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Launch of TAUS/TDA inminent. The super cloud
Thread poster: Felipe Gútiez

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:41
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 4, 2008

Hello,

some of you remember the old discussions about global memories, translators cooperatives and the like. I decided to take a look at TAUS and went to the meeting in Zurich, Switzertland. It was a very nice meeting with several LSP (language service providers), consultants, freelancers and IT companies (Autodesk and Logitech). In the meeting I realized that the soul of the project is Jaap van der Meer. He was a translator, so he can undertand the translators point of view too.

I realized that the super cloud is going to be a reality very soon. I find it very good but most of translators in ProZ will probably be against. The launch of the internet plattform is due in January and the fees for frelance translators are 50 Euros/year.

The main objectives of the TAUS Data Association are:

1. Legitimate and secure platform for storing, sharing and leveraging language data.
2. Access to large volumes of trusted language data for increased translation automation.
3. Industry collaboration to promote harmonization of multilingual terminology.
Benefits for members are: increased translation efficiency, market growth and business innovation.

The Founding Members are: ABBYY, Abu Ghazaleh Legal Translations, Adobe, Applied Language Solutions, Armed Forces Language Support Services, Autodesk, Celer Soluciones, Cisco Systems, CLS Communication, Cross Language, Dell, Direct Language, eBay, Elanex, EMC, Intel, Jonckers, Language Intelligence, Language Weaver, Linguistic Systems, Lionbridge, Logrus, Matrixware, McAfee, Merrill Brink, Microsoft, Milengo, Moravia, MorphoLogic, Oracle, Prolingua, Proz.com, PTC, SDL, Skrivanek, Sun Microsystems, Sybase iAnywhere, Tilde, VanceInfo Creative Software, Vistatec, Welocalize. The European Commission has also agreed to donate its parallel language data to be shared through TDA.

As you see, ProZ is also a member of TDA.

My question. What do you think about it? Would you like to influence this development? how?


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Confidentiality: was it discussed? Dec 4, 2008

Felipe, can you tell us whether confidentiality was discussed in the meeting?

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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:41
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Confidentiality Dec 4, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

Felipe, can you tell us whether confidentiality was discussed in the meeting?


Hi Tomás,

I felt curious. You always raise this point of confidentiality. Who are your clients, Tomás, the CIA?je, je.

Yes it was. Companies are concerned about this.
It was an amazing point. I asked: what percentage of the documentation in your company is confidential? Answer: 10-20 %
Second question: what percentage of the documentation of your company is in Internet?Answer: 100%. Very interesting, I said.

Letting jokes apart, people do not have a big problem with confidentiality. Most confidential documentation stopps being confidential very quickly and become publicly available for the customers and the general public. Is not a very, very big problem.

On the other hand, I think you have to demitologize companies and institutions. They are just people, like you and me. Nothing else, nothing more, not so interested in confidentiality as you think but in hobbies, family, holidays, that´s all.

Specially IT companies are very open in this topic of sharing translation data. But TAUS would like all other industries to come and join.

Generally speaking, the confidentiality issue should not be a problem. It represents a relatively small part of the documentation which needs to be translated.

The different dicussions were really interesting. The next meeting is in Barcelona on December 10, I think.

[Editado a las 2008-12-04 15:16 GMT]


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Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:41
English to Russian
+ ...
against Dec 4, 2008

Just look at who the founding members are. All members are companies and they will care a little about a freelance translator. Jaap van der Meer was a translator but he is not a translator now. That is the point.

And what increased translation efficiency actually means here is that you will be constantly asked for discounts because you are a member of this organization and can access TMs or something like that.

Why do you think these companies agreed to be engaged in this initiative? Because they so much care about translators?No, because they are going to make their own profit of it.

Finally, I am for increased translation efficiency but against increased translation automation. I do not think freelancers will benefit from this in the end.

P.S. The whole thing sounds like another trick from fat cats. I am sorry I can not share your enthusiasm:(.

Best,
Andrei






[Edited at 2008-12-04 15:33 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What else did they say about confidentiality? Dec 4, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
I felt curious. You always raise this point of confidentiality. Who are your clients, Tomás, the CIA?je, je.

No, but I think that confidentiality is a business tool in most industries. As translators, we have access to confidential information and I think privacy should be important for us.

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
Yes it was. Companies are concerned about this.
It was an amazing point. I asked: what percentage of the documentation in your company is confidential? Answer: 10-20 %
Second question: what percentage of the documentation of your company is in Internet?Answer: 100%. Very interesting, I said.


But Felipe, from what you explain I am not sure of whether confidentiality was treated at the meeting and what they said about it (before or after your questions). Can you please summarise what they said about it?


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:41
German to English
+ ...
Raging against the machine Dec 4, 2008

Andrei Yefimov wrote:
P.S. The whole thing sounds like another trick from fat cats. I am sorry I can not share your enthusiasm:(.
Andreib


Especially the model case that is presented in what seems to be the current lead article at the TAUS website http://www.translationautomation.com/ .
It describes how "Second Life" gets all its translation work (into dozens of languages) done for free by a process called "crowd-sourcing". The concept is that you get lots of people interested in the work you are developing, thus building a user community, then you ask for volunteers to do the work for free, and as a reward you simply put their name on the translated website.

There is another article on the TAUS site about how Adobe manages its localisation by "crowd-sourcing".

The TAUS website clearly identifies its "enemy" - us, the professionals in the translation industry. It states "The culture of creativity and craftsmanship has hindered it (the translation industry) from adopting technology at the same pace as other industries". So put aside all ambitions of creativity and craftsmanship, and TAUS will welcome you with open arms. Especially if you are sold on the community idea and do not want anything as mundane as money.

So the "fat cats" can pursue this avenue of research if they wish, but every translation professional will have to make a decision whether to contribute his/her expertise to fine-tune the "machine" - or whether to concentrate on working for clients who are not willing to sacrifice quality, cultural awareness, confidentiality and other ideals in the interest of a mechanistic "efficiency" which regards all human language and culture as merely a complicated arrangement of the digits "0" and "1".

[Edited at 2008-12-04 16:13 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Complete nonsense Dec 4, 2008

Victor Dewsbery wrote:
The TAUS website clearly identifies its "enemy" - us, the professionals in the translation industry. It states "The culture of creativity and craftsmanship has hindered it (the translation industry) from adopting technology at the same pace as other industries".


This is complete rubbish (sorry folks). It's like trying to convince people that the existance of cabinetmakers has hindered the industrial production of furniture. Of course they believe it and will say it many times, in an effort to make professional translators feel guilty for trying to be professional (and being recognised and paid as such).

Maybe if we feel guilty enough we will be willing to work for whatever fee they wish?

Edited: May I add that I don't quite see how they can say that, when most of us use translation memory tools (a technology specifically created for translation, with a degree of complexity and specialisation comparable to accounting, CRM, stock exchange tools, etc.), computerised glossaries, localisation and testing tools, translation-specific standadisation organisations like LISA, or communities like Proz and other sites??

What other industry has had such a rapid adoption of technology and standardisation (in the last 10 years)? If they want to say that "increasing standardisation, adoption of solid translation technology, visibility and recognition of translators as a professional group has hindered the process of making translators unnecessary", I would agree.

[Edited at 2008-12-04 16:43 GMT]


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Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:41
English to Russian
+ ...
agree with Victor Dec 4, 2008

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

So the "fat cats" can pursue this avenue of research if they wish, but every translation professional will have to make a decision whether to contribute his/her expertise to fine-tune the "machine" - or whether to concentrate on working for clients who are not willing to sacrifice quality, cultural awareness, confidentiality and other ideals in the interest of a mechanistic "efficiency" which regards all human language and culture as merely a complicated arrangement of the digits "0" and "1".

[Edited at 2008-12-04 16:13 GMT]


Well said! Fully agree!

Best,
Andrei


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:41
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I don't see much practical use Dec 4, 2008

The only case when I can reuse already translated material is when the same customer (same author) rewrites part of their documentation. Then they are reusing their previously authored texts.
I hardly ever see coming up more than 90 % matches in material from different customers, except really trivial sentences. So I don't believe using a global TM would benefit me or anybody else.
And who is making sure that the material is trustworthy?

Regards
Heinrich


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:41
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To use or not to use Dec 4, 2008

The question is not if we agree, if we like it or if it is nonsense.

The question is that it will be launched in January and that ProZ is already a member.

Are you going to use it or not? I think I will


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Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:41
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
... Dec 4, 2008

I really don't understand the hostility against the people/companies who have come up with this.
Regardless of whether or not this global TM will be of any use to me, these people obviously believe their plan will be profitable. So why shouldn't they go ahead with it?
Because it might mean a freelance translator may have to adapt the way he or she works? I don't think so.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:41
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
About confidentiality Dec 4, 2008

I think that the confidentiality issue is relevant, but we should distinguish between two very different situations:

  • Translators:
    we are not the owner of the texts that we translate, and therefore we are not allowed to share, publish, pool them to form a VLTM (Very Large Translation Memory), or use them in any other way. We can only keep them for reference, if our agreement with the client does not states otherwise.

  • Companies (in this particular case, the members of TAUS):
    if these companies own the texts and the corresponding translations, they are legally entitled and free to do with their data whatever they like. They can keep them strictly confidential, publish them, distribute or sell them as part of a VLTM, charging a fee or not. It is their data.

    This is what the European Community, Microsoft, and some other organizations have done for years, and many translators found those resources very helpful or essential for their work. The format was not very convenient, but something useful was available.

    If TAUS provides a useful resource for consultation, in a convenient format, I would most probably use it, and even pay to access it, if the fee is affordable. Certainly I cannot contribute with my TM's, as they are not my property.


    Gianfranco

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  • Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
    Spain
    Local time: 21:41
    Member (2005)
    English to Spanish
    + ...
    What did they say about confidentiality????? Dec 4, 2008

    Felipe, please! What did they say about confidentiality at the meeting? Please let us know. All the rest has been discussed in the past!

    [As for whether I am a potential user...I'm affraid not. Not interested really. Any information I may need about official translations I can get from EURLEX, the websites in Spanish of bodies and authorities, or even AENOR. Translations from companies other than my usual customers won't help me much.]


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    Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
    Spain
    Local time: 21:41
    Member (2005)
    English to Spanish
    + ...
    Two different views Dec 4, 2008

    Lutz Molderings wrote:
    I really don't understand the hostility against the people/companies who have come up with this. Regardless of whether or not this global TM will be of any use to me, these people obviously believe their plan will be profitable. So why shouldn't they go ahead with it?


    I think that the tension here is typical of many other trades and industries: the tension between those who consider a service just a commodity and those who think of it as a way of life.

    For large corporations, most specially IT companies, localisation and translation is a commodity: they want to get it at a reasonable cost in order to offer their products internationally. To them, translation is not very different from steel, copper or gold: the lower the price within a reasonably stable level of quality (just the quality they need, not more, not less), the better.

    To me as a translator, translating is my way of life: I do my very best to offer good translations (even if I fail sometimes as errare humanum est). I won't deliver anything without the maximum quality I can achieve. I am fond of my translations. They are "my babies". They are not a commodity to me; and I don't want to feel like a factory.

    [Edited at 2008-12-04 20:13 GMT]


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    Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
    Spain
    Local time: 21:41
    Member (2002)
    German to Spanish
    + ...
    TOPIC STARTER
    The answer is in the first part of the discussion, Tomás Dec 5, 2008

    Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

    Felipe, please! What did they say about confidentiality at the meeting? Please let us know. All the rest has been discussed in the past!

    [As for whether I am a potential user...I'm affraid not. Not interested really. Any information I may need about official translations I can get from EURLEX, the websites in Spanish of bodies and authorities, or even AENOR. Translations from companies other than my usual customers won't help me much.]


    Hi, Tomás.
    Mision of TAUS/TDA

    1. Legitimate and secure platform for storing, sharing and leveraging language data.

    At the meeting in Zurich (and this is also very clear in the home page) it was clear (Jaap stated it very clear) that there will be "legitimate" data in the plattform.

    I personally, and I mean "theoretically" don´t believe any more in patents, copyrights and confidentiality. I believe in sharing and progressing together as a world at greater speed and in saving the planet with green cars and green houses. Patents, copyrights and confidentiality just keep the system at ease for bad boys who do not want progress, green cars and green houses because its their business who is at stake (oil companies specially). Good example: German car industry against tougher regulations on CO2 lately. And many other examples, lots of them. Regulation at EU level will became true at 2015 and not 2012 as planned.
    The world has lived several thousands of years without patents, copyrights and confidentiality agreements and survived. With Internet and the possibilities of collaboration offered I find this issues just "not practical", "too complicated".

    Another "magic" word at the meeting was "taxonomy" (arranging and organizing the words of the world), and there any of you can provide feedback to improve the system.

    With translations being cheap and available to everybody, then everybody, any of you, can publish a website in 180 languages without fear of being misunderstood and can push new ideas (and make money, why not?) worldwide, any person, not just big companies. You can offer for example your very complex service and know how as translators to any company in any world language. In that way, this is also good for you as an experienced and especialised translator. There are many ways in which change can be used for better, you just have to figure out how.

    I very much hope that you will reconsider your intention of non joining the plattform. People like you would be very welcome to give feedback of what is going bad or not so perfectly at the plattform.


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