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How do you launch the web browser?


Tarnum commented on September 21, 2017

Hello, fellow TM-Townsfolk!

I am so confident about the value of this brilliant idea/observation of mine, that although I am a newcomer here, I dare to “start a new thread” in this, yeah, forum. (Imagine an emoji is inserted here, in which one sad-face is beating another sad-face, lecturing him “who told you that you can @all?!”)

I have already explained this idea to my coworkers in the “real world” for more than once, but every time I was dismissed with dis-interest. They think I was just being – what is the word – “squeamish”.

I still privately insist on the significance of the observation nonetheless.

As the title suggests, it is about the method “how you launch your web browser” to, as a translator, very repeatedly, search for key words. Naturally, there are often the following methods:

  1. Not even aware that you are using any “method”, you can just type in the words you want to search in the search box and hit Enter (provided you have open the browser beforehand, through “program” menu, double-click… etc.). In this way, you have to “strike” as many keys as there are letters in these words. As a translator, you would also have to switch between input methods. Besides, there first seems to be different languages, and then each language has multiple input methods, for example, Pinyin and Wubi for Chinese… The little thing becomes quite complicated and the switching often does not come out right.

  2. Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V. I am sure everyone is familiar with these two combinations. If that is too much assumption to make, then I am truly out of my mind. It is a simple improvement to Method 1 and can save you a lot of “strokes”. And remember, as a (document) translator, you probably have to repeat this action a million times a day… (I guess it is here that my coworkers do not agree… because I am exaggerating it…)

  3. The method that I have been using… for six years… (Self-promotion! Six years of translating experience! Convenient.) And the method, is utilizing this cute little e-dictionary. It does not only look up “local” (offline) dictionaries, but also has a button (and associated hot-key) to directly launch the web browser, with a specific search engine as a “constant parameter” and the keywords currently selected in your document as a “variable parameter”!

But how is Method 3 such a big improvement to Method 2? Well, if you carefully examine it, with Method 2, there are much more than just two key-combinations. First, you have to select the words you want to search (hope it is not non-editable picture or PDF). That is the same as Method 3. Then, you also have to “switch” (Alt-Tab) between programs (windows); as well as locating the cursor… (Once again, multiplied by a million times a day…) That is a lot of repetitive work for you, once carefully examined!

WITH Method 3, the series of actions are further shortened, from two combinations to just one (Ctrl-Enter) and also eliminating the “switching” (of windows) and the “locating” (of cursor).

Besides, I once argued* with the coworkers, that when your hand left the keyboard to reach the mouse, and then comes back to “find” the keyboard (the home keys to be precise), your mind loses focus, your fingers lose focus, and your eyes, too, if you haven’t learned touch-type… –But to this, the coworkers said, “You are crazy”…

OK, that is about it. I know, I haven’t explained clearly yet. There is still something “illusive”. That is because it is, indeed, illusive to me, too. I can’t figure out why or what…

To try to describe it vaguely – It seems that you are facing the computer, the data on your local disks and the data on the Internet are all presented “the same” on the screen in front of your eyes. But really, they are totally two different “realms” and to the Internet realm, your access is really just “the key words”.

(This paragraph is in the wrong order.) Further description of “Method 3” – the E-dictionary button or hot-key is equivalent to a command line “call https://www.google.com/search?q=[key]” wherein the parameter “[key]” is your currently selected words. This will “call” the browser, along with the specific search engine (“google” in this example, which is, actually, not available in China, but the other engines have similar patterns…)

(Continuing with the paragraph before the last…) It seems that with the many applications (programs) on your computer, including the Internet browser, which is a container of the infinite Internet, there are only two things that penetrate all programs – first, you, and second, the Clip Board, as is used in Method 2. Only the Clip Board can go through all the programs. You can Copy here, and Paste wherever you want. It is the only (other than yourself, the computer-user) tiny, thin, narrow… channel for “communication” between programs. As a translator, you often use (and frequently switch between) multiple programs: Word/Excel/PDF; Trados; Web Browser; plus perhaps an e-dictionary, as the minimum. Thus, the Clip Board becomes your only assistant, your only friend…

The reason, perhaps, is that all people have a universal/uniform operating system – the people who watch movies, those who play computer games, and we who work… all use the same operating system… If only there were a customized system for translators! – Poor translators…

[Article composed “in one go”… not checked… mistakes unavoidable… maybe to correct later…]


Tarnum commented on September 21, 2017

After posting the above, I went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep well, and was having a nightmare. In the nightmare/dream, I received three replies. The dream is so vivid, so real, and the replies are so clear. I read the replies and immediately tried to memorize them because I realized I was in a dream while still in the dream. Here are the fractional pieces that I can remember:

“Poor-quality composition. The world is full of such ‘hollow’ personalities, who have nothing solid to share, but ‘flush’ the screen for some ‘sense of existence’…”

And some criticizes the part in the brackets:

“Habitually, they scramble up the translation, and hand in the work without proofreading…”

I am telling the truth! These are the happenings in the dream(s)! – If only I was an AI, then dreaming would be a virtue, a ‘revolution’ of the AI’s capacity, as told in the Hollywood movies. But I am a person, a human being! And there is no telling whether it is an upgrade or a downgrade to become a machine.

Other than these criticisms that I received in the dreams, I also have a criticism for myself while I am awake. I know, and tell myself, “Your English is good… for a Chinese!” And in the international arena of fair competition, people are not going to “lower the bar” by taking your circumstances into account as an excuse...

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