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How would you deal with this?
Thread poster: Rahi Moosavi

Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:29
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
Sep 30, 2005

Imagine doing a 30,000 word job for a company. This job was done using Trados and a TM supplied by the client with very high match rates. To be exact 26,000 out of 30,000 words were already pre-translated in the TM. You do the job (actually translate the 4,000). Now they send you a DTP'ed copy validated by someone and this person has made purely figurative corrections on virtually 70% of the whole document. The client claims that for each and every instance that the validator has a standing point, deductions will be made but the fact is that all of these came out of the TM not your translation. So actually this is not a validation of your translation, you have followed the TM on matches and also followed the terminology of the TM in your translation of no match parts to make it consistent with the rest.

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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:29
English to German
+ ...
What was your agreement? Sep 30, 2005

May I ask what your client said about the TM he provided you with? Was it for reference only, or did he ask you to follow closely? Did he tell you to keep 100% matches untouched?

I lately received a job with a number of pretranslated segments. The client asked me not to touch those, although I spotted a number of mistakes in there. Nevertheless, I followed his instructions, but pointed out that there were numerous mistakes.

Sonja


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:29
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Very strict Sep 30, 2005

Yes, they are very strict on their matches and there were not to be touched.

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:29
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
You can export the new segments Sep 30, 2005

Using the initial TM and the initial files you can analyse them with Wordbench and export the no-match-segments to rtf.
Then you can translate this export using the final TM (translate to fuzzy) and then you can check, how many of the corrections apply to your own translation.
It is not uncommon that a document is corrected only after more than one translator have been engaged. Your customer now needs one to apply the corrections to the TM. You can offer him a good price provided he pays your translation as agreed.
Regards
Heinrich


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
One more reason to stay clear of TM technology for the time being Sep 30, 2005

Since TM software became viable, I, like everyone else, had to at least consider it, but, unlike many translators, have heretofore found too many strikes against it.

Initially, it was the technical difficulties that kept me TM-shy. Depending on which sofware offering you look at, chances are it is a memory hog, very buggy, and far too complicated to learn in a reasonable amount of time. The nighmares posted on ProZ.com technical forums have only reinforced this impression of mine.

Increasingly, however, it is the economic side that I find prohibitive. Here is the Fuad Yahya definition of TM: it is the software you spend hundreds of dollars to acquire and many hours to learn in order to get paid less! What a great incentive to the freelancer!

I wish I could suggest a solution for the quandary you describe, but I could hardly follow the plot line, but I do see that I have underestimated the economic dark side of TM technology. It is much darker, much murkier than I thought.

It appears to me, however, that the whole issue raised by the outsourcer is artificial: changes made by an editor do not, as a rule, affect the translator's fees. The fact that TM was used is irrelevant. The editor can change all he wants, even 100% of the translation. That is between him and the outsourcer. The outsourcer's contract with you is completely separate.

The only time editing affects the translator's pay is when the editor charges an extra amount because of below-standard translation quality. The outsourcer would then be justified in attempting to take from Peter to pay Paul (take the extra amount paid to the editor because of the translation's alleged poor quality -- not the base editing fee -- out of the translator's pay). If that is the issue, it needs to be stated plainly and dealt with in that manner. TM arithmetics is just a red herring as far as I can see.


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:29
English to German
+ ...
... Sep 30, 2005

Rahi Moosavi wrote:

Yes, they are very strict on their matches and there were not to be touched.


In which case I would definitely let them know that the mistakes are their responsibility. They should have made sure the TM handed out was 100% correct, especially since they expected you to leave any 100% matches untouched.

I wouldn't go for anything else but 100% payment. What they are doing now is trying to push the price down.

Sonja


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 07:29
Member (2003)
English to Czech
+ ...
Full payment Sep 30, 2005

I agree with Sonja. If the client told you not to touch the 100% matches, then you are responsible only for your translation. It doesn't make any sense to blame you for changes in their own translation.

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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Worse... Sep 30, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Your customer now needs one to apply the corrections to the TM. You can offer him a good price provided he pays your translation as agreed.


The customer's quandary is worse by far. They need to re-check all their documents ever translated into the target language in order to find out whether the TM generated errors had shown up in those documents already and in order to correct them when necessary.

What a fantastic way to save money whilst thoroughly mucking up one's corporate image!

P.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Start a discussion Sep 30, 2005

I would discuss the changes of a few representative pages and say that it is the same for the rest.

In case the client will agree that these pages are representative, this will greatly facilitate the discussion of what was whose responsibility.

In case he won't agree, let him propose which pages should be discussed in detail..


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:29
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Start tallying up the extra time, too Sep 30, 2005

Harry_B wrote:
I would discuss the changes of a few representative pages and say that it is the same for the rest...


Also start tallying up the unpaid extra time you now have to put up in order to defend your work. After all is said and done, you can then calculate the real return per hour you actually made on this job.

This might need to be factured into the fee you charge that client next time...

P.


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Practically not applicable Sep 30, 2005

Peter Bouillon wrote:
...This might need to be factured into the fee you charge that client next time...

I am afraid this won't be possible, because there won't be such a discussion with this client again - no matter who will have won this one.
So it will have to be factured into the general rates for new clients..


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Maurizio Spagnuolo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:29
English to Italian
nonsense Sep 30, 2005

Looks like they want a corrected translation for free.

I've done a lot of jobs like this, with a very high leverage.

After completing the translation, not touching the 100% matches, the proofreading/editing of the whole job is a separate assignment, paid by hour or by word (proofreading rate).

If they need a corrected version, with corrections implemented in the source files, they have to pay for it.

Blaming the translator for the bad quality of existing leverage (not to be touched) or inconsistencies is nonsense.

The best I can think is that they are inexperienced.

Maurizio


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:29
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Gets even better! Sep 30, 2005

It gets even better. I actually liked the translations of the TM much much better than this newly proofed document.

In my opinion, what they had in their TM was accurate enough and this new proofing is quite misguiding but they don't listen to me and claim that this an official proofing done by the end user and it should be considred.

Anyhow, all of you backed my own viewpoint and I did ask them to consider this is a whole new job which I'll do for an hourly fee. No news from them yet!

Thanks to all


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:29
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Are they joking? Sep 30, 2005

They give you a TM with mistakes in it, they tell you to use the matches and the terminology and then the mistakes are your fault? This is mad! Maybe you should have warned them that there were mistakes in the TM, but if you were told not to touch the matches, then it's not your problem. This is highly unprofessional on behalf of you client. Try and sort it out and then ditch them!

Giovanni


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Great argument ! Sep 30, 2005

Rahi Moosavi wrote:
...and claim that this an official proofing done by the end user...

I think next time when I won't be able to find any reference for a KudoZ answer, I will simply say: "I am right, because I am an end user."


[Edited at 2005-09-30 11:58]


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