Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Off topic: Urgent need of horrible stories on sleepless, non-ending translating nights...
Thread poster: mariana24

mariana24  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:26
+ ...
Nov 5, 2007


I have just accepted a 38,000 words project that I have to complete in a little less than 8 days. I count on your invaluable support (you may lie if you find it necessary, I don't mind at all) telling me your stories on even more horrible things that you might have done to yourself. I already admire you.

Thank you in advance, and wish me luck:roll:



patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
I will light a candle for you... Nov 5, 2007

Quite honestly I can't remember having done that to myself. However, I will think of you and have a word with the Guv on your behalf that all the words are one-syllable.

Maybe one day, if bad luck and worse judgment get the better of me, I may find myself in your size 3s.

Best of luck!!



Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:26
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There is nothing as fun as 3 sleepless nights Nov 5, 2007

when you are trying to meet a horrific deadline- unless it is three sleepless nights typing with a sick baby on your lap, burning up with fever! Those were the worst 25,000 words ever in the history of the world.
(Oh, but they were both fine in the end- the doc. and the baby- only I was destroyed).


Casey Carmical
United States
Local time: 19:26
Japanese to English
You're going to take the rest of the month off after that, right? Nov 6, 2007

My goodness. That's a lot of pages for 8 days.


Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Piece of Cake Nov 6, 2007

Come on, Mariana. It's only 5,000 words a day.icon_wink.gif

The most awful project I've ever done was to translate an institutional DVD. It had everything: Powerpoint presentations. PDF files with hyperlinks and embedded videos. Flash. InDesign. To be translated into two languages. A total of 200,000 words, plus 52 videos.

Originally I was to work with a DTP whiz kid, but the %$&/((/% decided that it was a great time to accept a full-time job in another city, so I was left with all this work, alone and desperate.

There were two months of desperation and hard work, but at the end, I delivered a whole translated DVD, with all the PDFs working, all the videos subtitled, all the flash presentations translated and working, etc. And I did the DTP and subtitling myself, having to learn a whole new tool. Sometimes I didn't see the streets for days at a time.

After delivery, I almost cried when the client ran the DVD and everything went good.


Marco Ramón  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:26
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

I have a couple of Nov 6, 2007

stories, but the first that came to mind was 25,000 in 24 hours... Just kidding. I don't remember the amount of words, what I will never forget is the following. After two days of no sleeping (3 hours in bed is nothing), after sending my translation, turning off the computer, closing the shutters I went to bed at 6am. The phone rang, 8 o'clock!, It was the client, alarmed, the translation wasn't there! His meeting was due in few minutes! "Where is the translation?!" he asked. "I sent it!" I almost jelled. "When did you send it? because I've been looking for it" he said.

I felt the world was a very unfair place...I went to the computer... And then he started speaking more relaxed "It is not here... but, wait a minute... give me just one second... yes it's here, bye."

Not having energy to break anything, I went back to bed.

Mariana, I'm sure everything will be fine, since you have time to post you most have a secret to handle time in a way I don't know.


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hit the Sack Nov 6, 2007

When you are tired, you cannot produce. Hit the sack, and when you awaken, start again and keep going until you drop. When you drop, drop in the sack again.

You can do it. I've done 7,000-8,000 a day like that for several weeks. Then I say to hell with it for a while.


Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:26
English to French
+ ...
Agree with Henry Nov 6, 2007

I agree with this:

Henry Hinds wrote:

When you are tired, you cannot produce. Hit the sack, and when you awaken, start again and keep going until you drop. When you drop, drop in the sack again.

on, off, on, off, and almost nothing else...

Henry Hinds wrote:
You can do it. I've done 7,000-8,000 a day like that for several weeks. Then I say to hell with it for a while.

Wow. The best I can do is 5 000 a day for a few days. After that I need air (and sleep, but in fact, it's mostly distraction I need by then, and to be able to let my mind wander).

My own horror story includes to keep cooking for six (Mr. Husband does a lot of things around the house, but when it comes to cooking, I like to take over after a couple of daysicon_biggrin.gif), looking after the kids' homework, keeping bathrooms and the rest of the house usable during that period... But in fact, I don't like it so much anymore, because I've realized I become, say, less agreeableicon_evil.gificon_eek.gif to everyone when working on such an assignment, so now I tend to either try to get a better deadline or to just refuse it.

So, Mariana, we are with you: "been there, done that". Go for it, you can do it!


Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:26
English to Indonesian
+ ...
big deal Nov 6, 2007

if you're a full-time freelancer, that's not too bad. i have a day job and moonlighting as a freelancer. i still remember that i had to wake up at 3 a.m. for almost a month, just to meet the deadline.


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:26
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Create a team Nov 6, 2007

Just divide the stuff into three parts and get two colleagues to work in a team. Unless of course you have accepted such low rates that you cannot find anybody to help you.
If you do it alone, the quality might suffer and you will perhaps be tired for a week after.
I once agreed to do 25 pages in 24 hours. Never again!
Good luck!


Raffaella Cornacchini  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
English to Italian
+ ...
not impossible if Nov 6, 2007

it is a subject you are really familiar with - and don't forget to have a backup copy of your work in case you don't feel tired, but your PC does and suddenly crashes two hours before the delivery of your work.


Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:26
German to English
+ ...
Crashing computers just before delivery Nov 6, 2007

Yesterday morning I tore my hair out. Having worked late and risen around 4 am, I was finished on time (just after 10) and happy with my work. I saved the finished doc on my USB stick and it decided to disappear ... thank the Lord, I had most of it saved on my laptop, but it totally stressed me out as it meant the loss of two hours of work, and it hadn't been the easiest doc to translate in the first place. In the end, however, the client gave me extra time, and I redid my two hours of work.

I know very well what it is like having to work without sleep (I expect I'm not the only one here ...) and drinking so many Red Bull that I start to feel physically sick, but as Henry says it's best to try and get at least a few hours of sleep and rise early in order to finish your doc. Once you're finally finished, sleep is like someone dying of thirst finally getting to drink that glass of water they have been longing for, so I hope you get your water sooner rather than later!;-)

Good luck!



Wa'ad Younane
Local time: 02:26
English to Arabic
+ ...
I've been freelancing for more than 4 years now... Nov 6, 2007

... and finally my body caved:o . I had a very severe anxiety attack and my husband had to rush me to the hospital late at night because I had spent almost a week with less than 3 hours of sleep in total...
So take care, you may think you can still go on, but your body gets exhausted and when it does, you have to give it the rest it needs to be able to go on!

And don't get me started on computers crashing before delivery!:cry: I had a 300,000 words job, and after two weeks of sleepless nights I was almost done when my hard disk completely crashed and it was impossible to retrieve the data.:x I had to start all over again!

Best of luck with your project... it's doable, only if you keep backing up your work and you take a break directly afterwards!:)


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Today... Nov 6, 2007

mariana24 wrote:
I have just accepted a 38,000 words project that I have to complete in a little less than 8 days.

Today I have to transcribe an interview which will take at least 8 hours (it is now 11:00), and I have to translate a lease contract, and I have to book flights etc and an interpreter because tomorrow morning at 04:00 I'm on the air plane to see a client in Cape Town who doesn't speak my language, and I have to go to the bank to draw money for the interpreter, and... well... this morning I got a nice little blue screen of death and my computer refused to find my hard drive with all my files on it.

Panick, panick... at least I can type fast.


Margreet Logmans (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
English to Dutch
+ ...
You can do it Mariana! Nov 6, 2007

There have been times when I'd accepted too many jobs and had to do 5000 words a day for about two weeks. And yours is one project, and 4750 words a day...icon_smile.gif

Here's how I do it: take a break every 1-2 hours, get someone else to do the grocery shopping, but eat decent meals at regular times and get at least six hours of sleep per night.

As for horrorstories: Translating was never a problem, but on two occasions I've spent days trying to deliver my work. Once the Internet connection failed me completely, another time I cleaned my doc and found my TM was completely empty.... I could kill who ever designed Trados at that time....

So here's another piece of advice: try to make sure you've got time to deliver properly. Last minute panic is bad at any time, but especially when you've been working like crazy for quite a while. icon_frown.gif

Good luck! (Look who's talking - if only I followed my own good advice... I got a heavy workload for today too.icon_frown.gif )

Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >

To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Urgent need of horrible stories on sleepless, non-ending translating nights...

Advanced search

CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search