Percent Of Time Doing Research/Percent Of Time Actually Translating
מפרסם התגובה: Barbara Cochran, MFA

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 19:44
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Jul 27

How much time do you estimate, for your typical kind of project (if you tend to be a specialist, please specify in what area), that you do research (e.g., terminology searches, spelling of place names in the target language, descriptions of complex concepts, etc.), as opposed to the actual exercise of translation, i.e., getting the words "down on paper", in terms of opposing percentages (on average, guestimate will do)?

[Edited at 2020-07-27 00:52 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-27 01:16 G
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How much time do you estimate, for your typical kind of project (if you tend to be a specialist, please specify in what area), that you do research (e.g., terminology searches, spelling of place names in the target language, descriptions of complex concepts, etc.), as opposed to the actual exercise of translation, i.e., getting the words "down on paper", in terms of opposing percentages (on average, guestimate will do)?

[Edited at 2020-07-27 00:52 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-07-27 01:16 GMT]
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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 01:44
חבר
מאנגלית לצרפתית
If only translation were solely about research and typing Jul 27

[To be removed]
Message was blank due to "lower than"
When I clicked "Quote", the message was there.

[Edited at 2020-07-27 08:14 GMT]


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 01:44
חבר
מאנגלית לצרפתית
If only translation were solely about research and typing Jul 27

Edit: I started with a lower than symbol, and the post was blank.

Less than 10%? There's likely been a quick poll about precisely this.
What's the remaining time of actually translating? Typing? Sadly, I don't type 90% of my computer time either.

In tech content, readability is paramount. I would assume that I spend more time polishing target content (synonyms, logical links, redundancies, ie. answering "if I were the reader, would that be ok?") than confirming me
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Edit: I started with a lower than symbol, and the post was blank.

Less than 10%? There's likely been a quick poll about precisely this.
What's the remaining time of actually translating? Typing? Sadly, I don't type 90% of my computer time either.

In tech content, readability is paramount. I would assume that I spend more time polishing target content (synonyms, logical links, redundancies, ie. answering "if I were the reader, would that be ok?") than confirming meanings/local names/concepts/spelling/grammar and other secretarial tasks.

But in fact I provide a service, not a product. Unlike taylorism, I cannot split my "production process" into elemental unit tasks that a trained ferret or octopus could do. Even the (significant amount of) time I spend on web reading news, proz.com, dragonfly defense mechanisms or any subject totally unrelated to my translation specialties, and generally "wasting" time being me as I am, are an essential part of my "finished product".
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Christine Andersen
Tom in London
Teresa Borges
Aline Amorim
neilmac
Philip Lees
Giuliana Maltempo
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
דנמרק
Local time: 01:44
חבר (2003)
מדנית לאנגלית
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Impossible to say Jul 27

It varies enormously. I don´t really know what I would call a typical project. I sometimes spend far more time on negotiating a deadline, invoicing or other administration than on research.

In principle my routine is to skim the text quickly when giving a quote or agreeing to do the job, then read it thoroughly and do what I call the pencil work (terminology research, drafting tricky legal passages, checking), and then I translate.

In practice a lot of my work comes fr
... See more
It varies enormously. I don´t really know what I would call a typical project. I sometimes spend far more time on negotiating a deadline, invoicing or other administration than on research.

In principle my routine is to skim the text quickly when giving a quote or agreeing to do the job, then read it thoroughly and do what I call the pencil work (terminology research, drafting tricky legal passages, checking), and then I translate.

In practice a lot of my work comes from regular clients, and most of the research is already done, or there is none to do. Preferred terminology, spellings, etc. are already in Trados or Multiterm. These jobs are small, under 1000 words, so I read the text to see if there is anything unexpected, and translate it straight off. Deadlines may not allow much time for extra research either.

I check that my references are still current when I think changes may have been made - or register them when the job is a press release announcing changes.

Another kind of job I do is material for museums, from tourist information to reports on their research, and then I may spend quite a lot of time on my own research, collecting terminology and perhaps mailing the client to have it approved. That could be more than 50% of the total time spent on the job, or I may only need to check the museum website briefly.
I have one academic client who writes in a very attractive style of academic Danish, and provides suggestions for terminology in English. He is an archaeologist and knows an amazing lot about glass and glass art... I may not need to do extensive research, but I check his references and look at pictures and images or museum websites for background all the same. I then spend a lot of time trying to write a translation that does justice to his style.

I could not possibly give a percentage in answer to the original question, and it would be meaningless, as there is no single type of job that it would apply to.

[Edited at 2020-07-27 09:02 GMT]
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Teresa Borges
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 00:44
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Impossible to say Jul 27

Some projects require a lot of research, others not at all. Most texts I work with will have something new, even in the fields I master. My working method varies a lot, depending on the deadline, volume and … my mood! At times I start by reading the whole text, marking the unknown words with a color marker just to have an idea of what to expect, then I research the terminology and began translating. At times I research the terminology as I go along. In any case, I can’t quantity the amount o... See more
Some projects require a lot of research, others not at all. Most texts I work with will have something new, even in the fields I master. My working method varies a lot, depending on the deadline, volume and … my mood! At times I start by reading the whole text, marking the unknown words with a color marker just to have an idea of what to expect, then I research the terminology and began translating. At times I research the terminology as I go along. In any case, I can’t quantity the amount of research I do as in my head it’s an intrinsic part of the translation process…Collapse


Christine Andersen
Tina Vonhof
Giuliana Maltempo
Elina Andriamananahasinoro
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Inversely proportional to experience? Jul 27

In theory, the more you specialise, the less research you will need to do.

Economics. 27 years. 5% perhaps on average. Tbh mostly just checking official English names of organisations, Googling different formulations for most widespread usage, or checking what I’ve called something before.


Sabine Braun
Michele Fauble
Barbara Cochran, MFA
 

Mario Marcolin  Identity Verified
שוודיה
Local time: 01:44
חבר (2003)
מאנגלית לשוודית
+ ...
15 to 35% research time - rail technology (from German, French and English) Jul 29

Varies with specific topic, language/language variety and quality of original. Most research is needed when terminology is not consistent or when writers insist on writing in a non-native language (typically English).

Barbara Cochran, MFA
 

Tom in London
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 00:44
חבר (2008)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
No separation Jul 29

There is no separation between doing a translation and doing the necessary research.

You wouldn't expect a plumber to come and fix something in your house, but with no tools or materials. I think the original question is meaningless.


Christel Zipfel
Jennifer Forbes
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 


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Percent Of Time Doing Research/Percent Of Time Actually Translating

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