Giving clients uncleaned Trados files
Thread poster: Buck

Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 07:52
Dutch to English
Jun 8, 2008

Hi. A client has recently starting asking me to send uncleaned Trados files. I think they should pay a fee for this, since I'm basically giving them a template of a translation of a contract, letter, whatever which they can load into their own TM. I'd like to hear how you deal with this. TIA

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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:52
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Reasons for and against Jun 8, 2008

It's a difficult issue, but after all a TM consists of the source text and target text arranged as a translation memory. By definition, your client already has the source text, and you have just supplied the target text. If your client is familiar with TM, they can easily generate a TM from the documents they already have.

If your client is not able to do this, you might reasonably negotiate a charge. But if your client is able to handle TMs, it just seems a bit mean and shortsighted not to send the uncleaned files. You are merely forcing them to spend a few minutes aligning the files.

So it really boils down to your relationship with your client. If it is a good one, you might gain more than you lose by providing the unclean files. If not, negotiate.


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:52
English to French
+ ...
I see nothing wrong with that Jun 8, 2008

Some clients want the uncleaned file because they find it easier for the proofreader to check your translation and do changes.

I am always happy to provide the uncleaned file. It doesn't cost me any additional effort.
Anyway as Peter says it's easy for them to align the files and get the TM...

It is not like if they asked you for your own TM, which you might have built from various translations. In this case I would not give it away for free.


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 07:52
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 8, 2008

A friend of mine just mailed and said that he doesn't charge for uncleaned files. After all, clients do sometimes provide a TM for me to use, so I guess it's not fair to charge for uncleaned files.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:52
Dutch to English
+ ...
I always send a clean and unclean file Jun 8, 2008

I also get a lot of repeat requests from the same customers and many projects are on-going. This means I get updates of the TMs that contain my translations after proofreading. Good for me. I scratch their backs and they scratch my back. My advice is to look at the greater picture and see what is most advantageous to you.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always send uncleaned files Jun 8, 2008

For all our customers but two (who haven't asked about it so far), we have been sending uncleaned files for 10 years. They always have their memory up-to-date with everything we produce.

Have they changed to another translator? No.
Have they asked for a rate reduction now that they have everything? No.

They just want to enjoy the same service from us as usual, but with the tranquility that, should we stop business (if we won the lottery for instance) they have all materials to start with another person.

Providing value and a great service to them. That should be your main concern and effort. Not whether they have your stuff in a memory or not (as colleagues said, they can align all your translations in a day if they wanted to).

[Edited at 2008-06-08 15:06]


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Marina Soldati  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Common practice Jun 8, 2008

Hi Buck!

For me it´s common practice to provide an uncleaned file if the client requests it.
I refuse to provide uncleaned files for free only when clients send the source file in pdf format. If they want me to do their job easier, they have to do the same for me.

Regards,
Marina


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nice dancing Spiderman! Jun 8, 2008

Marijke wrote:
I also get a lot of repeat requests from the same customers and many projects are on-going. This means I get updates of the TMs that contain my translations after proofreading. Good for me. I scratch their backs and they scratch my back. My advice is to look at the greater picture and see what is most advantageous to you.


Sorry Marijke. Just off-topic really: nice dancing Spiderman as your image! I could not stop staring.


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RNAtranslator  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Better not providing TMs nor glossaries Jun 9, 2008

I think that it's not a good idea to provide TM to the clients. I do agree with the excellent post by Anthony Baldwin: http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/101828-various_ramblings_on_current_trends_in_our_industry.html

Anthony Baldwin wrote:
Another phenomena I am noting with ever increasing frequency is that agencies are simply sending less work, or, at least, fewer complete translations, and more "only the parts in highlighted in yellow need translated" translations, and/or more revision work.
Do you know why? Because we gave them our TMs and glossaries, so now they are running new texts through their CAT tool or machine translation tool, and "don't need us".
This is why they send us revision work, and not new translations.
Very bad revision work, they send.

(...)

Just this past week I did a revision for an agency.
The document was for a client of theirs for whom I have been doing all the translations for three years.
It was clear, in this case, that they ran the document through their CAT with MY TMs accepting something like 50% match (accounted for nearly a third of the new text), and then sent it
to a non-native speaker, likely in some third-world country working for sweatshop rates


Anthony Baldwin wrote:
Now, and this is significant, I also run an agency, in addition to my own freelance work.
I apply these principles.

(...)

If I ask you for your glossary or TM, I will pay you for it. Those are valuable items.
Clearly, with those items, I can do some stuff for myself rather than send it to you.


Just to mention that if your TM is about an specialized subject, they can use it to help an unespecialized an cheaper translator to do a translation that otherwise would have been sent to you.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:52
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TM is of minor importance Jun 9, 2008

Many times I recieve Word-file from the same customer, where part of the text is in red as pre-translated. But most of the time the pats of the rest of the text arein my TM too, unly that the line-breaks need to be removed manually before the TM is applied.
From the point of the customer the best procedure for updating documents is to fill in the old translation with the new or changed parts and pay only for these. Translating the whole doc from scratch using a TM does not lead to optimal results.

I send uncleand files, if the customer wants it and the text was in Word-format or if we agreed on a special CAT-tool. Otherwise I say "I did not use any CAT, just wrote over".

Aligning documents is no easy task, especially if you do not speak one of the languages. Last week I spend two hours on manually aligning a translation, where the long source sentences were split into two or three target sentences.

Regards
Heinrich


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