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Poll: How long do you normally keep completed translations on file?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:56
SITE STAFF
Jan 2, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long do you normally keep completed translations on file?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mette Melchior

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Eva H  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:56
Member (2008)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Never delete them Jan 2, 2009

I checked "More than a year" but actually, I do not ever delete them.

[Edited at 2009-01-02 23:32 GMT]


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 16:56
Not 100% certain, Jan 2, 2009

but I think according to German or EU regulation, a translator has to keep the files for at least 7 years.

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Spiros Doikas  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
English to Greek
+ ...
1% Jan 2, 2009

I see 1% have voted:

"I delete the files immediately after delivery"

This is hardly a safe professional policy. On the contrary, one should have back ups on top of that.


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
I keep everything Jan 2, 2009

Storage is cheap, I have everything I have ever done in electronic format over my career as a translator.

I've had clients come back to me years later to see if I had still had the materials because they had lost them, and it has also helped me resolve some issues and trace back who had done what on projects involving multiple updates.

It's valuable material, why would you just toss it?


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I keep them for years Jan 2, 2009

I keep folders for each year for each client. Once a client asked me if I still had a job that was over a year old! The only time I lost some of these jobs was when I switched computers a few years back. Other than that, they're all safe and sound in their folders.

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vicksy nurhayati  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 02:56
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Never delete them Jan 2, 2009

I've never deleted them.

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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 14:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I never delete them Jan 3, 2009

I never do, as many times companies come back (especially when translating websites) and ask for extra translations. In this way, I have previous texts translated for such company that I can use with the same terminology.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I keep very little Jan 3, 2009

Most of my clients require that all electronic copies be deleted and all paper copies be returned or shredded. I always thought that this was standard practice for private and confidential material.

[Edited at 2009-01-03 01:02 GMT]


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Spiros Doikas  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
English to Greek
+ ...
Most... Jan 3, 2009

translation work is hardly private and confidential material -:)

And what will you do if your client, some days/weeks/months later, says they lost the translations?

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Most of my clients require that all electronic copies be deleted and all paper copies be returned or shredded. I always thought that this was standard practice for private and confidential material.

[Edited at 2009-01-03 01:02 GMT]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Once a year I move them to external disk Jan 3, 2009

I organize all in one folder called work200x. When the jobs of the previous year are done I still keep them on my disk, but the next year I'll move them to the external disk, so the number of files stays at a manageable level.
That reminds me, I have to create a new folder for the work coming in.

Regards
Heinrich


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:56
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
The same as Heinrich Jan 3, 2009

I do the same as Heinrich but I don't have an external disk. I move my files to a CD for each year. It comes in handy because sometimes I can use an old translation, for example of certain diplomas, as a template for a new one. Or, if I get a translation that builds upon a previous document, for example with medical trials or court cases, I re-read the old text to refresh my memory.

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Istiani Prajoko  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 02:56
Member (2008)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Never Jan 3, 2009

I keep everything in a good order, the hard copies and soft copies, and sometimes I still review them.

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matteo brambilla  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:56
English to Italian
+ ...
> 1 year Jan 3, 2009

I chose this option even if, actually, I never delete anything I've translated on my PC

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Mette Melchior  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:56
English to Danish
+ ...
I consult TMs rather than files for future reference Jan 3, 2009

Thanks for your input. I suggested this poll as I was interested in your practices regarding this. In the 2-3 years I have been working as a freelancer I haven't deleted anything yet and have also several times had clients coming back asking for old translations. However, apart from requests within a couple of months from delivery about changes or corrections to the source text, what they normally want is the TM for a particular end client, since theirs have been corrupted or lost, or an update of a previous translation.

Since almost all the work I do is done using a CAT tool, I also rather use my TMs and glossaries for reference and terminology than the actual files, except from in relation to certain legal documents where I also consult the documents themselves for a quick overview.

Finally, if your work is saved in TMs you can always generate the translation again from a copy of the original file, so I don't see why I should store all files forever, like some suggest. But for now, I think I will use Heinrichs approach and start moving the files from previous years away from my work computer.


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