Poll: How old is the oldest translation you have re-used from your TM? (min. 3 sentences)
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
Jun 4, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How old is the oldest translation you have re-used from your TM? (min. 3 sentences)".

This poll was originally submitted by Wolfgang Jörissen. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:55
Member
German to English
+ ...
I have no idea! Jun 4, 2012

It's not something I particularly notice. Occasionally something will come up of which I have no recollection and it'll turn out to be from 2005 or something. Greater than nine years is not inconceivable.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me neither Jun 4, 2012

Search me. A ballpark figure might be 3 or 4 years, but that's just off the top of my head. If I spent my time keeping tabs on details like this, I don't think I'd ever get any actual work done.

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Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:55
English to Spanish
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Same here Jun 4, 2012

Not something I worry about if the sentence is right...

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:55
German to English
+ ...
Other Jun 4, 2012

I don't use TMs.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Interesting question Jun 4, 2012

... although I have no idea either.

My TMs go back a fair way, so at least in theory some of the big ones have content that is more than nine years old. I am not sure about three sentences in a row however.

But there are standard formulations, for instance in consent forms for participation in clinical trials, which have not been altered much, if at all, for years.

Probably the legal blurb about settling disputes in contracts too, though that is sometimes very fuzzy - the principle is the same, but there are lots of variations, so three sentences in a row directly from the TM would be rare.

Going back less than nine or ten years - well, that is what you have TMs for, and even though my work is comparatively unrepetitive, there will be plenty of examples.

I proofread against the source without reference to the TM, so if the sentence is correct, why change it?

There is the danger, of course, of thinking you know and relying on the TM when for instance a new government has just reshuffled all the ministries...

Thanks for a good poll!


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:55
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other ... Jun 4, 2012

Haven't a clue!

Mind you, I will start noticing things and jumping to attention if a client has given me a clustermess TM full of mistakes or containing translations done by 3 or more translators. I recently had to use a TM containing a mish-mash of TUs done or "maintained" by 11 translators!

And, why the red herring "min. 3 sentences"? Mind-boggling.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
How relevant is it? Jun 4, 2012

Paula Hernández wrote:

Not something I worry about if the sentence is right...


If the sentence feels right for the context, for the audience, for the times we live in, why worry about the age of a translation? Why 3 sentences minimum? Do you keep a TM with 3 sentences someplace?

Aged TUs in a TM are no problem if they are well constructed. Exceptions are those mentioned by Julian earlier.

I'll file this question in the same category as "How many angels fit in a pinhead?"


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:55
Italian to English
Unboggling your mind Jun 4, 2012

Julian Holmes wrote:

And, why the red herring "min. 3 sentences"? Mind-boggling.



It's not such a silly stipulation, really.

I have single-word and very short units that have been regularly recycled since I started using Trados in the mid-1990s (standard category headings from wine descriptions, for a start). A three-sentence minimum means you are recycling a more complex concatenation of reasoned thought, as opposed to a stand-alone term like "Palato:" /"Palate:", which correctly gets segmented on its own because the following colon marks the end of a segment in most of my TMs.

In fact, I do regularly refer to longer segments that I created in the early 2000s, and probably before that, via Studio's concordance. Boilerplate terminology can be handled by MultiTerm but for less frequent phrases why waste a felicitous rendering on just one job, provided you don't overdo it? In this case, though, it's only a phrase that gets recycled, not the entire segment.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:55
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Need more deboggling Jun 4, 2012

@Giles Watson - thank you for the unboggling

I'd like to say "Elementary, dear Watson," but this part of the legendary Holmes-Watson dynamic duo is, well, not feeling too dynamic and somewhat confused by the matter in hand.

After careful and deliberate thought, I have come to the conclusion that the term "min. 3 sentences" is the misleading culprit. I do think that the author is referring to a TM comprising 3 or more TUs and not sentences.

I'm sure that you'd be in agreement with me that TMs ought to live to a ripe old vintage containing the fruit of our hard sweat and labour.
I suppose a single TU could, at the stretch of the imagination, contain around three or so sentences, if one should wish to create such as a hybrid and light-bodied TM in the first place. However, a TM is a knowledge base which should not see an untimately end at the unripe young age of two whole TUs. Poor things!

And we are not dealling with the issue of how TUs are handled but how they have stood the test of time and mellowed and matured over the years -- an issue that one such as myself who has been translating for close on three decades (not sentences) might sit back and reflect on occasionally.

Methinks, I should pluck away on the old fiddle to set my mind right on this indeed mind-boggling matter.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:55
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Three sentences wil take you beyond the really standard snippets Jun 4, 2012

I suppose it is a little arbitrary, but I understand the 'three sentence' stipulation as a means of getting beyond the really standard snippets like 'page x of y', 'yours sincerely' and standard headings in any field, like Giles Watson's Palato/Palate.

Temperature, blood pressure, pulse, or whatever you specialise in.


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:55
English to German
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Other Jun 4, 2012

With David.

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:55
German to English
+ ...
About a year Jun 4, 2012

Recently got two translations a second time which were very similar to what the client published last year.
I only got Trados Studio 2011 in January this year (and not the one with all the bells and whistles, so my TM is unedited). Cannot wait to get all the bells and whistles!

With the first "repeat", I copied and pasted last year's translation into Trados. The TM itself was not that useful (except for paragraph headings, and the like), but the concordance function was, from the "delightful turn of phrase" perspective.

With the second repeat, occasional reference to last year's translation was all I needed, so I did not integrate any of that into Trados.


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