Translation of html in Trados and localization
Thread poster: Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 22:53
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Jan 5, 2016

I searched the forum and hit nothing. I hereby write here to warn professional translators.

In December I was contacted by a well established agency in Swindon city, the UK, for about 70,000 word English - Thai translation of psychometric test translation of MS Excel 4 files in Trados Studio. Actual jobs came a bit differently but that was OK. I quoted and got PO for translation. Their PO will be automatically processed without my submitting of an invoice.
This project has been translated and localized into many languages before, including European languages. The agency gave me some resources and references to work with. This is the evidence I could expect how complicate the translation steps would be.
The Trados project files were easy to handle but the Excel html files were actually disastrous since plenty of tags were not imaginable of the final output e.g. the web page layouts and web tables.

On the later stage in around 1 week, the agency came back to me and asked about the translation output. I first found that my output Excel file was incomplete due to my previous problem with Excel. I told the agency to convert Trados - Excel files by themselves. I found that the Excel files the agency showed me were also erroneous, probably due to the very large and complex file sizes with plenty of html tags. I needed to mend them manually later.

The contact person of the agency was on holiday before the New Year without notifying me in advance, and the new PM appeared as replacement to my surprise.

They did and questioned me repeatedly on the year end day (31 December). I replied just to help them to furnish the job by the year end. I found that the questions were previously replied and the agency failed to manage them efficiently. The agency started to ask the same questions on 4 January 2016.

I spent around 12 hours to edit the output Excel files for tags, coding and paragraph styles. I still spent around 3 hours to mend the translation to the desired writing style of the agency (they gave ambiguous instructions here and there and those confused me badly.)
I also needed to eliminate plenty of marks in Excel files I never added during translation. The agency ignored to explain me why those mark appeared.
I asked for the PO of this extra job since I found it not justify to edit html files not quoted in the original PO. The main reason of editing was localization of the html texts into Thai web pages. Many questions of the agency were related to moderating of wordings, writing styles, numbers, psychometric idiom.
The agency replied angrily that they shall neither issue the PO not pay for this extra job since my answers were not helpful. In fact, they wrote on 31 December that they were glad to pay 5 hours for this extra job.
I wrote to complain to the original PM contact of this project but never I got replies.

I have 3 questions to expect our opinion:

1. Is it justified to ask for extra payment since localization of around 70,000 words were not reflected and not demanded in the PO before.
2. Is it a good idea to cancel the 2nd batch job prior to the deadline (this final part of the project) even I completed the translation. The reason is that the agency (its one PM whom I have contacted for some years) is not reasonable enough to hire a translator.
3. If I am justified to demand for payment of the extra jobs, how is the most efficient way?

Your discussions are highly appreciated.

Soonthon L.


[Edited at 2016-01-05 01:33 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-01-05 01:41 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some agencies... Jan 5, 2016

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:
I asked for the PO of this extra job since I found it not justify to edit html files not quoted in the original PO.


Some agencies believe that a quote for a CAT tool job includes fixing the final files. Some agencies make very little effort to pre-process the original files for good conversion to the CAT tool and back, and rely instead on the translator or a third QM person to fix the output at the end of the job. This is why it is important, if you accept a CAT tool job, to make very sure that the client understands whether fixing the final files in the final format is or is not included in the price.

If one of the PMs of that agency told you that they'd add 5 hours to the PO, then you are entitled to that, because you put in extra effort based on that promise.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 22:53
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I will discuss with the end user Jan 5, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:
I asked for the PO of this extra job since I found it not justify to edit html files not quoted in the original PO.


Some agencies believe that a quote for a CAT tool job includes fixing the final files. Some agencies make very little effort to pre-process the original files for good conversion to the CAT tool and back, and rely instead on the translator or a third QM person to fix the output at the end of the job. This is why it is important, if you accept a CAT tool job, to make very sure that the client understands whether fixing the final files in the final format is or is not included in the price.

If one of the PMs of that agency told you that they'd add 5 hours to the PO, then you are entitled to that, because you put in extra effort based on that promise.



In Proz's professional practice, it is not ethical to contact with the end client but I plan to discuss with the end client so that the project will not be badly affected due to the narrow-mined PM(s) of the agency in question. The key reason is that, this project is localized to many languages and I anticipate similar issues from other translators. The project is also on psychometric tests, and the translation users should be aware of professional practices.

Is it possible that the PM who is a woman was not so patient enough with some of my complaints, and then, concluded to betray my service dishonestly? (is this a gender issue?)

Soonthon L.


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