), but mostly just silence. Really depends on the subject-matter and my mood.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:30
English to Croatian
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Passive and active listening? Jan 22, 2016

Merab Dekano wrote:

listening to the music on the one hand side and working on the other.

If I listen to what I like (opera), I stop working or slow down ridiculously. If I listen to what I do not like, what's the point?

Unfortunately both, listening to the music and working, imply effort. Doing both at the same time would be something like trying to fix your broken umbrella while eating a hamburger that falls apart (they always do).



Not really, listening can be done passively or actively. There can be a person next to me talking for 15 minutes without me hearing much. But then I can hear just one word by someone if they matter


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
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Even offensive? Jan 22, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

Have a good day everybody!


The standard answer to that is

"Thank you, but I have other plans".

or

"Don't tell me what to do".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Have_a_nice_day

[Edited at 2016-01-22 09:33 GMT]


The article says "even offensive". That's strange. If Brits do not use it, they, at least, are aware of the fact that it's used, say, in the US, right? Where is the offence coming from, then?

Take Spanish. If someone says to me "no te enojes", I will presume they come from a LATAM country (in Spain we use "enfadarse" instead). I would certainly take no offence.

On the other hand, how on earth can wishing a "nice day" to someone be possibly offensive in just any situation?

My experience is that Brits mostly use "greetings" in written texts (at least with me).


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