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Translation Workspace / Lionbridge CAT tool
Thread poster: sasp

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:24
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Nothing wrong with software requirements Oct 31, 2010

As a freelancer and former project manager, I see nothing wrong with agencies requiring specific tools. This is because what some translators view as an end product (i.e. translation) is far from being an end product. Segments from bilingual files are used to update TM's, which are used later for other files or even by other translators working on the same project at the same time. I realize that many people dislike such cooperation and CAT tools in general, but really - it makes no sense to translate user guides for specific product models or software help from scratch every time. In order for that to work well, you need to ensure that tags (if present) are protected in the same way and - more importantly - that the segmentation is consistent, and that's where CAT tools differ (even Trados Tag Editor differs from Workbench + Word in that respect).

The problem with Translation Workspace is that:
1. According to many accounts and experience with its predecessor, Logoport, it doesn't work well.
2. The analysis it provides is unverifiable and is more beneficial for the company, which effectively reduces translators' rates.
3. It raises confidentiality concerns.
4. It may be used for machine translation purposes which is not in translators' interest.
5. If you do agree to use it, you have to pay for it, which effectively lowers your rates even more, and is insulting when you take into account 1-4 above.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:24
French to German
+ ...
@ Adam: just to clarify Oct 31, 2010

Just to clarify, Adam: I have nothing against any kind of acceptable TEnT as long as I don't lose money using them.

And I fear that this is the case sometimes, when the PM announces you with a radiant smile things like: "11,000 words - among them 500 new ones", especially when there are problems like these arising from the use of the TEnT in question.

I also have worked in close cooperation with direct clients and hence don't see my translations as some final product, far from it.

My main point was - and still is, and this is rather a truism than a biased view:

1) no TEnT in the world will ever hinder "wannabes" from producing garbage translations;

2) translations as those described by Ria also fit the bill, as long as the essentials contained in the ST are conveyed properly in the TT.

Again, and this is more than obvious, any given file format doesn't mean that its content meets basic requirements measured according to any accepted metrics (of which many translation agencies don't even seem to be aware of)...

ETA: to complicate matters further: I don't know whether this is the case for you, but 99% of the problems I faced since I began with freelancing were related to obscure formatting issues, mainly generated by... a CAT tool which was/is supposed to handle them smoothly and nicely.

[Edited at 2010-10-31 11:27 GMT]


 

riafontes
Spain
Local time: 16:24
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Unauthorised use Oct 31, 2010

First I would like to thank Laurent for his message.
Adam wrote:
Segments from bilingual files are used to update TM's, which are used later for other files or even by other translators working on the same project at the same time.

Then, if what Adam said is right, and I believe it is, those agencies are using work that they have not paid for nor have they informed the translator that his work will be used for other purposes. This is dishonest to say the least. But answered part of my question. From now on I will add a comment at the end of my work forbidding the use of the translation for the above purposes. The problem is that I will not be able to verify if they comply with it but might scare them a bit.


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:24
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Not entirely true... Oct 31, 2010

riahurtado wrote:

First I would like to thank Laurent for his message.
Adam wrote:
Segments from bilingual files are used to update TM's, which are used later for other files or even by other translators working on the same project at the same time.

Then, if what Adam said is right, and I believe it is, those agencies are using work that they have not paid for nor have they informed the translator that his work will be used for other purposes. This is dishonest to say the least.


If they've paid for it (and they have), then it's theirs and they can do whatever they like with it...


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:24
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
@Laurent Oct 31, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Just to clarify, Adam: I have nothing against any kind of acceptable TEnT as long as I don't lose money using them.

And I fear that this is the case sometimes, when the PM announces you with a radiant smile things like: "11,000 words - among them 500 new ones", especially when there are problems like these arising from the use of the TEnT in question.


I agree with that, Laurent. I've been using Trados for almost 10 years now - it has given me some trouble in the past and can still misbehave. Nevertheless, I'm very comfortable using it, and I've always been able to fix problems thanks to information found on these forums, SDL Trados's online support pages or elsewhere on the Internet.

Admittedly, there are files riddled with so many tags that it's easier to translate segments from scratch rather than try and adjust those tags. But that doesn't happen so often.

That is why I don't mind agencies requiring SDL Trados, because I don't feel I lose money. I would, however, lose it if I used Translation Workspace, so I stay away from it.

I would disagree with Ria more. I do find that my performance is much better with a CAT tool. I can translate a lot more while putting a lot less effort into that work. That's why I don't mind being paid less for it, because it's not really less.

There is no relation between CAT tools and quality - as long as you are the master of your software. Even if that were true, if clients still ask you to use CAT's, the alleged decrease in quality is part of the deal and not your problem or responsibility. You don't own the text or even the rights to your translation (they are usually transferred). You only contribute part of the work and are responsible for that part.

If you are comfortable with a CAT tool, you spend as much time working and earn as much money as you would without it. Clients can order more translations and keep the prices of their products lower (ideally, but in some cases translations are a huge cost that can affect prices). With such a model, everyone should be happy, and I am. If you disagree, and still find ways to make a good living without CAT's - I'm even happiericon_smile.gif.


 

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Dutch to German
+ ...
How to get rid of your Lionbridge subscription Oct 31, 2010

Could anybody just post the procedure?

 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:24
German to Spanish
+ ...
Entirely true, imho...! Oct 31, 2010

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

riahurtado wrote:

First I would like to thank Laurent for his message.
Adam wrote:
Segments from bilingual files are used to update TM's, which are used later for other files or even by other translators working on the same project at the same time.

Then, if what Adam said is right, and I believe it is, those agencies are using work that they have not paid for nor have they informed the translator that his work will be used for other purposes. This is dishonest to say the least.


If they've paid for it (and they have), then it's theirs and they can do whatever they like with it...



I am sorry, but if you buy a book at a bookstore, this gives you any copyrights to the book? No and so it is with the TMs, as source text is the intelectual property of his/her author and target text is and will remain the intelectual property of his/her translator/s unless agreed otherwise.

Unlike general translators, literary translators are well aware that his work bears copyrights...






[Edited at 2010-10-31 14:14 GMT]


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:24
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Rights to translations Oct 31, 2010

CAT tools were designed for collaboration: simultaneous or not, with other translators and editors, or even with oneself from some time ago (you don't need to search, compare, copy and paste your own translations - the tool does that for you).

I don't translate books but technical texts and marketing copy related to it. As far as I remember, all agencies I have worked with require the transfer of rights, which makes sense. There is so much repetition of text across different media (e.g. web pages, user manuals, product brochures and so on) that legal issues would make their publication a lot more difficult. This is an industry that works for other industries and needs to do so efficiently. Literary/academic translations etc. are another story and don't usually seem to require CAT tools.


 

riafontes
Spain
Local time: 16:24
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Rights Oct 31, 2010

Hi Adam
all agencies I have worked with require the transfer of rights, which makes sense.

That was exactly my point. If they ask you for the rights that is another story, as you may or may not give it to them or even ask for a fee. But normally they say nothing.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:24
French to German
+ ...
Rights and obligations Oct 31, 2010

riahurtado wrote:

Hi Adam
all agencies I have worked with require the transfer of rights, which makes sense.

That was exactly my point. If they ask you for the rights that is another story, as you may or may not give it to them or even ask for a fee. But normally they say nothing.


I have yet to see a negotiated, written and explicit contract about mutual rights and obligations between a freelance translator and a translation agency. And I am of course not speaking about those unilateral SLA's mentioned earlier in this thread.


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Those pesky rights Nov 1, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
I have yet to see a negotiated, written and explicit contract about mutual rights and obligations between a freelance translator and a translation agency.

Hmmm, well I'm not sure what you mean with "negotiated", but sadly I would have to concur that almost every contract that I have signed or been asked to sign has included a waiver and transfer of any intellectual property rights I 'may' have to translated texts.

Needless to say this makes me very uncomfortable, but it really does seem to be the norm (at least in Europe - as explained to me by one client, they had to demand this in order to transfer these rights in turn to their client, who had also demanded them) and in the US it is covered by the "work for hire" principle, which has been deemed to cover translation (and is specifically alluded to in contracts, see U.S. Copyright Law/Works Made for Hire and, for example, Work for Hire article).

Sadly, the only method I have found of keeping (in all other regards, reasonable) clients that have such clauses is to insert the provision that this does not occur until full payment is made to me as the services provider.

I will reiterate, however, that I did NOT sign Lionbridge's SLA, in part because of concerns about this issue.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:24
French to German
+ ...
"Negotiated"... Nov 1, 2010

Janet Rubin wrote:

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
I have yet to see a negotiated, written and explicit contract about mutual rights and obligations between a freelance translator and a translation agency.

Hmmm, well I'm not sure what you mean with "negotiated", but sadly I would have to concur that almost every contract that I have signed or been asked to sign has included a waiver and transfer of any intellectual property rights I 'may' have to translated texts.


Simply that both parties have their say about the exact content of the TSP contract. Of course, this is easier when one can actually discuss face to face with the client - which IMHO should be the norm and not the exception, whenever feasible (*).

Janet Rubin wrote:
I will reiterate, however, that I did NOT sign Lionbridge's SLA, in part because of concerns about this issue.


Basically, the only NDA - or whatever it was - I ever signed was quite useless as it appeared that the agency in question found out I was too expensive for themicon_smile.gif.

I would have preferred knowing this before the signature, but guess what? The rate negotiation and its outcome were also covered by the NDA!

And sorry for the methods discussed in this thread, but SLA's should have remained where they originated: in the telecoms branchicon_biggrin.gif!

ETA : (*) Even funnier - some agencies don't want to hear anything about a contract, because they would equally be bound by its terms... No further comment needed, I think.

[Edited at 2010-11-01 06:43 GMT]


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Does make you wonder Nov 1, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
some agencies don't want to hear anything about a contract, because they would equally be bound by its terms...

I don't know how often you have experienced this and whether it is due to language pair, specialization, "niche", country in which an agency is situated, or some other factor, but I would have to say that in my experience, I am required to sign some sort of contract in at least 9/10 cases.

If your experience is different - especially in terms of signing away rights - I congratulate you and hope that this continues to work, but based on other anecdotal evidence, I somehow doubt that it is a practice that is spreading. Sigh.


 

E.Plisson  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:24
English to French
+ ...
And now for some money business... Nov 1, 2010

Dear all,

May be someone just posted about that, & I'm sorry, but I recently received a Lionbridge mail explaining that the current financial situation is such that everyone working with them should offer a 5% discount on their fees.

I have to say that I never worked with them, since for me the equation is simple : they ask me for money to work for them, and whether it's for using their tool or buy themsevles candies, I don't care : I don't do this. Yet, they keep on mailing me (even phoning, for a while).

I think it's important proZ, or any representative organization, alerts potential translators, or even opinion, on that. I'll check what I can do at my level, but I think it's important to say to people tempted to work for them : it's unfair, may be illegal, certainly awfully paid and potentially dangerous for translation market. There are other translation agencies that offer far better conditions, so don't work with Lionsbridge.

And a good day to you


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:24
French to German
+ ...
See this one... Nov 1, 2010

E.Plisson wrote:

Dear all,

May be someone just posted about that, & I'm sorry, but I recently received a Lionbridge mail explaining that the current financial situation is such that everyone working with them should offer a 5% discount on their fees.


http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/184162-hows_this_for_nerve.html


 
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