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Poll: Do most of your clients provide you with a translation memory?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:02
SITE STAFF
Apr 9, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do most of your clients provide you with a translation memory?".

This poll was originally submitted by Anne-Virginie Lerat

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Epameinondas Soufleros  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 00:02
Member (2008)
English to Greek
+ ...
Unprofessionalism Apr 9, 2009

There is so much unprofessionalism in the jobs that get posted on the Internet, its seems. I have yet to receive any translation memory or a terminology database from a client.

In fact, today a provider sent me a 'test text' for translation, in order to assess my quality as a translator. However, the 'text' was an Excel spreadsheet with a list of out-of-context textile terminology, obviously from an ongoing project of theirs.

Of course I refused to do this as a test of the quality of my services. How can you judge with such a document if the translator is good enough for you? Pff... I've had enough of that already!


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
No.... Apr 9, 2009

....because I don't use CAT tools.

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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:02
Member (2008)
French to English
not usually Apr 9, 2009

I almost never get memory from clients, which I generally consider to be just as well, because I am not always happy with it when I do get it. I am due to start a large multiple-translator job where we will be sharing memory and I am practicing my positive attitude already - we will see how it goes. I will learn a lot, there are plenty of good translators out there, but I know there will be translations retained that will annoy the stuffing out of me as well.

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

In fact, today a provider sent me a 'test text' for translation, in order to assess my quality as a translator. However, the 'text' was an Excel spreadsheet with a list of out-of-context textile terminology, obviously from an ongoing project of theirs.

Of course I refused to do this as a test of the quality of my services. How can you judge with such a document if the translator is good enough for you? Pff... I've had enough of that already!


This is sort of off topic, but I recently told a new client that among the fields I did not consider myself well qualified in were marketing and IT. So for my translation test she sent me a text on marketing a new software. Sigh.

[Edited at 2009-04-09 18:53 GMT]


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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:32
Member
German to English
No! Consistency? Quality? Apr 9, 2009

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

There is so much unprofessionalism in the jobs that get posted on the Internet, its seems. I have yet to receive any translation memory or a terminology database from a client.

In fact, today a provider sent me a 'test text' for translation, in order to assess my quality as a translator. However, the 'text' was an Excel spreadsheet with a list of out-of-context textile terminology, obviously from an ongoing project of theirs.

Of course I refused to do this as a test of the quality of my services. How can you judge with such a document if the translator is good enough for you? Pff... I've had enough of that already!


I can empathise with Epameinondas.

The result of the poll so far is an overwhelming NO.
Though many clients are quick to insist on the use of CAT tools, Trados and the like, the ones who actually provide a TM or database are few and far between. I have asked for, and been promised, TM and /or terminology / glossaries on several occasions but seldom received them. I wonder how some of these clients manage to ensure consistency in terminology for large projects or work which is split up among a team of translators, or even in case of new versions / updates of documents etc. Does not speak volumes for either consistency or quality, one would think.


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Anna Katikhina  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:02
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
No Apr 9, 2009

And I wish they did. How they ensure consistency is also a mystery to me.

I did receive reference materials a couple of times though.


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 19:02
English to Spanish
Nope Apr 9, 2009

None of my regular clients use CAT tools.

The oly times I'm provided a TM is when I work as team-member in large projects for another colleague's client (my colleague acts as coordinator, obviously; I'm not talking about client-grabbing).

Greetings
Andrea


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:02
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
SECTOR SPECIFIC Apr 9, 2009

A couple of agencies I work for do (only a couple though).

A handful of IT clients do, and even sometimes/often (client specific) request file alignment of archive files as first stage of a project.
Another couple of clients in advertising have good TMs and CAT friendly glossaries and provide endless reference materials.....

Generally speaking ... no for other sectors.

Still, must add, mostly, although I work with a CAT tool, and keep client/project based TMs and glossaries etc, unless specifically requested and pre-agreed I don't share - I provide only clean files. Generally, that's all I'm asked for ....


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Radu Nicolaescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 00:02
Member (2006)
German to Romanian
+ ...
consistency requirement Apr 9, 2009

I work mainly long run projects, that need memory, as mandatory requirement

I would reformulate: do your clients provide/ask translation memory?

For any new job I set a memory.
I consider it as a default quality requirement for technical translations and my duty to work with, irrespective if asked by the client
The proffessional in translations is me, not him

Maybe not all the clients have the taste, knowledge and/or the technical means to operate with CAT-tools; they need the final format dicument only

I had some cases the client provided for reference previous translations on similar machines: I spent some time to generate with winalign a reference memory, in order to keep consistency with the previos similars. I considered this situation as an "Yes" answer.

It is up to me to accept or reject a job if the source and reference documents are not compatible with the desires


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:02
German to English
+ ...
No... Apr 9, 2009

...because I don't use CAT tools (like Amy).

Most of my clients send reference material, though.

Trudy


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:02
Russian to English
+ ...
Nope Apr 9, 2009

I use a CAT tool -- I find it helps me maintain consistency -- but most of my customers don't ask and don't seem to care.

About half way through one large project involving multiple translations on the same subject, an outsourcer sent me an Excel spreadsheet with a limited number of terms. It had obviously been compiled from translations previously completed by several translators working on the same project.

Another outsourcer referred me to an online multilingual glossary on their customers web site that had few of the terms encountered in the translation, and they insisted I use it. In one instance, the online glossary had two different Russian terms translated with the same English term, and the document I was translating defined and used the two Russian term differently.


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 23:02
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
welcome to the club ;-) Apr 10, 2009

Venkatesh Sundaram wrote:

Epameinondas Soufleros wrote:

There is so much unprofessionalism in the jobs that get posted on the Internet, its seems. I have yet to receive any translation memory or a terminology database from a client.

In fact, today a provider sent me a 'test text' for translation, in order to assess my quality as a translator. However, the 'text' was an Excel spreadsheet with a list of out-of-context textile terminology, obviously from an ongoing project of theirs.

Of course I refused to do this as a test of the quality of my services. How can you judge with such a document if the translator is good enough for you? Pff... I've had enough of that already!


I can empathise with Epameinondas.

The result of the poll so far is an overwhelming NO.
Though many clients are quick to insist on the use of CAT tools, Trados and the like, the ones who actually provide a TM or database are few and far between. I have asked for, and been promised, TM and /or terminology / glossaries on several occasions but seldom received them. I wonder how some of these clients manage to ensure consistency in terminology for large projects or work which is split up among a team of translators, or even in case of new versions / updates of documents etc. Does not speak volumes for either consistency or quality, one would think.



And try to imagine the client's reaction if you asking for it, because you were previously informed about the project; and the files they sent dated in 2005 are completely different from the files dated in, for example, 2009 - and the toll/equipment/whatever IS THE SAME!!!

the usual reaction: please, be careful and keep our terminology.
(may I ask, Dear MrCustomer, which one you mean???)

Wishing a sunny Easter to all of you ahead,

Liza


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 00:02
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Nearly always Apr 10, 2009

I'm surprised at the large number of people that answered no.
The translation agencies I work for on a regular basis nearly always send me an existing TM and (a link to) reference materials, if available. I have also carried out a few alignment projects to create new TMs for one of those agencies.

Fortunately, most of the agencies I work for try to use the same translator(s) for their clients' projects. Apart from creating a high lever of consistency, this is providing me with a steady flow of work.

I agree, though, that TMs are as good as the translators who helped to create them. Still, they can be helpful as regards special terminology.


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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 23:02
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, and I'm glad. Apr 10, 2009

As James noted, most of my customers don't ask and don't seem to care. I doubt if they even know that such things exist.
I would be reluctant to hand over my own TMs to agencies or other clients/providers, since they might decide to use them for their own purposes and my services could then become dispensable.
I sometimes collaborate with a fellow freelancer who sends me TMs of projects we are working on compiled by other colleagues. However, I rarely find the time to even look at them because the deadlines are always pressing and I am usually confident enough in my own work not to feel the need to compare it with texts from other translators. Should the need to confirm/compare specific terms arise, I will ask for help or confirmation.
To sum up, I don't often work on large projects involving several translators, so although I find CAT tools useful when working on my own, basically because they make me work in a more organized, segmented way than is usual for me, I think sharing and comparing TMs with other translators would definitely slow me down/cramp my style.


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Yassen Tounev  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 00:02
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Confused language pair in client's TM Apr 10, 2009

Once I took an English/Bulgarian Trados TTX job from an East Asian -based agency, so they provided a TM, which was defined as English (US)/Bulgarian. What a surprise it was, when I hit a fuzzy match and saw Traditional Chinese characters in target segment)))))) I opened the memory through File>Maintenance and what do you think I saw..... all target segments were in Chinese:) Probably the PM, responsible for TM export and import confused the .txt files. Anyway, I wrote them an e-mail , and they sent me the correct TM file with apologies.

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