Is this a normal procedure?
Thread poster: Robert Rietvelt

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 29, 2017

I was contacted by an agency (with a positive Blueboard record by the way) which was interested in my services. After finishing the usual paperwork, I received an email with more information/instructions about their way of working. One part caught my eyes:

".... We strongly advise uploading all available bilingual data to increase the chances of being chosen for a client with a similar content type to the one you support. Please upload such samples in .tmx or .xliff formats to the section CVReferences. ...."

So they want me to send them my bilingual files (TM's)? Now there is a thing called TM-Town, but is it normal that an agency is asking me for it? If I only imagine what they could do with it, not to mention that I am bound by confidentiality.

A new trend for 2018?

[Edited at 2017-12-29 13:49 GMT]


Daniel Frisano
Local time: 07:23
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Patchwork translation Dec 29, 2017

Never seen it in this form, but it's not surprising.

End clients are more and more prone to recurring partial updates to their material. When such a request is sent by the end client, the agency will probably search their TMs for exact or approximate matches and either use them directly or assign the updates to the contributor.

I have seen the results of this approach and they are plain horrible, especially in Italian, where sometimes you have to pick between tu/lei/voi (familiar/formal you) and use it consistently, and this happens frequently in marketing. Not to mention the differences in terminology and style, plus (seen from our side) the proliferation of micro-jobs that this approach entails.

And yes, I am afraid it's trending upwards. If this is the kind of product they want, the will get it one way or another - unless we find a way to educate clients and make them appreciate the value of consistent, self-contained, freshly-done, state-of-the-art translation.


William Tierney  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:23
Member (2002)
Arabic to English
Value for Value Dec 29, 2017

Hi Robert,

Your bilingual files are of value, otherwise the agency would not want them. They are trying to herd you into thinking that it is normal to give up something of value for nothing in return. I would either say no thank you or give them a price, considering the size and quality of your TMs and the cost saved by the agency for using them. In other words, they are worth a lot!!! This is your work product. Resist the thinking that they will just go to another translator who will be suckered into giving up their TMs. We have to stick together.

On Daniel's point, I get jobs where there are only a percentage of text to be translated and fuzzies to be checked, and I also send out jobs that require the same. I don't believe there is a cork for this hole in the dike.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Only upload TMs of workyou have done for them Dec 29, 2017

After completing a job with Trados, it is quite simple to extract a TM for that job only, and I do that regularly if the client asks. Otherwise they can update their own TMs from the .xliff files.

I filter all segments used after I began the job (filtering by date), but if you have used the main TM for more than one job simultaneously, you will have to set up another way of filtering, probably when you receive the package or set up the project. It is possible to add filters and TMs to packages in Studio, but I don't know how it is done with other CATs.

That may be enough to show willing, and you are not giving the client any confidential details or work you have done for anyone else.

If a client wants more than that, then you have to filter your TMs more carefully to make sure you do not infringe NDAs with other clients, and of course, charge for the material you upload.

That is not a standard procedure and should not become standard!


Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:23
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What about confidentiality? Dec 29, 2017

I would never provide my TM to a third agency unrelated to the client who has requested me a translation. I've signed confidential agreements with my clients, besides... that was MY job, never paid for that agency.
No problem if I'm asked to upload the translation memories done for the translation agency requesting my services.

Happy new year and prosperous translations!



Marcella Marino  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
Member (2016)
English to Italian
+ ...

Posted via Mobile

Don't do it Jan 2, 2018

Hi Robert,

as for my experience, agencies or customers have never asked me to provide my own glossaries/TMs and I would not accept such a request. Building your own TMs/glossaries requires time, your time, and researches for the correct terminology, that you do using your time.
The only exception to accept such a request is that when the agency assigns you the translation job, they expressely ask you to build a glossary or to create a TM for that job in particular, which anyway could be extracted from the files you deliver, provided that you are working with a CAT-Tool.


Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:23
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
title of topic Jan 2, 2018

I suggest you post headlines for your post that tell people what the post is about.


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

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

Is this a normal procedure?

Advanced search

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 »
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