Poll: Do you ever change the terms used in a TM?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:39
Jun 13, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever change the terms used in a TM?".

This poll was originally submitted by TREX2. View the poll results »


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
English to German
+ ...
Yes. Jun 13, 2012

With some long-term clients in the otherwise fast-paced US industries I have outlived up to three generations of marketing directors, product managers, and the likes. I never work with TMs from a third party / other translators because I refuse to take 100% responsibility and liability for anything that I didn't produce in my office, but each and every shift in my clients' management will result in serious changes of terminology, including technical terms.


christela (X)
Yes, of course Jun 13, 2012

When I am using my own TM: if I see that I was wrong or if other terms suit better.
When using other people's TM: I use the TMs in the same way as other stuff: it is raw material, just as Wikipedia or other articles. I am hired for that, for having some critical sense, and if they want the TM to be followed slavishly they have other persons. (prices are not the same.

PS Thanks to Nicole!

[Edited at 2012-06-13 09:29 GMT]


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2012

I might occasionally modify my own TMs, but prefer not to work with TMs provided by clients if I can avoid it (I've never come up against one I approved of 100%).

If I REALLY have to use someone else's terms, it is usually grudgingly. My friend says it's a personality defect due to an inferiority complex, but I usually just think my solutions are better.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
English to German
+ ...
Isn't this simply called "evolution" or something? Jun 13, 2012

neilmac wrote:
My friend says it's a personality defect due to an inferiority complex, but I usually just think my solutions are better.



Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
Member (2006)
German to English
Yes Jun 13, 2012

but only after consulting my customer (if they are my regular ones) and I just do it if not as they probably would not even notice it


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Of course, if they are out of date or just plain wrong Jun 13, 2012

TMs are made by human beings. We're all fallible, so TMs are not carved in stone.

I like the feature where I can see who contributed them to the TM - I have exchanged TMs with trusted colleagues, but I have also been sent agency TMs, and if I find a mistake, then I check carefully, but correct it and notify the agency when I send the tmx return.

I have even been paid once or twice to go through a TM and change all references to a particular term, when the client changed its preferred term.

If a TM is not kept up to date, then it gets unreliable and should not be used.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Terms evolve Jun 13, 2012

Of course I change words in a TM, especially if they are my own TMs. If I am working with the client's TM, of course I tell him/her that I reserve the right to change words if they're inaccurate or plain wrong.

This reminds me of glossaries. Sometimes, people think that glossaries are written once and that's that, that no changes are supposed to happen, so they don't allow any. Clearly this flies in the face of reality: language changes.


Teresa Reinhardt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Isn't this simply called "dinosaur" or something like that? Jun 13, 2012

Just kidding; I'll be the first to admit - proudly - that I am one.

I can only agree with Nicole & everyone else who does not trust
external TM's. They are only as good as the care they get, which in a bottom-line oriented organization tends to be as little as possible. Not to mention that many agencies and end clients have starved their core staff (thanks to "lean [and mean]" management) to the point where they just don't have the expertise in-house anymore.

I know of one former client who has meanwhile issued a glossary that supersedes the TM...
so one more flawed reference I am supposed to use, while giving discounts for "matches."

If you edit a lot, you know what the recycling of such material produces (GIGO).

Uh uh, NOT if I can help it. Thank the goddess Iustitia for courts who hold on to 19th c. document 'technology' (I still get hand-written stuff...)


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Do you ever change the terms used in a TM?

Advanced search

CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »

  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search