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Slow-performance translation memory tools via the Internet - do you make a difference in charging?
Thread poster: TTilch

TTilch  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
English to German
+ ...
Jan 23, 2007

Hi there,

The tendency of several important translation agencies is to use more and more translation memory tools that work via the Internet (i.e. Logoport, PIXS to name just a few). The drawback with them is that the performance of the servers at the other end is very slow - it sometimes takes about 2 minutes for one segment to close, save and open the next one. I am very dissatisfied with this situation since it slows down my work speed considerably and I could do much more work in the same time with a locally installed TM system like Trados for instance.

I would like to know if you have come across the same problem and if so, have you found a solution? I.e. did you manage to convince the agencies that work with these tools requires different payment (either higher rates per word or billing by hour)?

I would be very happy for your input.

Best regards,

Tanja


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
German to English
+ ...
Slow-performance translation memory tools via the Internet - do you make a difference in charging? Jan 23, 2007

I have heard of colleagues resorting to doing the entire translation in a different tool, then entering it segment by segment on the Internet.

I have also heard of arrangements of this kind which do not leave the translator with a TM, or in some cases even a final version of the translation.

Two reasons to reject this kind of work completely, in my opinion.

Marc


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TTilch  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No export of TM possible Jan 23, 2007

Hi Marc,

It is usually not possible to export the TM as it is stored on a server at the end-client's site. Since you have to have access to the TM (for matches and concordance search), there is no other way to do the translation.

As to rejecting this kind of work, this will probably leave you without any major projects within a few years time since this is probably the direction in which we are heading... Be honest - who does get many translation orders today if he/she does not use any kind of translation memory tool?

One of the sytems I quoted, for example, is used by Panasonic. So if you want to work for them (directly or indirectly), you just have to use it - if you don't do it, somebody else will, since the 'the client is king' as we use to say here.

Best regards,

Tanja


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:29
German to English
+ ...
comment Jan 23, 2007

IMHO this sounds like a client education issue. If the client doesn't understand the problems the approach creates for translators, the client needs to be informed. If the client truly believes in the principle of partership, it should be receptive to the argument that translators cannot afford to work this way. Otherwise the client is apparently only interested in exploiting its suppliers.

Naturally, if all translators simply let this approach be forced on them, it may come to prevail, but it doesn't have to. If translators who value their time refuse to work under these conditions, the only ones who will accept the work are those who don't value their time (and in the long run they will disappear from the market, since their activity is not economically viable) and translators in countries with significantly lower standards of living who can afford to work at low hourly rates (which is a real concern, but it exists apart from this particular issue -- and it can also change in the long term).

In the medium term, clients that take this approach may suffer from a shortage of good translators, since good translators will have enough business from other clients who do not take this approach to be able to refuse such work. This could make the approach less attractive to the client.

From a logistical perspective, what advantage is there to working with a TM etc. located on a remote server? The only advantage I can see is if translation is being done in a team enviornment in which everyone is using the same TM concurrently. Frankly, this sounds like misuse of a concept developed for in-house use on an intranet.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:29
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Marc Jan 23, 2007

Also, when you need to use Logoport you can actually do it in Trados. First visit the site and pretranslate your document (say with 95%), this will ensure that you have most of the relevant segments, then convert to Trados, translate it in Trados (creating your own memory and at the speed you are used to) and reverse the process. If there are any terminology issues, you can always log on again and check these with the memory.

My advice is to play around with a file and see what happens. This will give you the confidence to try different options.


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mjbjosh
Local time: 22:29
English to Latvian
+ ...
It's a huge problem Jan 24, 2007

I'm working in Across for a agency, and I have noticed that it gets especially annoying towards the end of the document. It didn't notice it when working on shorter documents, but the current one (about 10K words) is just painful.

I hope they can do something about it in the future.


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, charge extra Jan 24, 2007

MarcPrior wrote:
I have also heard of arrangements of this kind which do not leave the translator with a TM, or in some cases even a final version of the translation.

Two reasons to reject this kind of work completely, in my opinion.


To be fair, the second reason is not anything really new and, in my opinion, not a reason for rejecting this kind of jobs.

You can compare it to the situation you have when you are requested to do a translation on the client's premises. When you finish the work, you don't have a final TM nor a final version of the translation (they both stay on the client's office where you did the job).

As for the performance, yes, either you do it offline (if at all possible) or you should charge more for your time.

Daniel


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Refuse to do it Jan 24, 2007

I have a client that sometimes uses a system like that. I refuse to use it, or say I have not got time. (I press small jobs in for them if I can use Trados...) I have noticed that the TMs for a couple of their big end clients have been transferred to Trados, at least when they hope I'm going to do the job!

There are big jobs where I can apreciate a need for several translators working simultaneously. Another firm I've worked for gets as many as possible in the same building (sometimes employing them temporarily). Then server times are not bad at all, and there is a good synergy effect from coffee breaks etc.

But for normal one-job-one-translator assignments, we need to work with technology that does not hamper the process.

PS. I've just proofread a job for an experienced Danish colleague who usually writes excellent English apart from the odd 's' or comma in the wrong place. This job was done in TagEditor, which distracted her completely, and was horrible!

The technical platform, quite apart from wasting our time, does make a difference to quality. These 'tools' are supposed to help. If they don't help us as well as the client, then we should explain, and either refuse to use them or insist on being paid extra for the trouble.

If we don't let clients know, they will think we are happy with whatever they suggest. We're in the communications business after all!



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