Tags {0}{1} in Translations: how do you deal with the pricing issue?
Thread poster: eurolanguagesPt

eurolanguagesPt  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:09
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jun 24, 2009

Hello everyone,

During the last year some of the work that I do for my favourite outsourcer includes lots of tags {0}{1}{2}{3} which (I believe) have to be organized in the target text according to the structure of the new sentence. This involves quite a bit of extra work which is not translation…
Example:
{0}My favorite outsourcer BrandX, Colour™{1}, USA sends me translations with{2}tags{3}.
In the target text the order of the words changes and it’s not always straightforward where the tags go.
Has anyone else worked with this system? How do you deal with the pricing issue?
I find it even more frustrating because my price has been the same for the last 4 years and on top of that the USD has depreciated dramatically in comparison to the €.
Thanks for listening,
Esperança


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-06-24 17:04 GMT]


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Andrea Flaßbeck  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Doesn't affect my pricing Jun 24, 2009

My biggest client provides me almost exclusively with work including tags. I don't really mind, if the tags don't stand alone. Which unfortunately they do at times:

Please connect your {0}{1} to your {2}{3} and switch it on.
For those who don’t speak German: The difficulty with this sentence is not formatting, but translating the (=der/die/das/den) and it (=er/sie/es).

However, I've gotten used to it by now...

[Edited at 2009-06-25 07:43 GMT]


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:09
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Tags or formatting, I would rather tag Jun 24, 2009

Tags are simply a way for CAT tools to keep track of some change (usually format) in the text. So if a word is bold but the rest of the text is not, that word will have tags around it, if the word is bold, underlined, indented and different font, still just one tag with all that information.

So what would you rather, translate a text and then have to spend ages formatting all the different parts or just put tags in place? Personally I would rather do the tags, it is a lot quicker. Obviously if you don't return the translated text with the same format as the original, and you just translate text, tags take more time.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:09
Member
English to French
Pricing unaffected Jun 24, 2009

My rates include formatting of the target text (provided the source text can be overwritten in an application I own, ie not DTP).

Your example looks like formatting that you have to reflect in the target text (such as bolding or hyperlinking words in Word).

Other tags are placeholders (Andrea's example), ie they are replaced at run-time with variable words or phrases (software or engineered files)

A CAT tool may make tag handling easier. From your example, it looks like those tags are generated with a CAT tool such as MemoQ or DV.

However, it h{1}ap{2}pens that{3} ta{4}gs are everywhere for no reason, in which case the source file needs "cleaning". This is especially true with OCRed Word files, Word files with previous changes tracked, etc.

Here is a resource about cleaning Word files: http://www.necco.ca/dv/word.htm.
Googling "Rogue codes" also leads to useful how-tos to reduce the amount of unwanted tags and make translators happier.

Kidn regards,
Philippe


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Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:09
English to German
+ ...
Like everybody else Jun 24, 2009

Yes. It's additional work, but it's part of it and I don't charge a higher price for this.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I'd rather do formatting Jun 24, 2009

Alex Lago wrote:
So what would you rather, translate a text and then have to spend ages formatting all the different parts or just put tags in place? Personally I would rather do the tags, it is a lot quicker.


For me, formatting is a lot quicker than trying to figure out what the possible significance of the tags might be. Because it does matter. If the tags are of the opening and closing type (eg OmegaT or TagEditor), one can sometimes see which tags belong to which words, but if the tags are of the numbered type (eg Idiom), where you can't see whether it is a start of a format or an end of a format, or perhaps a standalone tag, or a tag that stands for a special character, or a line-level or block-level format tag... then it becomes a nightmare. I find it ridiculous to work with tags. It's one of the worst ideas in CAT technology ever (although I can see that it is a necessary evil in certain workflows).

I don't charge extra for tags because the only files I had received with such tags so far had been fairly simple ones, and I deal with them as placeables (which my CAT tool is very user-friendly with).

==

Veering somewhat off-topic here, but here is an example of why tags are stupid. Suppose you have the following tagged text snippet:

{0}Lorem ipsum dolor sit{1} consectetur adipisicing {2}elit sed do eiusmod tempor{3}.{4}

The tags could potentially mean the following (and in each case it matters, because it affects the positioning of the tags in the target text):

{0} = Bold on
{1} = Bold off
{2} = Italic on
{3} = Italic off
{4} = End of line

{0} = Paragraph start
{1} = Line break
{2} = Bold on
{3} = Bold off
{4} = Paragraph end

{0} = Hyperlink start
{1} = Bold on
{2} = Bold off
{3} = Hyperlink end
{4} = End of line

And if your client uses a tool that doesn't de-nest cross-nested formatting:

{0} = Bold on
{1} = Italic on
{2} = Bold off
{3} = Italic off
{4} = End of line

I.e., "The rain in <b>Spain falls <i>mainly</b> on the plains</i>." ...which is untidy HTML but still interpreted as intended, by most browsers (with "Spain falls" in non-italic bold, "mainly" in bold italics, and "on the plains" in non-bold italics).

In many cases, you can figure out what the tags are likely for, by a process of elimination. But this takes time. It breaks your speed to have to play detective with each new segment.

[Edited at 2009-06-24 21:51 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do you use a CAT tool at all? Jun 24, 2009

eurolanguagesPt wrote:
During the last year some of the work that I do for my favourite outsourcer includes lots of tags {0}{1}{2}{3} which (I believe) have to be organized in the target text according to the structure of the new sentence. This involves quite a bit of extra work which is not translation...


Do you use a CAT tool at all? Because if you don't, typing those characters will certainly be a pain in the neck for you.


[Edited at 2009-06-24 21:44 GMT]


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:09
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Maybe Jun 24, 2009

Samuel Murray wrote:

For me, formatting is a lot quicker than trying to figure out what the possible significance of the tags might be. Because it does matter. If the tags are of the opening and closing type (eg OmegaT or TagEditor), one can sometimes see which tags belong to which words, but if the tags are of the numbered type (eg Idiom), where you can't see whether it is a start of a format or an end of a format, or perhaps a standalone tag, or a tag that stands for a special character, or a line-level or block-level format tag... then it becomes a nightmare. I find it ridiculous to work with tags. It's one of the worst ideas in CAT technology ever (although I can see that it is a necessary evil in certain workflows).


I guess it depends on type of file and CAT tool you use and how used to working with tags you are, but I never have the problems you describe and finds tags to be quite intuitive once you get used to them. I must admit I have never done a tagged html, I do html translations directly in the html or sometimes use CatsCradle, so maybe html tags are a pain.


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