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Outsourcers re-using your translation TM's?
Thread poster: parolagiusta

parolagiusta
Local time: 20:40
Italian to English
Apr 19, 2015

I'd like to hear everyones comments about outsourcers re-using a translation TM to do another translation.
I recently had an outsourcer that I've done a lot of work for send me a file asking me to just translate the few paragraphs not yet translated. The rest had already been done by them using the TM from a previous translation I had done on the same subject.
Thanks for your comments!


 

Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:40
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Why else would they ask for it? Apr 19, 2015

If your agreement with that outsourcer is that you provide a TM with the translation, then they are free to do that. I would have thought it was obvious that they intend to leverage the TM provided to them.

 

parolagiusta
Local time: 20:40
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not really, Apr 19, 2015

actually what I supplied was a Word file. I only agreed to do that translation.

 

parolagiusta
Local time: 20:40
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
But, if everyone supplies a TM Apr 19, 2015

with their translation, eventually the outsourcer will have built a memory and no longer require your services!

 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:40
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Rights Apr 19, 2015

Even if you didn't provide a TM, there's hardly any difficulty in creating an equivalent by running the target file against the source file, or by hiring an intern to do some matching, copying and pasting. If they threw the file at you and left you do take care of the matches it would be another matter, but if they've done their work you hardly have a grievance. I may add that one is on dubious moral ground if one expects to make a living translating the exact same text over and over again.

You don't own the rights to your translation and they are free to do as they see fit with the delivered product.

[Edited at 2015-04-19 14:19 GMT]


 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Bingo Apr 19, 2015

Now you can see why outsourcers are rushing to buy CAT tools. Translators are being made to believe that spending all that money on CAT tools will increase productivity and earn them more, but the same CAT tools are being sold to outsourcers with the promise of saving them money. The losers in this marketing game are the translators but shhh, no one is supposed to notice. Outsourcers now inflict their own CAT tool analyses, ie reductions on non-CAT tool users as well. That's how outsourcers make their purchase pay. Hats off to the marketing folk at Trados/SDL et al.

 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:40
Chinese to English
That's what TMs are for Apr 19, 2015

As the others say, this is how much of the industry works now. Personally, I think in the situation you describe they would have been better to send you the whole file and just pay a checking fee for the repeated parts. But if you're talking about whole paragraphs of identical text... Well, why should the customer pay to have that part translated again?

If the agency hadn't told you about the rest of the text - had only sent you the few new paragraphs to translate - then would you be annoyed?


 

parolagiusta
Local time: 20:40
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks- Apr 19, 2015

I have been translating for quite a few years for direct clients but fairly recently for outsourcers. I've come to the conclusion that working this way is not for me!
Perhaps it is the future of translating. That would be unfortunate as I think translating would no longer be an "art" but something truly mechanical. To say nothing of lower and lower rates. Perhaps a niche will remain for good 'ol non-CAT work.
Thanks for the comments


 

Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:40
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
That's an even bigger nightmare Apr 19, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:

As the others say, this is how much of the industry works now. Personally, I think in the situation you describe they would have been better to send you the whole file and just pay a checking fee for the repeated parts. But if you're talking about whole paragraphs of identical text... Well, why should the customer pay to have that part translated again?

If the agency hadn't told you about the rest of the text - had only sent you the few new paragraphs to translate - then would you be annoyed?


I don't charge my direct client for cross-file repetitions. I don't offer fuzzy discounts.
Most of them have never heard of CAT tools.
But this is exactly what they do otherwise: They only send the paragraphs that haven't been translated before. Completely taken out of context, without the flow of the document as a whole. That most certainly does not make my life easier! I rather press Ctrl + Enter a few times.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Perfectly normal Apr 19, 2015

parolagiusta wrote:
The rest had already been done by them using the TM from a previous translation I had done on the same subject.


The TM that you create during your translation for the client belongs to both you and the client jointly, so either of you can use it in ways that do not impede on the other party's rights. It is perfectly all right for them to use it to pre-translate a file and ask you to translate only the parts that need updating. It is also perfectly acceptable for you to charge a minimum fee.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:40
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
They paid for it already Apr 19, 2015

When they pay for your translation, they can use it for later needs. If they find a 100 % match in a text, they have the translation already, and they have paid for it. Or would you charge again the same customer?
It is quite normal that an outsourcer sends you a text that is partly translated from a TM. If you look at it the other way round, if you get a text from someone and find a match in your TM, you charge again even though some other client did already pay for the same sentence.
In your position I would be glad that the client was satisfied with your translation and sends you more work.


 

brg (X)
Netherlands
Futre of translation? oh no Apr 19, 2015

parolagiusta wrote:

I have been translating for quite a few years for direct clients but fairly recently for outsourcers. I've come to the conclusion that working this way is not for me!
Perhaps it is the future of translating. That would be unfortunate as I think translating would no longer be an "art" but something truly mechanical.


This is the way we work since many years.
Of course translation is not an art.
Especially as it comes to user's manuals, help functions, software, machines, household appliances, cosmetics, medical appliances, pharmaceutics, - all of which are highly repetetive.

To say nothing of lower and lower rates.


In most cases I charge the same thing for fuzzies. But a client, either a direct client or an agency, knows very well if a file contains for 90% the same thing as the file I translated beforehand. In that case, charging the same for the second file would be theft.

Perhaps a niche will remain for good 'ol non-CAT work.


Oh yes, a small niche remains. Litterature, newsletters, some types of press releases, some types of legal work... but some problems there:
- as 100% is non repetetive ("new words"), this also means that you have the difficult part of the translations.
- we all want that niche... zillions translators fishing in that pond... lowering rates...


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:40
Serbian to English
+ ...
with friends like this Apr 20, 2015

do translators need any enemies ...?

Samuel Murray wrote:

parolagiusta wrote:
The rest had already been done by them using the TM from a previous translation I had done on the same subject.


The TM that you create during your translation for the client belongs to both you and the client jointly, so either of you can use it in ways that do not impede on the other party's rights. It is perfectly all right for them to use it to pre-translate a file and ask you to translate only the parts that need updating. It is also perfectly acceptable for you to charge a minimum fee.


Heinrich Pesch wrote:

When they pay for your translation, they can use it for later needs. If they find a 100 % match in a text, they have the translation already, and they have paid for it. Or would you charge again the same customer?
It is quite normal that an outsourcer sends you a text that is partly translated from a TM. If you look at it the other way round, if you get a text from someone and find a match in your TM, you charge again even though some other client did already pay for the same sentence.
In your position I would be glad that the client was satisfied with your translation and sends you more work.


So when the final client pays again and again the agency for translating the same text, but the person who translated it in the first place gets nothing, that's perfectly OK?

Try telling a writer that he will get zilch for the second, third ... editions because he already wrote his book for the first edition, and he's not going to write it again, so ...

[Edited at 2015-04-20 01:27 GMT]


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:40
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Understand your rights - and their limitations Apr 20, 2015

So when the final client pays again and again the agency for translating the same text, but the person who translated it in the first place gets nothing, that's perfectly OK?

The client doesn't have to pay the agency, if they go to the effort of taking out the matches in the text...should the agency cry foul as well?

Try telling a writer that he will get zilch for the second, third ... editions because he already wrote his book for the first edition, and he's not going to write it again, so ...

[Edited at 2015-04-20 01:27 GMT]

You want to work like a writer? Do you know that most writers don't make any money on their writings?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Daryo Apr 20, 2015

Daryo wrote:
So when the final client pays again and again the agency for translating the same text, but the person who translated it in the first place gets nothing, that's perfectly OK?


You don't know if the end-client pays the full amount each time. In fact, I think it's more likely that the end-client is getting a discount as well.

But even if the end-client pays the full amount, why would that be a problem? That is how buying and selling works, after all: you buy for little and sell for a lot. The agency is not a non-profit organisation.

Try telling a writer that he will get zilch for the second, third ... editions because he already wrote his book for the first edition...


This is different, because it relates to the payment of royalties, and the contracts of book authors (book translators) usually contain terms and conditions related to where and how the text may be published. Business-to-business translators (that's us) don't work that way. You're welcome to try it, though... see if any agency is willing to work with you if you want to be paid per usage instead of per delivery.



[Edited at 2015-04-20 10:27 GMT]


 
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