Mobile menu

Convincing agencies to use few translation tools
Thread poster: .alberto
.alberto  Identity Verified

Local time: 01:09
English to Italian
+ ...
Jun 12, 2008

As a freelance translator I regularly face requests concerning the use and the availability of some tools, which in my opinion are merely time-consuming or not effective.

What about creating a sort of lobby in order to try to convince agencies to just use few well-established and efficient tools?

Kind Regards
Alberto Sala

[Título editado por el personal o un moderador 2008-06-12 10:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chiara Comini
Local time: 01:09
English to Italian
+ ...
it would be wonderful but... Jun 12, 2008

I think in many cases agencies are trying to promote their proprietary tools and services, which are often really far from perfection. In this case your suggestion will be unheard. But maybe we can use our persuasion superpower

[Edited at 2008-06-12 12:09]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:09
English to Dutch
+ ...
SDL Jun 12, 2008

Alberto Sala wrote:
What about creating a sort of lobby in order to try to convince agencies to just use few well-established and efficient tools?


That's exactly what SDL is doing, isn't it?
In case you don't know, they are the company that produces Trados.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Annelise Meyer  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:09
English to French
+ ...
Precisely Jun 12, 2008

That's exactly what SDL is doing, isn't it?
In case you don't know, they are the company that produces Trados.

Hi,

that is precisely what they do and even though I do agree that there are far too many tools and softwares on the market, I would not want to be "forced" to buy a tool I would not have chosen... (even though I decided that SDL Trados was a must-have for me when I settled...).
I think it is more positive to have competition on a market: not only you can pick your solution depending on your criteria and needs, but it also obliges the companies to improve their solutions instead of just selling them to "easily-won" clients.

Best,
Annelise


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ryan Ginstrom
Local time: 09:09
Japanese to English
Standards are the key Jun 12, 2008

Annelise Meyer wrote:

I think it is more positive to have competition on a market: not only you can pick your solution depending on your criteria and needs, but it also obliges the companies to improve their solutions instead of just selling them to "easily-won" clients.


Very good point. In fact, such "standardization" movements seem often to be pitched at the buyers of translation, not the translators. This means that the translators end up being coerced into buying very expensive software that they don't necessarily want.

I think the key is not forcing one particular tool on the market, but creating open standards so that the different tools can inter-operate (e.g. TMX standard for translation memories).

Regards,
Ryan Ginstrom
(Full disclosure: maker of Felix CAT tool)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 00:09
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Learn interoperability workflows Jun 12, 2008

In most cases a project can be handled adequately using exchange formats or particular pre- and post-processing steps that allow you to work in your familiar environment and still meet the job requirements. The few jobs that don't fit this description because the agency has the nutty idea of using an online TM so half a dozen translators can muck around with it at the same time (or other horrors) one can probably pass on anyway.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxBrandis
Local time: 01:09
English to German
+ ...
These days we have many indicisive agencies... Jun 12, 2008

Hi! it seems to be that the agencies cannot decide on which ever CAT tool to be implemented. For example I can mention my own experience last week. An agency wanted a help file be localized and initially they had chosen a tool which I did not have, well I had purchased that good tool ( USD 50,-) they came back next day with another suggestion, namely another tools ( cost part over USD 1000,-) I had downloaded the trial. They said they will give me the key for download. 5 Days have passed, finally nothing happened, no project. The agency said the project is customer dependent and he is not decisive, so the agency cannot decide either. The project was going apparently into 5 language pairs. Finally I took that agency off my list. Next time only with upfront payment and CAT tool financing. Brandis

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:09
Member (2004)
English to Polish
XLIFF dream Jun 12, 2008

Ryan Ginstrom wrote:

I think the key is not forcing one particular tool on the market, but creating open standards so that the different tools can inter-operate (e.g. TMX standard for translation memories).



Exactly! Let's hope that if the open source supporters forced Microsoft to ease their format lock-in (where your data is "hostage" to a certain company's software), the same can happen in translation software...

I still dream the XLIFF dream: in the ideal world agencies would use their expensive and specialized tools to convert any possible format to a common format document, then the translators would use any tool they considered most convenient (including Notepad) to edit that document. No problems, no leverage, no funny software certificates. Just translators and their work.

Maybe some day...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxaaron-123
English to Chinese
Some website Jun 23, 2008

Actually I saw some website provide translate tools, such as google and myTino. Google is more effective in translation and myTino is more individual.

[Edited at 2008-06-24 07:53]

[Edited at 2008-06-24 07:53]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Helen Huthnance  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Convince agencies translation tools are a translator's choice Jun 23, 2008

I agree that having multiple CAT tools to choose from is a good thing; what works well for one person does not necessarily work well for another. Plus, competition forces the software to improve and prices to go down.

I think the key issue is to convince agencies that CAT tools are merely tools that we use to assist us in our trade and hence which tool we use is up to each individual translator. What we are selling agencies is a finished product: a good translation; and quite frankly how we arrive at that translation should not be the agencies' concern.

Just my two cents

Helen


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I would support the idea... Jun 23, 2008

Alberto Sala wrote:
What about creating a sort of lobby in order to try to convince agencies to just use few well-established and efficient tools?


I would certainly support the idea... as long as the lobby is lobbying the tools that I use (being Wordfast and OmegaT), and I'm sure most other translators feel the same way. Those who feel most comfortable with SDLX will want to lobby SDLX, and the same goes for other tools.

No, I think you should regard new tools as an opportunity to learn new things. Don't accept large jobs with a strange tool. Begin with small jobs so that you can see if you are satisfied with the tool. If not, tell the client 'no thanks' next time he calls. Or ask the client to convert the text for you into a format of your choice.

Three weird tools I'm often asked to do translations in, are SDLX, Idiom and Transit. Some more experienced translators tell me they find these tools very easy and very productive to use, but they're not for me. I use Wordfast when translating SDLX, Idiom and Transit files. I think this may be the way to go... find a way to use your favourite tool and still make the client happy.

Clients invest hundreds of thousands in implementing translation systems, and they're not going to dump it simply because the freelancer is unhappy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:09
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Suspicious activities Jun 23, 2008

Last week saw on Proz an ad from an agency for whom I had worked before. The job was about translating an audio recording, and thereafter recording the translation. On top of that, they wanted a specific kind of female voice. A friend/colleague/client of mine would be the 'perfect' match for this job.

However I was prevented from bidding, and she would be too, because we both use WordFast, and Trados was an absolutely indispensable must-have requirement. They'd probably take a squawking monoglot male, if only he had Trados.

So I sent an e-mail to the PM I had worked with in that agency, promised her name would never be mentioned, and asked how much SDL was paying them, or what rewards they were offering for such a thing. Never got an answer.

This is the #1 reason why I will never buy Trados.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
There could be any number of reasons Jun 24, 2008

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
However I was prevented from bidding, and she would be too, because we both use WordFast, and Trados was an absolutely indispensable must-have requirement. ... This is the #1 reason why I will never buy Trados.


A problem with certain WF users is that they have never seen Trados yet claim that WF is fully compatible with Trados. When their clients take their word for it, and push comes to shove, the translator is unable to deliver and the client fails to get the time-saving and effort-saving effort benefit from using a CAT tool.

Yes, you can use Wordfast for certain Trados jobs, but it generally requires a client who has a fair bit of skill in Trados himself, or a translator who knows Trados well enough to give the client pain-free instructions.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:09
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You missed my point, Samuel Jun 24, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

A problem with certain WF users is that they have never seen Trados yet claim that WF is fully compatible with Trados. When their clients take their word for it, and push comes to shove, the translator is unable to deliver and the client fails to get the time-saving and effort-saving effort benefit from using a CAT tool.

Yes, you can use Wordfast for certain Trados jobs, but it generally requires a client who has a fair bit of skill in Trados himself, or a translator who knows Trados well enough to give the client pain-free instructions.


I'm not concerned about using Trados or WF, but an unjustifiable sine qua non demand for having it.

I challenge any Trados (or WF, or any other CAT tool) lover to add any value to the client with it wnen translating a script-less audio recording (viz. just a wav or mp3 file), and later recording the translation so obtained by reading it aloud to a microphone.

This absolute requirement makes just as much sense as if they only accepted translators who own a BMW, smoke Marlboro, or meet some other equally unrelated demand.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Maria Castro[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Convincing agencies to use few translation tools

Advanced search


Translation news





Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »
Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs