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What's the real meaning of ASAP (as soon as possible)?
Thread poster: Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve

Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve
Colombia
Local time: 15:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 17, 2007

Let's discuss this!


I always understand this word as "urgent" but sometimes it can vary and you can spend more time in your assignment for any reason.

What does this word mean?


I would like to know what you think about this term.


Have a nice day!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-07-18 07:43]


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
As Soon As Possible Jul 17, 2007

Hola,
I hope this helps,
L


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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
Uruguay
English to Spanish
+ ...
se me escapó Jul 17, 2007

oops..

I meant to say that being a hyper responsible person I sometime take it to mean "immediately", but it doesn't really, I think it means the soonest possible within reason.

For example, the other day I took a request for a test translation "a la mayor brevedad posible" to mean ¡ya!!! which in fact it didn't. So I didn't do a second revision which I should have done, and I didn't let it sit for a while for another look later on. That's me being "ansiosa".

My suggestion (which I ought to follow myself) is don't let people push you around, "as soon as possible" has to be taken with common sense.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:54
English to German
+ ...
Urgent things have a deadline Jul 17, 2007

ASAP doesn't.

This little term has been abused a lot and has taken on the meaning of "Stat!".

Living in the US I learned how to build a protective wall that I am convinced will secure my normal life expectancy instead of bending backwards at all times and to die of exhaustion.

To me, ASAP means: Immediately, ie right after my lunch or nap.


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:54
French to English
+ ...
Soon but no specific date Jul 17, 2007

In my view, asap means that they want it soon, but have no specific date in mind, so it's up to you to suggest when you can reasonably do it and for them to agree - take it or leave it!

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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 23:54
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
ASAP = "the sooner, the better" Jul 18, 2007

It means - "please do the best you can to provide it soon for us". At least I think so. And "urgent" for many agencies means "deadline is yesterday".

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ozan karakış
Turkey
Local time: 23:54
English to Turkish
+ ...
right away Jul 18, 2007

no matter what is the root meaning of it, on the field, ASAP means 'do it now'. It is an imperative.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:54
Flemish to English
+ ...
As slow as possible Jul 18, 2007

It means "as soon as possible" although in some situations, I interpreted it as "as slow as possbile". (ASAP)

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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:54
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Promptly, without delay Jul 18, 2007

ozan karakış wrote:

no matter what is the root meaning of it, on the field, ASAP means 'do it now'. It is an imperative.


I have to agree with ozan karakış. No matter the origin, in the today's world and vocabulary, it means "Promptly, without any delay."

Have a nice day,
Monika

[Edited at 2007-07-18 07:22]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Overused word Jul 18, 2007

Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve wrote:
I always understand this word as "urgent" but sometimes it can vary and you can spend more time in your assignment for any reason.


Unfortunately, I think the word is overused by some people. I have known people that ended almost every e-mail with "ASAP" or something similar, and after a while it loses its value.

Surely all work is urgent in the sense that there are deadlines, but some work is more urgent than other. I think clients should beware of crying wolf when the wolf is still a reasonable distance away.

Instead of saying "ASAP", I would appreciate it far more if the client said "by 10:00 today" or "by noon" or "by end of day". This also indicates their respect for my own time, because they don't expect me to drop everything else in helping them.

I will gladly help out a client in dire straits, but I prefer that the client be honest and frank with me about just how dire his strait is, and not attempt to book me for the entire day with just a vague fourletter acronymn.


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Yvette Neisser Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
get clarification Jul 18, 2007

I agree with some others' comments that "ASAP" is often used to indicate a sense of urgency. But I always take it literally, "as soon as possible." The term is vague, and to some extent puts an onus on you to self-impose an artificial deadline. Rather than trying to guess what the client means by this, I suggest that you request clarification. What is the actual deadline? Is there one? In some cases, I have been informed that the actual deadline for a project is already past, in which case ASAP means literally, "as soon as you can get it done, please!" In this case, I try to give a reasonable estimation of how soon I can get it done without much stress, and see if they will accept that.

Also, be wary--sometimes clients will say ASAP when there really is no urgency. I have had experiences where I rushed to get an "urgent" job done, then it turned out that the PM had the document on their desk for a couple of days without even looking at it!

Yvette


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Yvette Neisser Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Exactly! Jul 18, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve wrote:
I always understand this word as "urgent" but sometimes it can vary and you can spend more time in your assignment for any reason.


Unfortunately, I think the word is overused by some people. I have known people that ended almost every e-mail with "ASAP" or something similar, and after a while it loses its value.

Surely all work is urgent in the sense that there are deadlines, but some work is more urgent than other. I think clients should beware of crying wolf when the wolf is still a reasonable distance away.

Instead of saying "ASAP", I would appreciate it far more if the client said "by 10:00 today" or "by noon" or "by end of day". This also indicates their respect for my own time, because they don't expect me to drop everything else in helping them.

I will gladly help out a client in dire straits, but I prefer that the client be honest and frank with me about just how dire his strait is, and not attempt to book me for the entire day with just a vague fourletter acronymn.


Exactly! Our postings crossed paths.


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Melzie
Local time: 22:54
French to English
+ ...
How long is a piece of string? Jul 18, 2007

there are as many meanings as there are people who use it. if you want to know, ask. If you don't, do it as soon as it is possible for you. the one that gets my hackles up is PDQ.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Use ASAP to your advantage Jul 18, 2007

I take ASAP as an offer to negotiate the deadline. If a PM or client tells me, “We need this ASAP”, I respond with a deadline that’s good for me. (“Good” means I plan on working at a steady, reasonable rate but don’t plan on overly stressing myself out.)

If they agree, you’ve succeeded in keeping your blood pressure within normal range and can perhaps even afford a few “frills” like going to the gym, taking a walk, etc. If they respond with, “We were really hoping for it by…” then you know the exact deadline and can plan accordingly.

My advice is that you use ASAP to your advantage. It will save you stress and after a few jobs you’ll know what they mean when they say it.

Having said all that, don’t get me started on how the word URGENT is used. It’s worth a thread all of its own.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:54
English to German
+ ...
I couldn't agree more. Jul 18, 2007

John Cutler wrote:

My advice is that you use ASAP to your advantage. It will save you stress and after a few jobs you’ll know what they mean when they say it.



If you call your plumber he will suggest a time that suits his schedule.

Turning a translator's office into an emergency room is a bad idea.


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