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Copies of previous translations- keep or destroy...?
Thread poster: railuska
Local time: 07:55
English to Finnish
+ ...
Jun 5, 2003

Would you recommend keeping copies of translations you've done? Or should I just take notes for my own glossary/ future use and then destroy all originals? I've seen suggestions on similar forums that you should always keep copies of originals and your own translations for future use... nevertheless this could technically (I guess) breach the client's privacy even if you don't show the material to anyone.

On a similar topic: Are agencies (in your experience) likely to request you show them copies of previous assignments and if so, what sort of texts should you let them view?

Thanks for help:)

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Robert Zawadzki  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:55
English to Polish
+ ...
My way Jun 5, 2003

Is to keep dictionaries and some useful pictures at hand and everything on CDs I rarely take out of a drawer.

Sometimes an agency asks me for a sample. I translateed some European Union documents. English as well as Polish versions are on the Net. I selected the ones that made it trough a verification without changes and send them upon request.


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 00:55
German to English
Keep archives Jun 5, 2003

I've had clients come back to me literally years after I've done a translation asking for a copy, since they had misplaced the document. Unless specifically requested by a client, I usually destroy hardcopy source documents after 2 years; electronic files (source/target) are archived on CD on an ongoing basis. If you ever decide to use a TM tool, the saved electronic source/target documents will come in handy.

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Francisco Herrerias  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:55
French to Spanish
+ ...
Translation made in 1995 Jun 5, 2003

I participated in the translation of a book in 1995, and just a month ago my client came to me to ask me to review the new edition of the book, and have the new translation ready...

Can you imagine the amount of work I saved by keeping that old diskette on my drawer?

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:55
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
¡¡¡ KEEP !!! Jun 5, 2003

Unless obliged by contract to self-destruct them.

1. Clients lose their copies.
2. Some don't remember what my invoice was about.
3. Others send me the same text everyday with some modification.
4. The only time I threw out a translation was ONE SENTENCE that a client needed in a rush, and because he was a good client I decided not to charge him. Surprise, surprise ... his secretary threw it away!!!

And many more. Better be safe than sorry.

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Marijke Mayer  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:55
Dutch to English
+ ...
If you use CAT tools only keep the source language files Jun 6, 2003

You can always run the source document through again and the target text should come rolling out if you use CT tools such as Trados. That way you save about half the bytes. However, with today's large storage capacities, this really should not be an issue. You can zip the files, both Trados memory and Word files, store these tucked away on your computer with a back up on one of the many mass storage devices. As indicated by other translators . . . there's always that time when you might need it again. You never know!

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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:55
English to Polish
+ ...
Keep everything you're allowed to Jun 6, 2003

disk space and CD-ROMS are dirt cheap these days. My total archive of everything I've done over the past 10 years (except for one floppy which committed suicide) is less than 2GB (mostly because one job involved some humongous AutoCAD files). That fits on two CDs which do not take up much space in your drawer. You never know when you might need a particular file in the future and, if you have self-confidence problems, you can go back to those first translations you've done and say to yourself "look how much I learned!")

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Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:55
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Save copies for rainy days Jun 7, 2003

There are plenty of anecdotes and stories to support this view. I try to keep everything I can (either in the hard disk or a CD).

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