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TWS file with MANY chunks already translated. Am I being ripped off?
Thread poster: Agnes T-H

Agnes T-H
Local time: 06:53
English to French
+ ...
Nov 21, 2011

Hi!
I reveived from a client a file (medical terminology ++) with MANY chunks already translated. Of course conditions are "repetitions are not paid". And of course there are mistakes in the translation parts that are already done.

A minimum of 3 consequences I imagine:

-Less new words of course (so less money)
-The responsibility for the quality of the text that is already translated
-An unpaid review work on the part I did not translate.

Am I being ripped off or am I being paranoid?

I would like your opinion/reactions to that.


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:53
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Probably not Nov 21, 2011

We need to distinguish between repetitions (new segments to be translated by you and then repeating in the file) and 100% matches (already translated and included in the TM). If you are paid for 100% matches (less than for new words or lower matches, but still paid), then you are normally expected to review them. If you are not paid for 100% matches, then you are not responsible for them in any way and you are not supposed to review them. The best you can do is tell your client about the errors you found—they might decide to pay you for fixing the errors (or not).

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:53
Member
English to French
No payment means no work Nov 21, 2011

Adam explained the distinction between 100% matches (text already translated) and repetitions (segments not translated but recurring in the text).

Usually, you apply a review rate to review 100% matches/repetitions in context, commonly somewhere between 25 and 30% of your full rate (of course, it may depend on the quality of the translation memory).

If you are not paid for 100% matches, you state that you will not review them and will not take responsibility about any mistakes that they may contain.
Do not do any favours about this, even though I know how depressing it is to deliver a translation that is not flawless. Mention again on delivery that you don't know if 100% matches are rotten/out of context because you haven't reviewed them, as per pricing scheme.

If you are not paid for repetitions, it usually means you have a CAT tool that automatically updates throughout the text any changes you make to a repetition, without your manually searching to change the repeated text. If not, I don't really understand on what grounds an agency would not pay you for repetitions.
In any case, you should state that you will not review them in context.
However in practice, you cannot really do it because depending on the CAT tool used, it sometimes takes more time to find out that it is a repetition and skip it than to simply review it.
But it is worth mentioning anyway, if only for the customer to become aware of consequences of such pricing practises on the final translation quality.

Now some agencies know and accept this, because they have their translations reviewed anyway, and they believe that one review of 100% matches and repetitions is enough. There is nothing wrong about this. What I feel is wrong are agencies thinking you would review 100%/repetitions in context for free.

More generally, you should earn more per hour using a CAT tool than not using it, in order to cover the investment and learning time, even with agencies. If this is not the case, then something is wrong with your discount scheme.

Philippe


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Maybe not a ripoff, just less work Nov 21, 2011

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
you are not responsible for them in any way and you are not supposed to review them. The best you can do is tell your client about the errors you found—they might decide to pay you for fixing the errors (or not).


I would agree with Alan, but seeing as you already have doubts about this client, then I imagine you might not want to say anything about the errors. But you most certainly are not responsible for them. Personally, I would avoid looking at the translated text at all, and I would just accept without question any repetition that my CAT tool offered up. No pay = no work, hence no responsibility.

Sheila


 

inge van dri (X)
Local time: 15:53
German to Dutch
+ ...
Tell your client Nov 21, 2011

It is quite possible that an old TM has been applied, or that old segments are coming up or that corrections never have been fed through the system. It is also possible that the whole text will be reviewed in a later stage by someone else. Or that the end client decided that there are no errors.
Aks your client if you should correct 100% and 101% matches or not.
However, segments with a value lower than 100% should be reviewed, but the workload that this will represent is calculated in your PO.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:53
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
You're not responsible for unpaid work Nov 21, 2011

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
you are not responsible for them in any way and you are not supposed to review them. The best you can do is tell your client about the errors you found—they might decide to pay you for fixing the errors (or not).


I would agree with Alan, but seeing as you already have doubts about this client, then I imagine you might not want to say anything about the errors. But you most certainly are not responsible for them. Personally, I would avoid looking at the translated text at all, and I would just accept without question any repetition that my CAT tool offered up. No pay = no work, hence no responsibility.

Sheila


The pre-translated chunks are not your responsibility. However, do inform your client about it. In case a review of the entire document is required, then you should, actually must be paid for the additional work. Sometimes agencies believe that 100% matches don't involve any work at all and, consequently, don't want to pay for them. The bottom line is, you do only the work you're getting paid for.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:53
French to German
+ ...
"Translate to fuzzy"... Nov 21, 2011

and then you'll see what you have to work on (normally).

In general, and in the same vein as the colleagues before me, I insist on working only against payment (meaning that there's not such implicit clause like "Of course, 100% matches MUST be reviewed even if we don't pay for them".)


 

Agnes T-H
Local time: 06:53
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all but it raises a big ethical issue to me Nov 21, 2011

If it was anything but something vital, I would not mind.... Problem is: it is medical and it is the user's guide of a device that involves life and death.... ( defibrillation, monitoring ECG, etc)this text is literally crippled with mistakes so I don't feel like having my name tied to that if I don't have full control over it!

Besides, this tool is time consuming ineffective and unreliable and I would be done with this translation for a LONG time if it was't for TWS!
I do NOT recommend TWS!


 

Agnes T-H
Local time: 06:53
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
ethic... Nov 21, 2011

Philippe Etienne wrote:

More generally, you should earn more per hour using a CAT tool than not using it, in order to cover the investment and learning time, even with agencies. If this is not the case, then something is wrong with your discount scheme.

Philippe


OMG! This ain't gonna happen! This CAT tool is sooooooooo slowwwwwww, their support took 4 days to fix a problem, etc...
I guess I have many problems
1) Translation by non medical persons of very technical medical documents (I'm not talking about a band aid here, I'm talking about someone nearly dead)
2) The total lack of control of the final client over that issue (I imagine that a solid verification of scientific and medical credentials will be great help in this case!)
3)Greed! How could a company be so focused on money matters on such a project? I mean this document will be read by physicians, they just need to UNDERSTAND IT CLEARLY. Period!


 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:53
French to English
+ ...
Withdraw your labour Nov 21, 2011

Agnes T-H wrote:

OMG! This ain't gonna happen! This CAT tool is sooooooooo slowwwwwww, their support took 4 days to fix a problem, etc...
I guess I have many problems
1) Translation by non medical persons of very technical medical documents (I'm not talking about a band aid here, I'm talking about someone nearly dead)
2) The total lack of control of the final client over that issue (I imagine that a solid verification of scientific and medical credentials will be great help in this case!)
3)Greed! How could a company be so focused on money matters on such a project? I mean this document will be read by physicians, they just need to UNDERSTAND IT CLEARLY. Period!


Perhaps you should consider refusing to work for this company? They can only succeed (or continue to make money) if translators continue to work for them and adopt their methods.

There are plenty of clients out there who do not use such methods/tools. Market your services to them.


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:53
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Ethics Nov 21, 2011

Agnes, I understand your reservations in this case. What I would do is write an e-mail to your PM explaining them and attach a list of error examples with comments. You should also ask whether you are supposed to use the legacy, incorrect terminology. While the company that provides your tool has controversial business practices (and tools), their PMs are usually reasonable. I don't do medical stuff, but I can imagine the PM has been though such projects before and understands the implications.

 

Agnes T-H
Local time: 06:53
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Medical issue Nov 21, 2011

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
their PMs are usually reasonable. I don't do medical stuff, but I can imagine the PM has been though such projects before and understands the implications.


It is very difficult here because actually translated chunks come from.... PM himself (from previous position probably)! I already sent several emails saying "this does not mean XXX; it means YYY" but it is difficult to literally flood the PM with terminology issues which goes down to tell him: Stop taking medical jobs it REQUIRES FULL understanding otherwise it is literally dangerous!
I will NOT work with them anymore, that's for sure!


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:53
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
@Agnes Nov 21, 2011

Agnes T-H wrote:
It is very difficult here because actually translated chunks come from.... PM himself (from previous position probably)! I already sent several emails saying "this does not mean XXX; it means YYY" but it is difficult to literally flood the PM with terminology issues which goes down to tell him: Stop taking medical jobs it REQUIRES FULL understanding otherwise it is literally dangerous!
I will NOT work with them anymore, that's for sure!


Well, in this case you have nothing to lose. It's his problem how to deal with his own bad translations. Just ask openly how you should proceed and whether he expects you to put peoples' lives in danger - it is quite likely that he will cave in and will let you correct those old translations (and update the PO accordingly).

I've managed never to touch TWS, but it might also be possible that his ID is there only because he updated the TM, and not actually translated anything. That would be the case with SDL Trados.


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Agree Nov 22, 2011

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
... but it might also be possible that his ID is there only because he updated the TM, and not actually translated anything. That would be the case with SDL Trados.


 

inge van dri (X)
Local time: 15:53
German to Dutch
+ ...
Agree too Nov 22, 2011

Janet Rubin wrote:

Adam Łobatiuk wrote:
... but it might also be possible that his ID is there only because he updated the TM, and not actually translated anything. That would be the case with SDL Trados.


Also possible that the TM comes from an alignment.

The first time you work on such a TM, it is terrific, you have to check everything (Concordance, end client's website, your own material, other available material). You really have to ask your client what to do: either using your own brain, either adapting yourself to the existing TM (but then, why do they ask an expert to do the translation?).


 
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