Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Using a translation agency's own CAT tool
Thread poster: Hilary Decaumont

Hilary Decaumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member (2013)
French to English
Jun 5, 2014

Hi everyone.
I have been contacted by an agency and after several email exchanges, mainly due to them trying to beat down my prices (same old story!) they have now asked me to register on their database and download their CAT software. They say that it is their intention that all projects will eventually be handled via their own software.

I have two issues with this:

1. Benefit I'm not sure how using THEIR CAT tool can benefit anyone but them. I see it as a way that they can get me to do some of their translations and create their TM and glossaries, only to turn to someone cheaper at a later date, once they have an adequate database, or even do the translations in-house without using a qualified translator at all.

2. Confidentiality. I am a certified translator and am bound by confidentiality. I certainly would not want to share details of any of my certified translations with unknown translators all over the world via a third party's software program.

As far as I am concerned, I will certainly refuse to use their CAT tool for certified translations, but wonder if anyone has thoughts on the first point.

Am I seeing things too negatively? Apart from bringing me work from this particular agency - and to be honest, I have more than enough work at the moment - what are the possible advantages of working with an agency's own software?

And are there any other pitfalls that I haven't even considered? Does anyone have any experience and/or views on the subject?

Thanks for any input.


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:55
Member (2002)
English to Russian
User experience may leave much to be desired Jun 5, 2014

You did hit the points here, Hilary.

3. User experience. I did accept such work in the past with varied results. I had to drop one client because they insisted on the use of their clumsy and "slow-motion" system. I can't blame my Internet connection (approx. 10Mbps at the time) for this extremely bad experience. The other client (trying to persuade me to work through their online CAT system) finally agreed that I would continue to work offline using my SDL Trados Studio and they would take care of feeding their "ugly beast" with my deliverables.

Note: These events took place a few years ago, and the "ugly beasts" may have become more user-friendly.

[Edited at 2014-06-05 19:33 GMT]


 

Hilary Decaumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member (2013)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
User experience Jun 5, 2014

Thank you for your comment Vladimir. I am now curious to see how their CAT tool functions.

 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
We discussed this a couple of days ago. Jun 5, 2014

http://www.proz.com/forum/being_independent/270190-are_cloud_based_cat_tools_incompatible_with_your_workflow.html

 

Hilary Decaumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member (2013)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the link Jun 5, 2014

Most interesting, Phil, thank you for the pointer. It confirms doubts I already had and adds others into the mix for good measure!

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:55
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Their business plan doesn't concern us Jun 5, 2014

Maybe they're developing their own MT system; maybe it's something else.

But whatever their plan, they can't achieve it without our expertise. And there's nothing that forces us to play ball with them, let alone to their rules


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:55
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Similar topic in Dec 2011 Jun 5, 2014

I started a discussion on a similar topic in December 2011, and the replies were rather opposed to using a translation agency's own CAT tool:
http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_project_vendor_management/215048-agencies_own_cat_tools.html
Oliver


 

Hilary Decaumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member (2013)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Looks like it's a big no! Jun 5, 2014

Thank you Sheila and Oliver.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:55
English to German
+ ...
It depends on the agency Jun 6, 2014

One of my largest agency clients uses their own proprietary CAT tool which is provided at no charge and including training and tech support to all of their contract partners. They say that they prefer their PMs to excel in customer service instead of learning how to handle a wide variety of different CAT tools.

They also pay the full rate for every word. There are no deductions for 100% matches, repetitions or fuzzy matches.


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:55
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Does it work both ways? Jun 7, 2014

Nicole Schnell wrote:

One of my largest agency clients uses their own proprietary CAT tool which is provided at no charge and including training and tech support to all of their contract partners. They say that they prefer their PMs to excel in customer service instead of learning how to handle a wide variety of different CAT tools.

They also pay the full rate for every word. There are no deductions for 100% matches, repetitions or fuzzy matches.


Nicole, do they offer any discounts for fuzzy matches to their end clients, while trying to excel in customer service? Understandably, translators would love working for this agency. I am not so sure about their end clients who may be used to being offered fuzzy match discounts. On the other hand, I have been translating user manuals, operation manuals and maintenance manuals for a major brand (acting through an agency) for 8 or 9 years. And while I did accept a reduced rate for fuzzy matches, I still received a very decent pay, if you factor in the time and effort involved, e.g. a 40,000-word manual swiftly dealt with within 6-7 hours.

[Edited at 2014-06-07 10:08 GMT]

P.S. Honestly, I don't think charging my full rate would be appropriate in the above case. Please note, however, that I used my own TM I had built up over the years...

[Edited at 2014-06-07 10:11 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Confidentiality to whom? Jun 7, 2014

Hilary Decaumont wrote:
I am a certified translator and am bound by confidentiality.


But you do share your translation with your client, don't you?

I certainly would not want to share details of any of my certified translations with unknown translators all over the world via a third party's software program.


Shouldn't that be your client's decision, if he wants to share your translation (which you did for him) with other translators?


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:55
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Confidentiality issues Jun 7, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:

Shouldn't that be your client's decision, if he wants to share your translation (which you did for him) with other translators?


+1


 

Hilary Decaumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member (2013)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Outcome Jun 7, 2014

Perhaps I didn't express myself properly regarding confidentiality. Of course I share the translation with my client (the agency and the end client). But I provide only a printed version (scanned as a pdf if requested), and certainly not my own TM or the Word document from which it is created (although I appreciate it is easy enough to convert a pdf). I simply wouldn't want my translations to be made available to anyone other than the agency and the end client because of the sensitive data they may contain (e.g. birth, address, company financial information etc.)

I emailed the company concerned to say I wasn't prepared to work with their CAT tool for various reasons, not least of which was confidentiality for certified translations. They have replied to say that they do have projects where using their CAT tool is not a requirement and that sworn translations are never in their editing software.

So thank you everyone for your comments.

Now to wait and see if any jobs come inicon_wink.gif


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:55
Member (2002)
English to Russian
Confidentiality issues (Part 2) Jun 7, 2014

Hilary Decaumont wrote:

I provide only a printed version (scanned as a pdf if requested), and certainly not my own TM or the Word document from which it is created (although I appreciate it is easy enough to convert a pdf). I simply wouldn't want my translations to be made available to anyone other than the agency and the end client because of the sensitive data they may contain (e.g. birth, address, company financial information etc.)


Don't you think that your printed copy might be made available just as easily to anyone other than the agency and the end client, with all the sensitive data it may contain?

[Edited at 2014-06-07 12:05 GMT]

P.S. Your confidentiality obligations to the agency client (and, perhaps, the end client, if your NDA contains references to the latter as well) generally boil down to an undertaking not to disclose any sensitive information to third parties.

You will never be held liable if an agency employee steals a printed copy (or a Word document) you delivered to the agency under the contract with the same, even if such employee subsequently sells the document to interested parties.

By refusing to provide the target document in Word, you just make life a little bit more difficult for your agency client, but I don't see what this has to do with preventing a breech of trust, or confidentiality obligations.

P.S.2 What a legal translator, or any other translator in possession of the client's sensitive information, should refrain from is sharing information about the upcoming "revolutionary iPhone 35S featuring the ground-breaking new technology - a thought-driven model", which news when made public would send Apple's stock skyrocketing...icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2014-06-07 12:32 GMT]


 

Miguel Carmona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:55
English to Spanish
An unusual way of delivering work Jun 7, 2014

Hilary Decaumont wrote:

... I share the translation with my client (the agency and the end client). But I provide only a printed version (scanned as a pdf if requested)...


What happens if your clients need to make some edits on their end?

Or, what if the translation is to be furnished electronically to later be assembled, re-paginated, etc., as part of a big project, where other translators are taking part?

And physical delivery? How?

In modern times, I never heard of anybody delivering work this way, not even when I started over 20 years ago.

The usual way, the way everybody does it, the way everybody expects it, is electronically, either as an email attachment, or uploading the files to an FTP site or, on rare occasions, on a CD/DVD disk.

There are so many practical reasons why the job is delivered by electronic means.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

Using a translation agency's own CAT tool

Advanced search







TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search