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Poll: Would you be ready to share your TMs?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:45
SITE STAFF
Dec 7, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you be ready to share your TMs?".

This poll was originally submitted by Vitomir (Vito) Smolej

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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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:45
Member
English to Turkish
Depends on with whom Dec 7, 2006

If it's with colleagues, the answer might change to "Yes, give and take." If with customers, then it might be, "Yes, pay and buy."

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
It is not so simple to share a TM Dec 7, 2006

The main problem in sharing a TM, even with friends, is the fact that TMs often contain a lot of confidential information. This would, in any event, have to be properly edited out first, which takes time (which none of us have).

Naturally there are plenty of other aspects as well, and I do not at all believe in sharing TMs with agencies, for a number of reasons, which I have outlined elsewhere on this site.

In principle, I would be willing at any time to share a TM of a well-known public document, or also that of a web site. The originator of this poll has already publicly shared a TM on this site, namely that of the German Civil Code, which I successfully downloaded for use. That is the type of TM which I would also share.

Astrid


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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:45
German to Dutch
+ ...
Agree Dec 8, 2006

Özden Arıkan wrote:

If it's with colleagues, the answer might change to "Yes, give and take." If with customers, then it might be, "Yes, pay and buy."


This is exactly my point of view. But, as Astrid points out: only if those do not contain confidential information.
Herman


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 01:45
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is a TM? Dec 8, 2006

For those of us still wondering what TM is, Could somebody explain?

[Edited at 2006-12-08 13:59]


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Alexandre Coutu
Canada
Local time: 01:45
English to French
Translation Memory Dec 8, 2006

TM stands for Translation Memory.

A translation memory consists of source and target language segments. In other words, the sentences (more or less) that you had to translate matched to your translation.

Software like Trados and Wordfast (which I recommend) find close matches to previously translated segments and return your previous translation, indicating changes.


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:45
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Explanation of TM Dec 8, 2006

Satto (Roberto) wrote:

For those of us still wondering what TM is, Could somebody explain?

[Edited at 2006-12-08 13:59]


Hi Roberto,
TM stands for Translation Memory. If you use a CAT tool, you create a TM, which you then expand as you work. If you share a TM with someone, it's basically like sending both your source and target files, because the TM has both languages in it side by side (so to speak).
As to the specific question asked here, I answered "depends". I've shared TMs and the glossaries I've created (I use WF) with two colleagues I trust completely. I would never send a TM to a customer, not even for payment.
Catherine


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:45
Italian to English
It's a "translation memory", Roberto, Dec 8, 2006

or in other words, a database of matching source and target segments, plus indexing info, which can be used by the CAT tool that generated it, and in some cases by other CAT tools, too.

For example, I use Trados and maintain a separate TM for each of my clients. I incorporate these into a number of sectoral TMs, which I use for reference, alongside the client TM, while I am translating. This enables me to leverage, or avoid repeating, past translations and maintain linguistic consistency over time.

Clients, particularly agencies, quite often ask for translations as uncleaned files that they can incorporate into their own TMs, which is generally regarded as acceptable. Once you have a source text and a translation, it doesn't take long to align - i.e., segment and match - them and turn them into a TM (a set of five files in the case of Trados).

HTH

Giles


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Sofia K  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 09:45
English to Greek
+ ...
No way 13%! Dec 8, 2006

It s not the TM that makes a good translation.

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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:45
Spanish to English
+ ...
Value of the TM Dec 8, 2006

Sofia K wrote:

It s not the TM that makes a good translation.


Well... it can. If you do good translations and always use CAT software, then your TMs are brimming with good translations. Probably they're translations that you researched carefully and sweated over for hours.

If you've used CAT software for years, then your TMs and termbases contain a large part of your accumulated knowledge of terminology, solutions to tricky turns of phrase, etc. Anyone who has these files can access that information through simple concordance searches and reuse it in their own work... which, of course, is the point of sharing.

If the person who is using your old TM has a job with a lot of matches and near-matches, he or she is essentially billing for work you did and can use the saved time to do other work (that you might have gotten otherwise).

In other words, a good TM contains the sort of broad-based information that people in other professions would never dream of handing over to their competitors. It's one of the things that gives you your competitive edge.

If we add to that the client confidentiality issues raised by sharing TM's, then it seems best to hold these files as proprietary.

One of the things I love about this profession is how we all help each other, but I think that's best done on an item-by-item basis.

[Edited at 2006-12-08 18:24]


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 08:45
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"what is a TM" Dec 8, 2006

In a nut shell, translation memory is the past (translational) experience in a form of a reusable asset that can be used for upcoming orders. In its value it matches, if not surpasses, any bilingual dictionary.

Leaving aside the question of its quality, I personally see it as one of pretty much tangible, if not main assets of the translation business. For me at least, it has a very definite value.

The question asked in the poll was thus connected with the merchantability of this asset. Can we enrich each other some way? can it be a win-win situation?



[Edited at 2006-12-08 20:48]


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Giovany Rodríguez Monsalve
Colombia
Local time: 01:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends on... Dec 8, 2006

I think that everything depends on the person you are mixed with, I mean, I do not have problem with sharing my TMs with a collegue.

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Alexandre Coutu
Canada
Local time: 01:45
English to French
Yes... I think Dec 9, 2006

I answered yes, but the more I think about it, the more unsure I am.

If I gave my TM, I would hope that the person makes the best of it and that it helps them, but I would also expect them to overlook problems with the TM -- whoever keeps a TM that is perfectly in order and contains no weird segments?

But would I use a stranger's TM? I'm not so sure. Of course, if I knew the person was very qualified, I would, but would I use a stranger's TM? Probably not.

I regularly work with one colleague who doesn't have wordfast (the CAT tool I use). If she did (or should I say WHEN she does, I would probably agree to give her my TM as long as she agreed to give me hers. I would want to swap on a regular basis so we can both benefit from the work we do apart from eachother.

Hmm... the whole issue of confidentiality, however, does raise some questions. Some questions I'd better raise in another forum...


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Satto (Roberto)  Identity Verified
Colombia
Local time: 01:45
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tnx People Dec 9, 2006

cbolton wrote:

Satto (Roberto) wrote:

For those of us still wondering what TM is, Could somebody explain?

[Edited at 2006-12-08 13:59]


Hi Roberto,
TM stands for Translation Memory. If you use a CAT tool, you create a TM, which you then expand as you work. If you share a TM with someone, it's basically like sending both your source and target files, because the TM has both languages in it side by side (so to speak).
As to the specific question asked here, I answered "depends". I've shared TMs and the glossaries I've created (I use WF) with two colleagues I trust completely. I would never send a TM to a customer, not even for payment.
Catherine


Tnx for the explanation, I know what a Translation Memory is but did not join the dots in my head with the TM acronym. Anyway thanks for the explanations.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
N/A Dec 10, 2006

That's what my answer is. I'd like to share my TMs with everyone, but I don't have them in a very accesible format except for myself.

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