Sharing your TM with a translation agency
Thread poster: Klemen Perko

Klemen Perko  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:23
English to Slovenian
+ ...
May 14, 2010


I was wondering whether any of you ever faced such an issue and how you handled it.

I was namely informed by an agency I have been working for a couple of years now (and have been generally happy working for them as I had the feeling that they really appreciated my input and have been paying me - what I believe to be - fair rates for the translations) that they have implemented a new tool which will enable them to join and build TM's by all translaters working on a certain client account in the same language combinations.

All fine so far, but they have later in the mail asked me to kindly send them the TM I have already built up so far so that they can update their respective TM in order to provide their client with as consistent translations as possible.

Now, I do feel very reluctant to do so and will most probably refuse, for many reasons, not least that I do feel that my TM is the fruit of my hard work and would hate to see that the agency would some months later have kindly thanked me for my services and hired a cheaper translator who would then reap the fruits of the said work.

Have you ever received such a request before? How did you deal with it? Any suggestions/opinions/experience shared shall be greatly appreciated!



Terry Richards
Local time: 09:23
French to English
+ ...
They can always align May 15, 2010

If you don't send it, they could recover it by aligning the source and translated documents so you are not really protecting anything by refusing to send it.

If they ask for it, I always provide the agency with my TM (or the uncleaned files, if they prefer) but only for the job I did for them (I re-clean the file into a brand-new TM and then export it in tmx format). I still have an "edge" in that I have TMs from multiple sources.

Asking for the TMs retroactively is possibly a bit over the top but, as I said, if they are smart enough they can get them anyway. You could reasonably claim that their jobs are mixed in your TM with other customers' jobs and that confidentiality prevents you from giving them out.



Local time: 09:23
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Sharing TM... May 15, 2010

I fully agree with Terry. Especially, if you already have a longer - on-going - good relation with that specific agency.




Vito Smolej
Local time: 09:23
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
My 2 cents May 15, 2010

Klemen Perko wrote:

... Now, I do feel very reluctant to do so and will most probably refuse, for many reasons, not least that I do feel that my TM is the fruit of my hard work ...

On the other hand the agency could just as well say - or at least think - that by now they have paid enough for it already, Especially so, if the prices they have paid have not matched the mix of 100% repeats, matches etc in the text.

Let's look at the TM as a toolbox of some craftsman, let's say a wood carver, it´s been well taken care of for years, kept sharp, replenished and/or renewed now and then to keep abreast. The request of the agency means essentially that the wood carver is invited to leave his toolbox on their premises.

First, I strongly doubt that somebody else could use it as well as I can - my brain and my experience stays with me. Second, I would have serious problems with tools getting thrown into some common dump I have no control over. And third, I could not trust this kind of a TM the same way as I trust my own material. Means my work would start to get expensive - for me. Of course I could just as well get sloppy ("... well, wth, TM says so ..."), but this is something I as a professional just can not do.

Eventually this can not do the quality of our work any good. If things sour up (for instance when an independent proofreader blasts the translation, done under these conditions) who will the agency blame? I have seen my share of horrible TMs and I do not want to get connected with them.

Neither do my clients. So far not one has asked me for this kind of a favour. Eventually it is all a question of trust, and they trust me more than they ever could some half-dead TM file on their server.

Da končam v klasičnem stilu:

Krpan zadene kij in mesarico, in to so bile njegove zadnje besede pred cesarjem: "Ko bi se spet oglasil kak Brdavs ali kdo drug, saj veste, kje se pravi na Vrhu pri Sveti Trojici.

Isto velja tudi za agenture.



[Edited at 2010-05-15 14:25 GMT]


Klemen Perko  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:23
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Thank you all May 17, 2010

Thank you very much for your kind replies and for sharing your experience. I would particularly like to thank Vito, both for the confidence boost as well as for reminding me just how much wisdom there is to be found in the traditional/folk literature of Slovenia.icon_smile.gif



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

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

Sharing your TM with a translation agency

Advanced search

BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search