Charging more for working with tags? Agency requires CAT
Thread poster: Juliaq

Juliaq
Netherlands
Feb 19, 2016

Hello to all,

I have been working for an agency that requires projects in Memsource.

I found it easy to use, except that it becomes very, very slow when there are long segments, and in particular, tags.

This particular agency also applies a fixed rate per word, regardless of the content.

Working with tags in Memsource is extremely slow and tedious, I have two computers with three browsers installed on each, to no avail.

I am currently finishing a project that took considerably longer than expected, but as I had already accepted the job and PO, it was too late to change the rate. I feel like I am working in a sweatshop for the projects with tags, whereas projects without tags are fine in Memsource.

I am a very fast typer, so this is very annoying for me to have to type and then sit back and slowly watch the characters being typed out, one by one.

My options are to stop working for this client due to their practices, or raise my rate for all projects for them, since they are really fixed on the idea of applying a fixed rate to all projects. It would probably have been easier to do this at the start of the new year.

Do any of you find similar difficulties when working with tags in this tool, and how do you deal with this when negotiating rates?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sweatshop? I can almost hear the whips. Feb 20, 2016

Juliaq wrote:
I feel like I am working in a sweatshop

It sounds that way to me too. They dictate what you're going to be paid, so I suppose they also dictate to you when and how you're going to be paid. I'd be willing to bet that it isn't after 30 days (or less) and by a method that's free to you.

My options are to stop working for this client due to their practices, or raise my rate for all projects for them, since they are really fixed on the idea of applying a fixed rate to all projects.

You can also refuse every job with tags, telling them your reason. But maybe they aren't willing to listen to reason.

I do hope you're finding enough spare time to target clients that don't work this way.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:42
Member
English to French
My policy Feb 20, 2016

Having become wiser through experience, I apply the following rules:

* I don't work with online tools.
* I don't work with online management things, where a machine tells you that you can retrieve a file on a website and where your invoice will be accepted by the system after the job has been validated by the end customer, their relatives, their pets and the automated advanced breakthrough industry-leading QA technology.
* I no longer work with tools I don't already know.

Whenever I have broken those rules, I have sooner or later run into trouble.

Philippe


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:42
Member
English to Italian
Try the standalone client Feb 20, 2016

Juliaq wrote:

Working with tags in Memsource is extremely slow and tedious, I have two computers with three browsers installed on each, to no avail.


Sounds like the main issue you're having has more to do with the way Memsource handles the tags, rather than with the tags themselves... (which can be a real hassle for several other reasons)

Try googling for "memsource editor" and download the client (you should have received the credentials for your account, which you should add under Tools>Preferences>Login). This might speed things up a little compared to the browser version.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Right, just say no to online tools Feb 20, 2016

Philippe Etienne wrote:
Having become wiser through experience, I apply the following rules:
* I don't work with online tools.

My first ever freelancer job involved an online tool. It was an unpleasant experience. I have never accepted a job using an online tool since.

Dan


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:42
Member
English to Italian
Unfortunately that may not be an option... Feb 20, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

Philippe Etienne wrote:
Having become wiser through experience, I apply the following rules:
* I don't work with online tools.

My first ever freelancer job involved an online tool. It was an unpleasant experience. I have never accepted a job using an online tool since.


... if you wish to keep working with that client (or specific project), that is...

Online CAT tools are multiplying, and frankly I don't like this trend either, but it's there anyway. Also, even if you use "offline" tools such as MemoQ or Studio, but work on the client's servers, what you're doing is basically the same as if you were using an "online" tool, just with a different type of front-end...


 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2014)
English to German
I have one agency client that uses Memsource Feb 21, 2016

However, when I started working with them I already had used Memsource for my own purposes and had no problems, except it was a bit slow with large files, e.g. 10,000 words +. Tags don't slow down my system, not the agency's and not my own, but I find them time consuming and annoying.

That agency I work with tends to send projects with a price tag attached, which sometimes is ok with me, sometimes it can be negotiated, but other times they then find someone at that cheaper price. Can't you say no if the file has lots of tags and explain why?

The only thing that annoys me is that I can't populate my own TM & glossaries with those jobs, but I haven't explored whether this is possible yet.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 07:11 GMT]


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:42
English to Russian
Memsourse can be overridden Feb 21, 2016

You can use any other tool for Memsource files. I use memoQ that allows me to remove all messy tags when I translate. Plus I can use my TM and TB.
Of course, when you have a tag after each letter, you need more time and nerves to recognize what's written there...
I use Memsource for concordance search only. I just add those tags at the end of each sentence. Apart from memoQ, you can use codezapper, TransTools and maybe some other tools...
Managers are commonly low qualified staff in terms of such techniques because they don't need to resolve such problems as we translators do resolve everyday. They know how to send a job to a translator, how to set a lower rate, and how to apply pressure when the deadline is coming. They cannot clean tags, hardly they even guess it's possible.
Another method is to get rid of such messy tags on your own and then just send the as-cleaned originals to your manager and ask him/her to re-import the files for you.
Such tags often result from awkward pdf OCRing. Even good optical recognition may be a problem for a manager. In most cases, you don't even need removing tags with special tools. Just apply one style (not formatting) to all... But this top secret technology is not available to managers.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 14:55 GMT]


 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:42
Member (2014)
English to German
At Stephan Feb 22, 2016

This might also be an issue for the OP:

Can you take the file out of Memsource when it has been sent by a client through their system, because then the OP might be able to clean up some of the tags, I would then translate the files in Trados? I also have one private client who uses Memsource. He once sent product descriptions organised in columns and I could not reorganise that into rows myself, I had to ask him to do it - I couldn't do anything with the source file.

[Edited at 2016-02-22 11:56 GMT]


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:42
Member
English to Italian
I'm interested too Feb 22, 2016

Stepan Konew wrote:

Memsourse can be overridden

You can use any other tool for Memsource files. I use memoQ that allows me to remove all messy tags when I translate. Plus I can use my TM and TB.

Gabriele Demuth wrote:

Can you take the file out of Memsource when it has been sent by a client through their system, because then the OP might be able to clean up some of the tags, I would then translate the files in Trados?.


I generally don't work on proprietary files created with a specific CAT tool using another CAT tool, even if its developers claim that's possible/supported, and this in order to avoid any possible issue and/or complication when importing/exporting those files.

As for Memsource in particular, I know it's possible to export files in "mxliff" format, and it seems MemoQ is able to import them using the standard xliff filter, but is that really OK? I mean, are there no issues at all when reimporting the translated files back in Memsource? I guess the file extension is "mxliff" and not "xliff" (just like the xliffs created by MQ are "mqxliff") probably because Memsource adds its own tags, metadata, etc. to the file... (not to mention the tags that were "cleaned up" or however handled differently using other tools)


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Same here Mar 29, 2016

Juliaq wrote:

Hello to all,

I have been working for an agency that requires projects in Memsource.

I found it easy to use, except that it becomes very, very slow when there are long segments, and in particular, tags.

This particular agency also applies a fixed rate per word, regardless of the content.

Working with tags in Memsource is extremely slow and tedious, I have two computers with three browsers installed on each, to no avail.

I am currently finishing a project that took considerably longer than expected, but as I had already accepted the job and PO, it was too late to change the rate. I feel like I am working in a sweatshop for the projects with tags, whereas projects without tags are fine in Memsource.

I am a very fast typer, so this is very annoying for me to have to type and then sit back and slowly watch the characters being typed out, one by one.

My options are to stop working for this client due to their practices, or raise my rate for all projects for them, since they are really fixed on the idea of applying a fixed rate to all projects. It would probably have been easier to do this at the start of the new year.

Do any of you find similar difficulties when working with tags in this tool, and how do you deal with this when negotiating rates?


I experience the same difficulties you speak about, and I've decided that demand for such type of service is not sufficient motivation for me to actually provide it, so nope, I'm not going to take a productivity hit and make financial concessions on top of that just because the client is attached to a suboptimal CAT tool. I'm more flexible if the pay grows in proportion to my inconvenience.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Tell clients firmly if their tool is a pain Mar 30, 2016

I tell clients plainly if I think their tools or their portals are a pain.

One or two have thanked me for the feedback over the years, but many ignore comments. You do have to send them to the right people, not just to a harrassed PM.

I have also offered to do jobs with my own CAT - agencies accept that more often.

The more translators point out the problems, the better are the chances of improvements.

In any case, it is important to draw attention to the fact that it costs you extra time and inconvenience, and insist as far as possible on working on your own terms.

It really makes a big difference whether you can use your own tool, TMs and settings etc. or not. If you are hampered by the tool, it distracts you from translating, and it is difficult to deliver the same quality, so let them know!


 


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