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Technical manuals versus legal
Thread poster: GILOU

GILOU  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
English to French
Sep 27, 2004

Sometimes, I have to refuse technical manuals because the legal part is too long. It's very frustrating to refuse a manual because there are 4 pages of legal terminology in the beginning which are double Dutch to me. When the job is divided into several files, it's easy to say, "keep your legal file and give it to another translator cause I hate to translate this file". But when it's a manual and you're unlucky because that bloody legal part is not in the TM, it's better to refuse the job than to make a mess of the manual for your legal translation will be completely failed.
It's a pity to refuse a manual when you can handle all the technical stuff, you'd like to erase all the copyright, etc...:=)))
Well, I prefer to be honest with the client anyway...
Are there some technical translators who have this same problem ?


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 06:53
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Outsource Sep 27, 2004

Have you ever considered outsourcing the legal part of the text?.

You can find a qualified translator for those mere 4 pages and carry on with the rest with no trouble at all. You can extract the text from the file (and leave the TM blank or in the source language for that bit) and then re-insert it after you've exported the whole lot.

Of course, you want to make sure that the other translator is good and reliable, and the process of finding such a person may certainly take a while, but once you have found such a collaborator it's really easy to forget about the legal part and you'll be able to accept such projects.

Luckily for me, I have so far encountered only short copyright notices which I translate myself (they get very repetitive after a while) and have them proofread by a lawyer friend in exchange of a dinner invitation (which is a pleasure to offer anyway). Naturally this applies only to short paragraphs; I would't touch a lenghty legal text even with a bargepole!


[Edited at 2004-09-27 13:03]


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IsaPro  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:53
English to French
+ ...
Dear Gilles Sep 27, 2004

Have you ever thought of copying the legal part of your technical manual and having it subcontracted by a friend of yours which is specialized in legal translations ?
That's what I'm doing when certain very technical parts of some contracts I do translate are too difficult for me to translate...


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GILOU  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Legal Sep 27, 2004

You're right but it's more complicated when you have to use a TM (Trados). You have a confidentiality contract and you can't send your TM consequently. If the text is short, you can ask another translator to do it....

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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 05:53
German to English
Bite the bullet Sep 27, 2004

Judging by the manuals I've translated, much of the legal text is boilerplate, so I've not had to translate a whole lot of text after the first few. Once you've done a couple, you've got a fair amount of text in your TM which can be recycled.

The second issue has to do with applicability. Despite harmonization in the EU, there are still a few issues regarding fair use, etc. which need to be straightened out, and the client should know this, and have that text written in the target language by a lawyer familiar with intellectual property law. Your translation of the legal text should really be only a guide for the attorney so that he/she will know what issues to cover.

If you are translating from an American source, a lot of legal provisions are not really applicable in the EU (and vice versa). I once had a client who asked me to translate a licensing contract, and after he read it, he got very upset, saying that some of the provisions of the document were illegal in the US. He had the impression that he was going to get legal as well as translating services.


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pma
Spain
Local time: 11:53
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Legal paragraphs Sep 27, 2004

Hello, Gilles,
I fully agree with Rosanna and IsaPro.
I usually translate it myself because it is normally a few lines only and always the same stuff.
For longer texts, I suggest you export the relevant units from Trados -not the whole document- and send it to your colleague as a .txt file. You could get it back in the same fashion.
For confidentiality purposes, you can just replace the brand names with the usual "xxx", you know...
Hope it helps
Pablo

[Edited at 2004-09-27 14:10]

[Edited at 2004-09-27 14:11]


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GILOU  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks pma Sep 27, 2004

.txt format is a good solution to import it in the TM.
Thanks


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 06:53
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Just to add that... Sep 27, 2004

if there are serious confidentiality issues you may want to make your translator sign your own confidentiality agreement.

Otherwise, as Pma wisely suggests, just changing names will do nicely!


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GILOU  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
pma Sep 27, 2004

But if you want to import it into the TM after, the legal translator can't overwrite the text. Otherwise, it won't work in the TM....

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pma
Spain
Local time: 11:53
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
importing into TM Sep 27, 2004

Hi again, Gilles,

Well, you can select your import options in TM so that the existing units are overwritten or the new ones added as new, etc.
I don`t think importing should be a problem, to be honest.
One of several ways to do things is to overwrite the original units and replace them with the legal translator's.

pablo


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Divide et impera Sep 27, 2004

Your position sounds very familiar to me. My approach: unless I can re-use legal material from the client, I copy the correspoding section into a new word file, have this file translated or reviewed by a specialized colleague and import the resulting TM into my TM. Then, it's Ctrl-P (I'm using DVX, obviously) and that's about it. This approach should work with Trados as well, I suppose.

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GILOU  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:53
Member (2002)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 27, 2004

Thanks for all your suggestions))

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