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Translation Workspace / Lionbridge CAT tool
Thread poster: sasp

Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:18
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Further reactions Nov 23, 2010

The Spanish association ASETRAD has just released this information: Present problems in the translation and interpreting fields (in Spanish)


Paul Sanders  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:18
Romanian to English
+ ...
You're all missing the point of Translation Workspace May 30, 2011

All of you in this thread have made valid points and yet missed the crux of the matter viz:

Lionbridge's - possibly late/defunct - partnership with Google and their current links with IBM in the interests of developing MT (machine translation) tools. See link:

THIS is why Translation Workspace exists and why they insist you work with it: it's an online corpus feeding their MT project - you actually sign away your rights to the TM you generate when you agree to work with them.

The result, naturally, will be the exponential growth of a superb MT tool in a few years (which will undoubtedly be of academic if not practical interest to all of us!) but since this will affect all of your (our) jobs in the long run, those of you complaining that LIOX treat their translators poorly should see from the outset that HR is not the greatest priority here in the long-run!

Caveat emptor

sasp wrote:


I just wanted to know what you guys think about this new system being introduced by Liox. I've been to a couple of webinars and it all looks great, etc. but the only problem is that in order to work for Lionbridge from June onwards, we will have to pay for a subscription to the system. What's the general opinion on this?
FYI: the lowest cost subscription seems reasonable and you can use the system for your own projects too, but if you are only going to use it for Lionbridge, doesn't this seem slightly unfair? Would you think it reasonable to factor in the cost of this into your rates? (Whenever I get asked to use CAT tools, it's either Trados or Wordfast which I've already paid for.)
Anyway, just hoping someone can give me some thoughts on this.


Wulf-Dieter Krüger  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:18
English to German
+ ...
Exactly Pablo May 30, 2011

Pablo Bouvier wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

...but being asked to pay for the use of a proprietary tool is not OK.

It is perfectly OK if this company asks you to use their tool. It is legitimate as it helps them work more efficiently and deliver a better service to their customers. However, I would only pay for the use of the tool is there was a written guarantee that they would give me a constant quantity of work equivalent to 25% of my usual throughput, and at a reasonable rate.

Working for a low rate, being forced to use their proprietary tool, and being forced to be a customer to their CAT tool business as part of the deal is not quite my idea of an interesting customer...

Hi, Tomás: I agree with you. However, I am usually against to the use of online propietary tools as they offer me no guarantee neither on the of the final client rights, nor on my translation rights. And I am not used to give my work away for free, at least if I have not decided to do it this way...
For me, one motive more for saying NO to this kind of trade policies, not to calling them swindles.

[Editado a las 2010-03-06 21:24 GMT]

Translation work is confidential and has to be treated as such. I do not know what happens in the cloud. As I do not want to take the risk on behalf of my clients, they are out of the question.

Tom in London

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:18
Chinese to English
Is the Translation Workspace still going strong? Feb 23, 2016

It's now been a good few years since this system was implemented. Right back at the start there was a big uproar with many translators saying that they would never work with such a system (see here including comments:

How has this panned out for Lionbridge? Have they scrapped the system due to a lack of participating translators? Or has it been a great boon for them?


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You can still register for it, and it's still bait and switch Feb 23, 2016

Mark Sanderson wrote:
How has this panned out for Lionbridge? Have they scrapped the system due to a lack of participating translators? Or has it been a great boon for them?

Well, you can still register for the service, so I assume it's still going.

The fake free trial also still exists. The selected option in the drop-down list is "€0/monthly" but that's a patent misrepresentation (...which you can figure out if you read the fine print very carefully a few times). It's not a free trial. It's a paid trial in which the first month is free. And the trial doesn't end at the end of the first month... it goes on until you discover the deductions on your bank account.

Oh, and different translators said they'd never use it, for different reasons. Some said it because of the compulsory discount, others dislike it because it is cloud based, still others dislike the terms in which you sign away rights to your translation, etc.

[Edited at 2016-02-23 09:44 GMT]

Tom in London

Marc Koenigstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
German to French
+ ...
Thank you Dec 7, 2018

Glad to find this topic, do not take TWS based work, do not subscribe to TWS.

Thank you.


Dalibor Skalník  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:18
English to Czech
Translation Workspace and making changes Jan 10

One thing I hate about TWS and it has propably been mentioned here: An ancient issue regarding making changes in segments that repete - the servers offer old translation long time after you change it. I wonder if they will ever fix it.


Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:18
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I love this old thread Jan 12

It is a wonderful hindsight and test of the predictions that the MT will take over translation industry. As we can see, it hasn't happened. All companies that invested in MT and advertised it, haven't really progressed much from the initial state where MT and PEMT is useful is some edge cases, mostly in a segment for quick informative translations where high quality is not required.

It is sometimes weird that those agencies that used to send or some even continue sending offers for PEMT, simultaneously send stern warning to their translators that the use of MT on their projects is never allowed. Apparently in those cases when quality is not important, online tools suffice whereas commercial translations still need to be done by professional translators who continue charging higher prices.

Unfortunately, the allure of PEMT has caused some damage to translation rates and quality in certain sectors. Because not only business owners or project managers but even some translators believed the hype that the MT is going to take over the industry.

It is not only MT promise that has been a flop. I was looking at the progress of self-driving cars that according to some analysts should have happened by now or should happen in very near future. It hasn't happened yet because in regular conditions there are too many edge cases where current software models fail. If a company today wants to provide delivery services, they are not going to look for self-driving cars but will hire professional drivers instead. And driving is much simpler problem that is seemingly already solved in principle compared to translation. Driving is about getting from the point A to the point B according to strict road traffic rules. Whereas translation in principle cannot be done without understanding the meaning of the text and that understanding depending on a given text requires all accumulated human knowledge and experience whose categories in many cases are not even defined yet. It is crazy to think that MT could replace translators in near future, in next 10-20 years.

[Edited at 2019-01-12 18:02 GMT]

Tom in London

Colleen Roach, PhD  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:18
French to English
+ ...
Agree but cautionary tale... Jan 12

I am as much in fear of MT taking over more and more translators' spaces as anyone on this forum. There was a good article on one of the Linked In translation groups recently on MT and how MT can't always (or maybe often...) "think" correctly. He had a good quote: "Common sense is not always common."

But I'll tell you my "cautionary tale." I joined several Linked In translation groups (including the PROZ one) so I don't know where this occurred. Some of you may recall -- I don't know if this got much attention here, or perhaps only on Spanish threads -- but fairly recently this happened. I'll just summarize, as lots of you have probably heard this story: a Spanish ministry commissioned a machine translation and there were some hilarious mis-translations on a Spanish-English web page. A Spanish translator really raised a ruckus and started a kind of "campaign" against machine translations, which got press, etc. and she sent a poignant letter to the Spanish government about why machine translations weren't good for the profession.

Anyway, she posted about this whole incident on one of the Linked-In translation sites. For the first time ever on Linked In, I saw a little button next to some part of her information provided labeled "Automatic Translation." It may have been her letter to the government, or something else she wrote about the horrors of machine translation. I pressed the button, out of curiosity, fully expecting to see a not-so-great-but-maybe-passable translation -- I think it was Spanish to English -- as wouldn't it be awful/ironic,etc.if an article (or some material connected with the article), lamenting machine translations, had a good machine translation.

Well, I'll be darned: this "automatic translation" was very good. It wasn't real long, but - no way around it -- it was good.

I saw I think only one other article or text on something (again, I think it was on one of the Linked In translation group sites) and, again, it had a little button labeled "Automatic Translation" and again, it was quite good.

There's been no official word of how much of Linked In is going to be using Automatic Translation, as far as I can see. I think it's just a few posts (for now).


Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:18
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
bad for profession or for people? Jan 13

It is a wrong approach to argue against MT by saying that it is not good for translation profession. Why would anyone care about translation profession or translators income? It sounds very self-serving. If MT could replace translators, then there would be no need for translators anymore and that would be perfectly fine. I personally don't want to be a translator just for the sake of it, or because I love languages etc. I translate only because the readers need translations. In fact, the need for translations is much bigger than our capacity (and budget) to provide.

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