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How long do you keep files of past work?
Thread poster: Jenny Forbes

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:57
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Mar 23, 2007

Hullo, fellow Prozies,
I'd be interested to know how long translators keep their past work on file (in case of questions later, or even to re-use terminology, etc.).
I normally keep my work on disk, sorted per client, for two years. Is that safe/normal, or should I keep it longer?
Kind regards,
Jenny


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Finnish to English
Five years Mar 23, 2007

... or so

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I keep everything Mar 23, 2007

Why should I throw away those cds or dvds? I store the works-folder once a year on removable media. The past translations are also preserved in TMs, which I store on external harddisc.
Cheers
Heinrich


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:57
English to Polish
+ ...
Squirrel - that's me Mar 23, 2007

Forever.

Translations aren't taxes. I keep mine forever. Some on CD/DVD, most on my hard drive. Storage space is cheap and you never know when you may need something.

Right now I am massively recycling stuff I did about 4 years ago. The project I worked on then is now continued.

HTH
Pawel Skalinski


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 11:57
English to Indonesian
+ ...
forever... Mar 23, 2007

i also keep everything forever. most of them are still on my hdd. planning to buy dvd writer to store them on dvds.

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Marie-Céline GEORG  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:57
English to French
+ ...
Forever Mar 23, 2007

Hi,

I also keep everything - I've been working for ten years and all my jobs are stored on CD (one per year usually). I also kept all printed documents. Those I'm pretty sure I won't need again are stored in archive boxes in the attic, while I have the more recent ones in my office.
One of my clients updates documents (product presentations or catalogs, technical data sheets, etc.) every two years and although the translation is in my MT, I almost always print a copy to compare the versions and have an idea about the amount of new text before starting.
As the others say, CDs are cheap and small, so why bother throwing them away?

Marie-Céline


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Not keeping track Mar 23, 2007

...of anything any more. They're in the sent items folder of Gmail anyway, so there's no need to track them on my machine - especially since I work on several computers, and often on the road, it would be a headache to have to coordinate the files.

The sent items folder is easy to search, organize, etc., and accessible from anywhere, even someone else's computer.

Much easier than doing it yourself I think.

Jim


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
French to English
+ ...
Electronic - forever; paper - a few months Mar 23, 2007

I keep electronic files of translations on CD - I even have some on floppy discs since I first went freelance 20+ years ago, although I have to admit it's a long time since I've accessed those. It has been known for me to go back into the archives, though and it would be so frustrating to have thrown them all away. I keep a database of all my translations so it's quite easy to find them again. Mind you, since I downloaded Google desktop, it's been even easier to find things, so I'm tending to keep things longer on my computer too.

As for hard copies, I usually only keep those for a couple of months: I have a large filing box which I keep the latest translations in, just so they're handy in case a client comes back with a query or an update/addition. Once it's full, I go through and discard the bottom layer - well, actually, I print on the other side of the paper first, in a bid for greenness!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:57
Flemish to English
+ ...
Tapes Mar 23, 2007

In hardware-class, the teacher told me that CDs last 10-15 years and tapes (tape-streamer) are the only safe means of storage. How can you store them foreever if you will loose data in now and 20 years.

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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:57
English to Polish
+ ...
Addendum Mar 23, 2007

@Claire:
If you have anything on floppies you want to keep , get them transferred to a more permanent medium ASAP.

I lost some early stuff on corrupted floppies. They decay with age and are definitely not permament.

Paper copies I usually throw out after I get paid. No need to keep those, IMO, unless, for some reason, the original material is only on paper and may be useful at some point. Even then, I would probably want to scan it to a PDF file.

P.A.S.


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Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:57
French to Italian
+ ...
In my opinion, it depends Mar 23, 2007

It depends on you. I am the kind of person who twice a year gives away old clothes, every month I throw away old papers, and so on.
And it depends on your client. I work regularly for some of them, so maybe 2 years track is not enough, but for occasional clients I think it is.
And when I started 20+ years ago, I typed my texts on a typing machine, so I certainly have no copies of that!
Have a nice day,
Giulia


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Francis Kastalski  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
ad eternum Mar 23, 2007

i feel so very glad that i am not the only one to keep the records "ad eternum"


yes, i do have many difficulties in getting rid of it. once a year, i transfer all material to removable media, but then...i keep it anyway.
)

regards,
francis


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:57
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
At least 6 years Mar 23, 2007

Hello Jenny,

I believe it is a requirement of the British tax authorities to keep all papers relating to your business (which would include the translations) for 6 years.

As for keeping them for terminology, if you have earlier translations that are not in TMS of CAT tools it is worth hanging onto them for reference, or even scanning, converting and WinAligning particularly useful ones, in order to get the terminology into your TMs. As an alternative, you could look through them for useful terms and type those into Multiterm before you throw them away.

You do need a lot of space to keep papers permanently.

Best regards,
Astrid


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The only things thrown out Mar 23, 2007

are those materials under an NDA that requires them to be erased or destroyed (and even then, I keep them until I'm paid, this being -- to my mind -- the final acceptance of the translation).

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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:57
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Forever, I guess Mar 23, 2007

Or at least since I have had a computer with storage capabilities.

I keep all the digital items, not the paper ones. That would be too cumbersome and I get paper items so infrequently.

Files/items I received by email until the project is finished/ paid.
Items for tax purposes - 7 years.

I guess that's it.
Lucinda


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