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Would you agree to deliver a TM on these terms?
Thread poster: Anna Haxen

Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:57
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Jul 24, 2013

I received a quite large job offer along with a document entitled "Terms and conditions for translators" containing the following requirement (one of several):

"- Delivery of the updated TM belonging to the project"

Followed by:

"The obligation to supply the TM is considered fulfilled, when it turns out to be both technically flawless and the contents free from errors."

and:

"For larger contracts with correspondingly long proofreading and correction times when it is not possible to deliver the translation and the TM simultaneously, the terms of payment are as follows:
- 30% of project total following receipt of the translation for proofreading and correction
- 40% of the project total following delivery of the final translation
- 30% following receipt of the updated TM"

Isn't it a bit odd to demand that the translator provide a TM on these terms? TIA for your thoughts.

By the way, this project is so large that I was considering asking for a percentage of the payment in advance ...


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
No, I wouldn't Jul 24, 2013

I'd tell them to go and take a flying, oops, sorry, I mean a "running jump".

 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:57
Member (2002)
English to Russian
No chance Jul 24, 2013

Of course, a translation agency is free to demand anything they want... but you are also free to send them packing if you feel the demands are unreasonable, which is clearly the case here.

 

Steve Kerry  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
German to English
No Jul 24, 2013

Next question?

Steve K.


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Never Jul 24, 2013

If they want to build their glossary they should pay you a separate rate for dictionary research. (It is a much higher rate). Any TM, or no TM, is just something that is at the disposal of the translator only and they can do whatever they want to do with it. You should charge extra if anyone wants your TM. I think some TMs and glossaries are used during the research and creation of MT programs.

 

Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:57
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Never Jul 24, 2013

These people are scammers (I believe).

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:57
Member
English to French
I don't understand this TM delivery business Jul 24, 2013

Anna Haxen wrote:
...For larger contracts with correspondingly long proofreading and correction times when it is not possible to deliver the translation and the TM simultaneously, the terms of payment are as follows:...

I don't get it: the TM is always as updated as the bilingual file (and subsequently translation), is it not? Or could it mean they require you to update the TM after subsequent third-party proofreading without CAT tool?
If they are an agency, they should have the tools and skills to maintain/update their own TMs with the delivery of bilingual files only.

If they don't, it may mean:
-They don't own the CAT tool, which means that they likely are the suppliers of yet another (usually larger) agency.
-They transfer TM maintenance chores to you: what compensation do you get for this?
-They don't have the skillset to handle CAT projects properly
Anna Haxen wrote:
Isn't it a bit odd to demand that the translator provide a TM on these terms?

I've never been asked by an agency to provide a TM. I just send bilingual files.

If it is understood that TM maintenance is required, then your fee should factor this in (+20-30-50% depending on level/periodicity of maintenance?)

To me the scope of work and responsibility is very vague...

Philippe

[Edited at 2013-07-24 15:35 GMT]


 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Customer Service Jul 24, 2013

Anna Haxen wrote:
"- Delivery of the updated TM belonging to the project"

I keep being surprised by translators showing little sense of customer service, particularly in cases like this where the extra effort required is trivial. All the customer wants is a TM. All you have to do at the final stage when you have a bilingual file and a target file you are happy with is to create a blank TM, clean the bilingual file(s), ( better still, a spare copy of it/them), then export the TM as TMX, and there you will have a TM file which meets the requirement - both technically flawless and free from errors. It cannot be otherwise - there is no scope for flaws or errors to creep into this fairly automatic process - unless they are in your original files.

This procedure will take just a few minutes. It is what I do when asked to provide a TM. If it makes the customer happy, what do you stand to lose? A few unremunerative minutes.

If they actually want a glossary, that is entirely different, and you should charge your lexicographic rate, much more than your translation rate.

As for larger files, and the phased terms, you might argue with them about the percentages, but customer service dictates that the customer is always right, never odd.


 

matt robinson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:57
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
List of requests Jul 24, 2013

I find that some agencies have a long list of standard demands that has probably taken shape through adding requirements for individual projects over a period of time. Individual PMs may not have looked at the requirements they are sending out, and thus may or may not consider them important or applicable.
I would politely point out anything I did not agree with and await feedback. I always do this and have never lost work as a consequence.


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:57
Russian to English
+ ...
What do the agencies need the TM for? Jul 24, 2013

Many experienced translators do not need all the suggestions, as well as many other features offered by CAT tools. Should they create the TM separately, just for the client, even if they were not using any automatic suggestions? This is totally absurd. Some agencies assume that everybody is using all the suggestions and following the step by step procedures encoded in some CAT tools. Not to mention that many suggestions in the less popular language pairs are totally wrong.

[Edited at 2013-07-24 16:16 GMT]


 

Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:57
English to Dutch
+ ...
When Easter and X-mas coincide I may be tempted to offer this... Jul 24, 2013

I usually offer a TM 'as is' and that is free of charge. As is meaning that I extract a .tmx memory of each project after each project and they can have that, but it is exactly the translation, no more and no less. All other things they want to have done with it, they must do themselves because I am a translator, not a translation memory wizard (far from it)icon_biggrin.gif .

My clients are of course free to not want a TM per project, but that won't lead to a discount or anything, and if they want to receive it at a later stage I will politely suggest they learn how to align source and target document in their own CAT-tool, so that they can make their own translation memories til the cows come home...


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:57
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Strange question Jul 24, 2013

LilianBNekipelo wrote:
What do the agencies need the TM for?


Just start using a CAT tool, and you will know the answer.


 

Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
With Theo Jul 24, 2013

A TM as is, fine. I just click 'export to TMX' and that's OK, but I won't guarantee that it's free of mistakes. It will be as free of mistakes as my translation is. If the spell checker forgets certain mistakes (which my MemoQ one sometimes does), then there will be some remaining spelling errors in there. If I have to supply a bilingual file and they haven't told me before, we do the final editing in Word and then the TM won't have all the changes. I tell them that. They seem to appreciate it.

So, I wouldn't supply a TM on the basis that agreement says. I would erase that sentence 'free or errors...', because that will potentially get you into trouble when it comes to payment.

Otherwise I can't see why it would be a problem to provide a project TM... I mean, most project TMs are useless anyway, because the projects themselves are too diverse to warrant exact matches, but hey, they waste their time editing your TM. If they like doing that, it's their problem.


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:57
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Delivering the TM Jul 24, 2013

Actually, I don't see any problems with delivering the TM: in fact this is exactly the same as delivering the uncleaned files. TM updating after the proofreading would take 5 minutes maximum - what's the problem? I absolutely agree with Peter Linton: there is nothing unusual in this requirement, the more so that the project is huge.

Glossary creation, payment terms and, above all, the credibility of the agency itself are completely different problems. I would start exactly from the end: from checking the credibility of the client (do you know who are they? where are they located? any opinions on them? are they good payers?) Only if your know the answer, you can discuss with them further terms and conditions.


 

Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:57
Italian to English
+ ...
I think we're missing the point here ... Jul 24, 2013

Natalie wrote:

Actually, I don't see any problems with delivering the TM: in fact this is exactly the same as delivering the uncleaned files. TM updating after the proofreading would take 5 minutes maximum - what's the problem? I absolutely agree with Peter Linton: there is nothing unusual in this requirement, the more so that the project is huge.


As Philippe noted, it seems that the translator is supposed to incorporate into the TM any changes made by the proofreader, which is not actually our job. Sure, send the agency the TM, but then THEY need to incorporate any later changes. In any case, this needs to be clarified before signing any contract.
And I don't agree that it would take "5 minutes maximum" as Natalie suggests. How can you know in advance what the proofreader might demand? And what if the text is something like tens of thousands of words? Nope, I think it needs to be clarified in advance.
FWIW,
Catherine


 
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