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Translation Workspace / Lionbridge CAT tool
Thread poster: sasp

sasp  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:15
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just a quick addition Mar 4, 2010

It's good to see that people are actually interested in this.
Don't get me wrong, though, up to now I've actually been quite lucky and maintained a good relationship with the company and have worked on some good projects. It's just I think it really is unfair to, as has been pointed out, make us pay to work for them (although this is quite a common practice for interpreting agencies).
With regards to rates, etc.: although I agree that we should be demanding higher rates for a professional job, the simple truth is that, at least in Spain, lower rates are the norm. Some of us who actually make all our earnings from translation can not afford to pass up some projects. Mind you, we all have all limits!
A lot of clients, and not just agencies, are now only really interested in the price. Maybe (hopefully) this has been exacerbated by the recent credit crunch but, frankly, I'm not entirely sure about this.
Back to the main issue: do you think, then, it would be reasonable to ask for higher rates to compensate for the obligatory subscription?
Thanks everyone, btw, for taking the time to respond. The sense of community is still going strong!


 

Jared Tabor
Local time: 13:15
SITE STAFF
Sorry about that! Mar 4, 2010

Hello all,

My apologies for the disappearance and re-appearance of the thread!

Jared


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:15
French to German
+ ...
Quite so, Anett Mar 4, 2010

Anett Lindner wrote:

Hi all,

I just want to say with respect to Laurent Kraulands assessment of the current development of larger providers*, which I think is correct, that still no translator is forced to support it.


Quite so, Anett.
Just let us take the time to reflect about this U-turn in our sector:

1) Until recently, the trend was to "force" translators to buy specific software (no matter which one, as long it is mandatory to own and use that software in order to get jobs);
2) Now the trend seems to head towards SaaS and translators are still expected to pay for a tool located somewhere in an IT cloud!

IOW, all the software we have bought will become obsolete soon, not because it is obsolete as such, but because LSP's (or the "big names" among them) have decided it should be so.

From my point of view, and with respect to the example I mentioned in my previous post, I think that it is still better to have a sparrow in one's hand... than a dove on the roof.


 

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 11:15
Member
Spanish
+ ...
The shift of vendors: Crowdsourcing Mar 4, 2010

Considering that this particular LSP is one of the most important companies that advocates the use of crowdsourcing, whether it's using it or not, and is a member of TAUS (open TM), a proprietary Workspace is a natural evolution. I doubt the Workspace's main target are professional translators, since there's no need for us, but translators from the "crowd" might be in need of a streamlined, easy-to-use tool that works in the cloud.

My main concern about this is that the largest LSPs are pushing the crowdsourcing/open-TM agenda and overtly modifying the definition of quality. One of the most outspoken proponents of the use of crowdsourcing said:
As for quality, especially in large projects, the crowd takes care of solving the problem. The axiom that the crowd is smarter than the average member of a group applies here. After all, as I have said multiple times, "quality doesn't matter" - only bad quality matters.
-- Renato Beninatto. link: renatobeninatto.blogspot.com/2009/11/signals-of-shift-in-language-industry.html


What I've noticed is that many large translation buyers, many of them members of TAUS and investing in crowdsourcing technologies, seem to agree: "quality doesn't matter". We can compete with bad translators or non-professional translators because we offer quality, but if the standards of quality changes, then the language itself could change for the worse.

A case in point is Wordreference, many wrong terms are proposed, voted and accepted by the crowd. The quality of the glossary of Wordreference is appalling! (At least in the EN>ES pair.)

Not all LSPs think that way though. I've talked with many owners of medium-sized and large agencies and many of them are worried about the same thing. But it's hard to compete with the massive amounts of money crowdsourcing-advocates are investing to promote it: that is, having a crowd willing to work for free or for pennies, that uses free MT (Google Translate) and free open TM (TAUS) provided by clients/LSPs, that can translate 100,000 words a day, with no privacy concerns and with "good-enough quality".

Good enough quality for a real translator is NO QUALITY at all.

[Edited at 2010-03-04 18:27 GMT]


 

Oleg Prots  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:15
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
On the main issue Mar 4, 2010

sasp wrote:
Back to the main issue: do you think, then, it would be reasonable to ask for higher rates to compensate for the obligatory subscription?


This is exactly what I have voiced today to the LB vendor management - that if they insist on having it their way, we'll have to apply higher rates.


 

Slawomir Nieciecki  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:15
English to Polish
+ ...
Well... Mar 4, 2010

It is easy to calculate, how much money could be earned on this "business".
Above hundred thousand of EUR per month.
But there is other thing that worries me.
I saw pictures and specifications of TM data base clusters, posted on the internet by some "James Bond".
Many, many servers on every floor.
Additionally, I heard about big project regarding CAT without Aicon_biggrin.gif which is developed in one of linguistic institutes in Japan.
All those informations are no longer available on the internet.
I am not Cassandraicon_smile.gif but it is clear to me that such technological power soon will silently kill the demand for human translators (except sworn translators maybe).
I know that every word of translation stored online will lead to loosing my job.
This is the price of technological advance.

Best regards


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 16:15
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
D.S. Mar 4, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:
You have to take your hat off in admiration for their relentless spirit of innovation.
... Now they have managed to pull another rabbit from the hat - by charging suppliers to work for them.


Innovation, John? No way. That's been around for years as a traditional system of work in parts of the US. It's called "sharecropping".


 

Cruz Losada
Spain
Local time: 17:15
English to Spanish
"Not what they want but what is good for them" Oliver Cromwell Mar 4, 2010

Thankfully someone is saying something about this. It´s late now and I am tired which means I find more difficult to contain the bile clouding up my ideas and expressions. To summarise a bit: I believe every time we surrender control over our work (meaning not just the materials but the way we work) we are giving a little bit of more power to a business which , I suspect, would love nothing more than to replace us with a machine. OK this same industry is giving us work and we have to be flexible. I have been in this business for a long time and this is what we, translators, have been doing as a collective since the beginning: being flexible, adapting. As someone else said I don´t mind using tools required by a client, even if they are not the best; I will buy a tool if I think I should, I will use my own criteria which will take in account my circumstances, my expectations, etc, I will get it when I can and when I think it is necessary.
For all those reasons well exposed here by many people (and possibly few more), the idea of this new system is just preposterous.
The thing is, if they get away with it, we will see how long does it take for the rest of the industry to implement it.


 

Claudio Porcellana (X)  Identity Verified
Italy
Most translators report being confused by the variety of CAT tools available on the market Mar 5, 2010

so what's the point to add another one?
a part of squeeze translators till the pips squeak
;-(((

Claudio


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
There is life beyond big agencies Mar 5, 2010

My experience is that small-to-medium agencies understand us a lot better, pay more, and are also a lot more efficient serving customers.

Yes, of course a big corporation likes to deal with a big agency for a number of reasons, and perhaps a big agency is the only way to go for very large projects, but let's take the example of the continuous translation mistakes we keep seeing in products by Microsoft and other large computer firms: no matter how many controls they add, the large agency will always produce a lower quality than a medium-sized agency with higher-paid translators.

Maybe the large corporation is aware of that and they are OK with the 10% loss of translation quality for a 20% reduction in the cost. It's just their choice, but it is also my choice to prefer small-to-medium agencies and strive to work for them.


 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:15
English to Polish
+ ...
pride vs. business Mar 5, 2010

Let's put it this way.

If they make me wear pink slips while I translate but pay me 25 cents a word, why not.

Results of the quick internet research I've done:

1. No word from Lionbridge that this tool should ever become obligatory to contractors. So far Logoport has been compulsory — in theory; in practice, translators will go to great lengths not to use it (including the use of other tools and then converting to Logoport-segmented text).

2. The payment for Workspace will somehow depend on the volume of work done using the tool. They don't say how much they will charge and for what exactly. If it means higher rates, why ever not? Business is business. It doesn't matter if I have to pay them, as long as the bottom line is working for me.

3. Workspace is supposed to be based on Logoport. Unless they've improved it big time, that's a reason enough to forget about using Workspace. If they are able to enforce actual use of a poor (time-consuming) tool along with payment for this tool, that's bound to be bad business and probably a reason to say "no".

Two other thoughts:

- Lionbridge have already got a number of complex tools, portals, etc. to work with clients and contractors. Instead of making those tools really work, they seem to be trying to come up with something new again and again. It's a mess. Let me take a wild guess that employees are incentivised to come up with new ideas and solutions, not necessarily to fully cater to the existing ones. If that is the case, Workspace will become a zombie application, a server space occupant gone and forgotten within a year.

- Big companies aren't cynical monsters. They're like a command economy, or a national football association — always ready to produce absurdities.

So, no reason to jump to conclusions right now. Either they'll offer jobs on satisfying terms — or not.

[Edited at 2010-03-05 08:03 GMT]


 

Rod Brookes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:15
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
Announced at the end of the webinar Mar 5, 2010

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz wrote:

No word from Lionbridge that this tool should ever become obligatory to contractors.


They sneaked it in at the end of the webinar, as a reply to the first question. At first, I couldn't believe I'd heard it right, but I'm absolutely certain that is what they said.



[Edited at 2010-03-05 10:25 GMT]


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:15
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Agree with Rod Mar 5, 2010

Rod Brookes wrote:

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz wrote:

No word from Lionbridge that this tool should ever become obligatory to contractors.


They sneaked it in at the end of the webinar, as a reply to the first question. At first, I couldn't believe I'd heard it right, but I'm absolutely certain that is what they said.



[Edited at 2010-03-05 10:25 GMT]


That's what I heard too. You will need to have a "tenancy". The only thing I'm not sure about is this - if you work for another outsourcer on that platform, you do not pay for your wordcount. It isn't clear to me if you are supposed to pay for the wordcount in Lionbridge's projects, or just for the tenancy, which starts from 10 euro or so. Not that either solution would be a good idea...

I suspect there might be some exceptions as to whether Translation Workspace will be the only tool - for example, there are proprietary software localization tools that end clients will insist on using, or they may already have their own translation management systems that they've already invested into, and may not be willing to abandon them just because Lionbridge had another idea.


 

Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
preliminary research - they made a couple of calls Mar 5, 2010

John Rawlins wrote:

Below is an extract from the BS Report on the Translating Industry 2010.

Our preliminary research has indicated that many translators are interested in low-paying work and tight deadlines.



They talked to a few PMs. Research, my foot.


 

Claudio Porcellana (X)  Identity Verified
Italy
many translators are interested in low-paying work and tight deadlines Mar 5, 2010

really?
it's insane!
so, why translators aren't interested in no-paying work, and perhaps to be scourged in advance?
LOL

I hate this scenario and I agree with other peers:
I prefer a lot working with middle-little LPs where relationships are still humane

Claudio


 
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