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Free TM?
Thread poster: Thayenga

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Jul 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

an agency client gave me a job of approx. 14+K words, and had already deducted the "matches" of any kind (100%, Fuzzies, > 10%), resulting in paying only for 7,500 words. I had agreed to it because it seemed "fair" due to all the "real" matches and repetitions, although the items (a list of products) were changed by a number or a letter in just about every column, requiring meticulous attention.

The client now wants the cleaned-up finalized, and polished TM-file. This is the first time this is happening to me. Having accepted the deductions already (unpaid editing and proofreading), I am not sure if I should just give away my TM as an additional "bonus". (This would reduce my actual income even more.)

Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Best,

Thayenga


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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:59
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Confused Jul 9, 2016

If you sent them the bilingual file, surely they have the TM already, they just need to import it from the file you delivered?

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I give them gladly Jul 9, 2016

When I am asked to give a TM, I simply give it. What the customer wants from me is my expertise, and having the TM does not reduce my chances of being hired again by a reasonable customers (unreasonable customers I gladly shed away).

My experience shows that customers who request a copy of [yes, in my opinion, their] TM only want to have it as a backup in case they cannot reach you, you are not available for some urgent job, or you retire, but they do come back as usual after having the TM. And, may I mention that, if you did not give them the TM, they would be annoyed by the nuisance of having to build one by alignment.


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Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
German to English
Is the agency also in Germany? Jul 9, 2016

If so, then current jurisprudence says that unless there is an explicit agreement that you will send the TM, you don't have to. You are the "Urheberin" and the TM constitutes a separate work from the translation itself. Are you a BDÜ member? There was an MDÜ issue in mid-2014 that dealt with this problem and talks about the court decisions. Maybe you can get your hands on it and read up, but the long and short of it is that according to German law, you have the rights to your TM separately from the translation. You are obligated to send the translation, but not the TM if it wasn't explicitly part of the contract. Of course they can pay later and get it, but that is a separate agreement.

If you're in Germany and the agency is somewhere else, I'm guessing the agency has a stipulation in their contract that the place of jurisdiction is whatever country they're in. Then you'll have to get someone in that country to give you some advice.


I should add: That was just the legal side of it to answer your question about whether you have to. Whether you *should* is another matter. I would only withhold it if I was ok with burning my bridges with that agency and felt that I had been so underpaid for a project that I needed to sell the TM to make up some of the difference. If you're planning on working with the agency in the future, though, just give them the TM.

[Edited at 2016-07-09 19:03 GMT]


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:59
English to German
+ ...
Thoughts Jul 9, 2016

Kelly Neudorfer wrote:

I would only withhold it if I was ok with burning my bridges with that agency and felt that I had been so underpaid for a project that I needed to sell the TM to make up some of the difference. If you're planning on working with the agency in the future, though, just give them the TM.

[Edited at 2016-07-09 19:03 GMT]


"Just" giving someone a new or expanded/corrected TM who has already deducted/discounted as many words as possible (arbitrarily really, if you think about it) in order not to burn your bridges wouldn't be my advice. More like "sell them the TM" and don't work with them again. My advice is to always assess the work as thoroughly as possible before you begin, be clear about keeping or selling the TM when they want you to work with their TM or want you to create one. And deductions for a specific number of words (because they are part of segments found to contain matches based on somebody else's TM and arbitrary deduction schemes)? No thank you. We all live and learn.

[Edited at 2016-07-10 01:39 GMT]


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Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
German to English
We agree, though Jul 9, 2016

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Kelly Neudorfer wrote:

I would only withhold it if I was ok with burning my bridges with that agency and felt that I had been so underpaid for a project that I needed to sell the TM to make up some of the difference. If you're planning on working with the agency in the future, though, just give them the TM.

[Edited at 2016-07-09 19:03 GMT]


"Just" giving someone a new or expanded/corrected TM who has already deducted/discounted as many words as possible (arbitrarily really, if you think about it) in order not to burn your bridges wouldn't be my advice. More like "sell them the TM" and don't work with them again. My advice is to always assess the work as thoroughly as possible before you begin, be clear about keeping or selling the TM when they want you to work with their TM or want you to create one. And deductions for a specific number of words (because they are part of segments found to contain matches based on somebody else's TM and arbitrary deduction schemes)? No thank you. We all live and learn.

[Edited at 2016-07-09 19:23 GMT]


But you would be burning your bridges, yes? That's all I was saying. For the record, my choice in this situation would be to do just that - tell them that if they want the TM they will have to pay XX (assuming that's the legal situation in the country in question), and I would not be accepting any jobs from them in the future. An offer that includes no payment for any matches above 10% is absurd.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 19:59
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Suggestion Jul 9, 2016

Offer to do the cleaning and polishing for a fee, and tell them that they can have the unpolished TM for free (which they should be able to create from the translation anyway). Whether they are willing to negotiate on that front would be a good indication on whether you should work with them again.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Give it if you can give it Jul 10, 2016

Thayenga wrote:
The client now wants the cleaned-up finalized, and polished TM-file.


If your workflow allows you to provide a polished TM, then simply give it.

However, if producing a polished TM will involve additional work for you (more than, say, 10 minutes), then explain to the client that you did not generate a polished TM at the end of your translation, and that you can provide it for a fee. The fee would be 1 hour of extraction and comparison (i.e. comparison between the latest version of the TM and the latest version of the translation), and then a number of hours of manual fixing based on the comparison report.

Sometimes, if a client can tell me *beforehand* that he wants an updated TM, then I can change my workflow without any extra effort or difficulty to accommodate his request. (But sometimes it would mean extra effort, even if you know about the request beforehand.) If he was to come with that request afterwards, then I may not have followed a workflow that would have allowed me to just click a button to generate the polished TM.

Having accepted the deductions already (unpaid editing and proofreading), I am not sure if I should just give away my TM as an additional "bonus".


Your editing and proofreading was not unpaid. It was included in the price that you agreed to.

The price of the job was calculated using weighted words, true, but if this had made you feel that those two services were "unpaid", then your base rate was too low, or the fuzzy match grid was unsatisfactory.

==

I wonder if it would be ethical for you to create a "freebie" TM for this client by aligning the original source text against the final target text, using paragraph segmentation...


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
What are we talking about? Jul 10, 2016

Thayenga wrote:

The client now wants the cleaned-up finalized, and polished TM-file.



What is a "cleaned-up finalized and polished TM file? You created a translation using a TM. Your translation should be "finalized" and "polished". So why can't you just send them the TM of your translation?

I just don't understand what you are talking about.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you... Jul 10, 2016

for your replies and for sharing your opinions.

Angela Rimmer wrote:
If you sent them the bilingual file, surely they have the TM already, they just need to import it from the file you delivered?

I only upload the translation. But they do have the source text.

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

My experience shows that customers who request a copy of [yes, in my opinion, their] TM only want to have it as a backup in case they cannot reach you, you are not available for some urgent job, or you retire, but they do come back as usual after having the TM. And, may I mention that, if you did not give them the TM, they would be annoyed by the nuisance of having to build one by alignment.


It seems that in this case the TM will be used to translate all following projects since the columns are inter-exchangeable. So no more like projects for me.

Kelly Neudorfer wrote:

If so, then current jurisprudence says that unless there is an explicit agreement that you will send the TM, you don't have to. You are the "Urheberin" and the TM constitutes a separate work from the translation itself. Are you a BDÜ member? There was an MDÜ issue in mid-2014 that dealt with this problem and talks about the court decisions.
If you're in Germany and the agency is somewhere else, I'm guessing the agency has a stipulation in their contract that the place of jurisdiction is whatever country they're in.


Thank you for the tip, Kelly. I will read the discussion. My client is located in Europe, but not in Germany, so I’d have to look up their respective laws.

The *should matter * is indeed an aspect to be taken into consideration.

[/quote]

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

"Just" giving someone a new or expanded/corrected TM who has already deducted/discounted as many words as possible (arbitrarily really, if you think about it) in order not to burn your bridges wouldn't be my advice. More like "sell them the TM" and don't work with them again. My advice is to always assess the work as thoroughly as possible before you begin, be clear about keeping or selling the TM when they want you to work with their TM or want you to create one. And deductions for a specific number of words (because they are part of segments found to contain matches based on somebody else's TM and arbitrary deduction schemes)? No thank you. We all live and learn.


As always, Bernhard, straight to the point and no sugar-coating. Yes, whether to burn the bridges or continue working with this client needs to be given some serious thought.

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Offer to do the cleaning and polishing for a fee, and tell them that they can have the unpolished TM for free (which they should be able to create from the translation anyway). Whether they are willing to negotiate on that front would be a good indication on whether you should work with them again.


I will give it a try and see what they’ll say.

Samuel Murray wrote:
However, if producing a polished TM will involve additional work for you (more than, say, 10 minutes), then explain to the client that you did not generate a polished TM at the end of your translation, and that you can provide it for a fee. The fee would be 1 hour of extraction and comparison (i.e. comparison between the latest version of the TM and the latest version of the translation), and then a number of hours of manual fixing based on the comparison report.

Sometimes, if a client can tell me *beforehand* that he wants an updated TM, then I can change my workflow without any extra effort or difficulty to accommodate his request. (But sometimes it would mean extra effort, even if you know about the request beforehand.) If he was to come with that request afterwards, then I may not have followed a workflow that would have allowed me to just click a button to generate the polished TM.


There was something on their platform regarding the TM…which I overlooked, it seems.

However, the nature of the translation didn’t enable me to produce a polished TM during the translation process. Additionally, there is a sound chance that their client will request some changes (no typos ). This means that I will definitely have to adjust the original TM which will take quite some time due to its nature.

Samuel Murray wrote:

I wonder if it would be ethical for you to create a "freebie" TM for this client by aligning the original source text against the final target text, using paragraph segmentation...


This would be my current TM.

Siegfried Armbruster wrote:


What is a "cleaned-up finalized and polished TM file? You created a translation using a TM. Your translation should be "finalized" and "polished". So why can't you just send them the TM of your translation?


One that includes all possible client requested changes after having received the (flawless) translation. Also, for some reason WordFast Pro did not “capture” all segments when I uploaded the source file, which I didn’t discover until checking it against the original file (Excel).

As mentioned before, this will most probably result in future translation, which don’t require a translator.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:59
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Still don't see the point... Jul 10, 2016

I read the whole thread, but I still fail to see the point.

You knew the source was 14k and agreed to their weighted word-count, so that can't be the issue (or is it?). The only TM they might require from you is the one resulting from your translation, therefore no additional work involved there. If, on the other hand, they asked you to work on the other TUs from the legacy TM they gave you, then that would be an additional and separate editing job...

Besides, if the source file was an Excel sheet, and you delivered an Excel file with the translation, then aligning it to create a TM would be a breeze anyway...

However, if, as you wrote in your last post, the issue actually are "possible client requested changes after having received the (flawless) translation", then that's a different matter entirely... If a client asks for arbitrary changes to a translation (especially after delivery), then IMO that's the real issue, not the TM...


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Sandra& Kenneth  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 14:59
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
No. Jul 11, 2016

What I understand is that, after your agreed on getting paid for half the job, you will now agree to implement the customer's changes and provide the final TM.
Sounds like adding insult to injury. You can provide your own TM, but not the finalized and polished TM of a job you should have received, but didn't.

This is extra work that should be billed separately.


My take.

Sandra

[Edited at 2016-07-11 11:25 GMT]


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Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:59
Dutch to English
+ ...
flawless / polished / finalized Jul 12, 2016

I don't understand the problem here either... you say you sent a 'flawless' translation. What is all this polishing and finalizing about? It's part of translating isn't it? Why did the client request changes? Who implemented them? Didn't you do that in the CAT? Even if you didn't, it would take about 2 mins to reload the newer version in your CAT and accept the changes, then export the TM? It's not a lot to ask for 7000 paid words, IMHO.

I am a great believer in sharing knowledge, and we all benefit immensely from things like wikipedia, linguee and all the other free online information (even Kudoz..). Even so, there does seem to be a pervading antiquated mentality among translators of owning something they've already been paid for. A TM is nothing secret, it's just a different file of something already out there. I always send a TM if the client asks, and it hasn't harmed my workload!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Richard and @Mirco Jul 12, 2016

Richard Purdom wrote:
You say you sent a 'flawless' translation. What is all this polishing and finalizing about? ... Didn't you do that in the CAT? Even if you didn't, it would take about 2 mins to reload the newer version in your CAT and accept the changes...


I'm not sure what CAT you're using (tell us, perhaps?) or what CAT Mrs Montana used. But what you describe isn't possible in any CAT tool that I'm aware of.

In most CAT tools (except non-extracting ones, like WFC), you often have to proofread the final file in the final format. The CAT tool can extract formatting tags etc, and you can sometimes apply formatting in the target that is not present in the source (not always possible, and not always simple), but ultimately you have to check the target file in the final format to ensure that nothing broke.

And when you've done that, you can't simply "reload the newer version in your CAT" (you'd have to have kept track of your edits in the final file, and then manually update the CAT file with those edits, one by one by one).

There is no rule in CAT translation that says that the translator *must* always perform all tasks in the CAT tool. I mean, unless the client told you beforehand to do so, or said something that lead you to believe that the client would want that, it is not unreasonable for a translator to not have done so.

We use the CAT tool for what's useful, and then continue with the translation (e.g. proofreading it) outside the CAT tool, if that is faster/more efficient. And then we decide whether it's worth updating the TM with our edits or not (it's isn't always).

Mirko Mainardi wrote:
The only TM they might require from you is the one resulting from your translation, therefore no additional work involved there.


Suppose you ran a spell-check on the final file (i.e. in e.g. MS Word, outside your CAT tool, because e.g. the MS Word spell-checker is much better than the one bundled with your CAT tool), then your edits in the final format will not be reflected in the CAT tool, and therefore not in the TM either. You can send the client your TM, but it will be a raw TM, with unfixed errors in it.



[Edited at 2016-07-12 10:09 GMT]


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Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:59
Dutch to English
+ ...
samuel Jul 12, 2016

Samuel Murray wrote:

I'm not sure what CAT you're using (tell us, perhaps?) or what CAT Mrs Montana used. But what you describe isn't possible in any CAT tool that I'm aware of.


Yeah sure, memoQ 2014 and on, using the 'import reviewed document' option.


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