Is a transl. glossary a std byproduct?
Thread poster: ArabInk
Local time: 16:00
English to Arabic
+ ...
Sep 7, 2004

I've just started work on a project that involved lots of translated material over the past year. Now it turns out the translation agency has not kept any kind of organized translation memory/technical glossary. We want to use such glossary for quality reasons, but they want to charge us a bunch of $$ to create one from scratch, in addition to all the $$ we paid them to translate. It seems to me that this should have been planned-in from the very start to ensure consistency, so that they could just print off a list for us to examine and approve.

Are my expectations unreasonable? Is it fair to demand that they produce a glossary as a by-product of the work we've already paid for? Should we look for a different vendor?

Also they want us to finance the move to Trados or something similar. Seems to me that should be their business investment, no?

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Only if it was agreed upon Sep 8, 2004

Usually agencies just provide what the customer asks for. If you want a TM or a glossary now after a year it requires the cooperation of all translators involved. That costs money.
If you are satisfied with the results so far it would be natural to try to find a solution and not change to another agency. That would mean that also the translators change, and the sonsistency would suffer.
The move to Trados or Wordfast (cheaper for all partners involved) of course costs money too. If you require it you should carry a share of the burden.

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RobinB  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
German to English
Separate product Sep 8, 2004


Producing a customer glossary is an effort separate to translation. While it may well be best practice for a supplier to produce a glossary for a series of ongoing projects, there's no automatic requirement to do so.

Such a service should be remunerated separately unless otherwise agreed from the outset. Producing and updating a glossary can be extremely time-consuming, and it's unfair for a client to expect this work to be done without charge. Even if the service provider has indeed produced and maintained a glossary during the course of the projects, it would be standard business practice to charge the client for delivery of the final glossary.

We generate glossaries for many of our clients and always charge extra for this service (either by the hour/day, or a flat fee). The same would apply if a client were to ask for a complete translation memory (which has never happened, though). Uncleaned Word files are the norm here.

In many cases, though, we'll send the client a list of selected terms for approval/discussion prior to translation. This, too, is standard practice. If generation of these terms involves additional or unreasonable effort, we'll charge for this.

As for the TM system, I find it hard to believe that your service provider doesn't already use one - they're seriously out of the loop if they don't.

As Heinrich has already pointed out, this sort of investment in what is now a standard technology is really a matter for the service provider alone. If you were to finance the purchase of a TM system, you could reasonably expect the service provider to use it only for projects for yourself, and to return it to you once the projects have been completed (hardly a realistic proposition, I think). Continuous investment in standard technologies (HW/SW) is part-and-parcel of the translation business, wherever you're located.

The situation would be different if you were expecting the service provider to buy some exotic DTP or similar system.


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