How do agencies use CAT?
Thread poster: Olly Pekelharing

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:33
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Oct 27, 2011

I asked this question somewhere else in the forums, but I'm going to ask it again because I'd like to hear what you have to say on the matter. The question is this: What Cat tools do your agencies use and what do they expect you to deliver?

Here's my previous post:
Obviously a lot of people are enthusiastic about stand-alone programs like Trados Studio, Wordfast Pro, MemoQ, etc. Irrespective of how pleasurable/useful these products are, do you use them to produce semi-finished ('unclean') translations to send to your agencies? What I'm wondering is whether all my clients - and the jobs they send me - are out of the ordinary, or whether I am missing something? Almost all my jobs involve Word docs and almost all my clients prefer me to send them back tagged Word docs, because (I'm assuming) they almost all use SDL Trados 2007 or older and incorporate my work in their TMs with the 'Clean document' function. Afik, only 'in-Word' programs like WFC and Trados' Workbench produce tagged docs, right? Am I to understand that working with tagged docs is going out of fashion? Are my clients and I missing something important? Before you start a long explanation, I'm not asking for a low-down on the workings of CAT tools, just wondering what the most common methods of agencies are for incorporating freelancers' work in their TMs.


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:33
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
30/70 Oct 27, 2011

Hi Olly,

Well, here is my own experience.

After a quick glance though my client folders (and through my memory), I would say that, of my translation work:

About 30% of my approx. 15 main clients still request either (1) uncleaned Word files, or (2) TTX. I am not happy with this, and keep trying to educate them, citing things such things as 'TTX makes it impossible to work with italics and bold!!!', etc. Sometimes it works, and they change.

The other 70% let me deliver my standard:

- final document (usually .docx),
- TM in TMX format, and possibly
- a bilingual memoQ review file (which they can fiddle with and send back to me and I can integrate the changes into a new final doc/TMX and return them to them) and/or
- a project glossary (in CSV).

Of course, many of the clients that leave me to my own devices also consistently supply me with terrible PDFs, but that's another thread altogether;)

Michael


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:33
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
clean doc and TM Oct 27, 2011

If I understand it correctly, of the 70%, you mainly send these clients clean docs and the TM created on the way. But doesn't that preclude the agencies' edits of your work finding their way into their TMs? I appreciate clients wanting unclean files (or whatever format is used to enable integration in a TM - that's the bilingual MemoQ review file, I assume?) because the editing done by the agency is an important part of the translation process.

 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:33
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
re-import and update TM(X) Oct 27, 2011

If they want to edit/proofread my final translations, they usually do so in the bilingual MemoQ review file, and then send that back to me. I then re-import that into memoQ and send them an updated project TMX.

I'm not sure what would happen to their TM, however, if they added the TMX I sent them along with the job to their (I am assuming Trados) TM immediately upon receiving my translation, and then later added the updated TM to it again ...

In memoQ, I have my own TMs set to 'not allow multiple translations', but I don't know what goes on in their kitchen...


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:33
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
Extra work? Oct 27, 2011

My initial reaction is that it sounds like extra work. Although I'm strongly in favour of agencies editing my work, hopefully the corrections are minor and they can make the changes themselves, and only then import the work into their TM, and if they think it's important they'll send the unclean file back to me so I can import it into my corresponding TM too (and if they want I'll comment on their edits and send them back again, and so on and so forth). What I'm saying is that it seems much more sensible to send translated files back and forth rather than whole TMs (TMX files). And do programmes like MemoQ and Studio preclude that?

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
All mine Oct 28, 2011

I only use Wordfast Classic but am usually reluctant to deliver uncleaned documents. When asked to do so I only submit the texts that I have done for the client in question, and never whole TM's, unless specifically created for said client.

I have no real rationale for doing this, it's just sort of instinctive. And I see anything that involves any more work or effort from me apart from the actual translation task per se as a burden, so I'd prefer to be paid or otherwise acknowledged for it.


 

inge van dri (X)
Local time: 02:33
German to Dutch
+ ...
Fifty-fifty Oct 28, 2011

In the past, 100% of thoroughly checked and ready to publish Word, Powerpoint, Excel and InDesign files (the only exception being PDF for which they expect unformatted Word). For which I used generally WFC and Pro.
Nowadays, 50% of this and 50% of translation on the client's CMS for direct online publishing purposes.
I never get presegmented texts, never get TMs and very rarely send back bilingual (tmxl or Word) files.
Back to the original question: how do agencies use CAT? => for calculating fuzzy matches of course.icon_smile.gif
More seriously, some agencies have appointed a person for managing TMs in 20 languages, some of which in different regional flavours, working with five CATs, each with several flavours too, and their various compatibility problems. In this respect it is not strange that they ask for the simpliest way of subcontracting, discarding all people who cannot directly deliver what they want.


 


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