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Poll: Do you delete all documents after delivering a project to your client?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 06:04
Jul 31, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you delete all documents after delivering a project to your client?".

This poll was originally submitted by Yetta J Bogarde. View the poll results »


Béatrice DEZERALD  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
Only if the client asks... Jul 31, 2014

which never happened


Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:04
German to English
+ ...
Since clients... Jul 31, 2014

... sometimes ask for a translation I did months or even years before, that alone is a good reason not to delete the translation. Or it happens that an end client asks for a new translation of a document that is related to the old translation. It would be silly to no longer have the work on record.

On one occasion I was asked to delete the records of a highly confidential and sensitive document, and of course I did so.


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Jul 31, 2014

I have been asked to once or twice and have done so, but I do wonder whether there is much point. As I understand it, anyone who really wanted to could still get the info off your computer - or do I just read too many cheap thrillers?

Most of the work I do is market-sensitive but generally we just use bog-standard unencrypted email anyway. Makes me wonder how paranoid you really need to be.


Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:04
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Jul 31, 2014

I'd rather keep everything. Certainly, I want to keep copies of my work until I have been paid just in case I have to take legal action and then the work itself will constitute the most important piece of evidence that I performed my side of the bargain. Once I have been paid, I still prefer to retain a copy on a memory stick. I just feel that a query about work I have done may come years later and it would be useful to have the translation to refer back to - although this has never actually happened. If the client specifically requests that no copies be kept, this is fine, but they have to send me a signed statement saying that I have fulfilled all of my obligations and they are satisfied with the quality of the translation. Otherwise, how can I prove this in the event of a dispute?


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:04
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, always... Jul 31, 2014

... unless the client asks me to keep them.

It's part of my non-disclosure policy/procedure.

However I don't delete them immediately. Depending on the circumstances, I may keep them for a couple of months, just in case there is an additional request.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:04
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Depends Jul 31, 2014

Some clients demand this because it's required by some ISO standard or whatnot. They even send reminders 1 month after delivery, which really is meaningless since, if you're connected to the Internet, you are hackable and open to attack 24/7, anyway. Just love the Internet, don't you!? icon_smile.gif

However ... I try to keep TMs, reference materials and other valuable resources saved on non-volatile offline storage device for future use. You never know when they will come in handy.

I really would hate to delete something after delivery to hear from the client/customer that they never received it and want me to resend it. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!


Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:04
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
No Jul 31, 2014

Agree with Tim + you never know when and where it can be claimed: for a recurring/new order from the same customer, for another assignment (especially if you haven't created a TM), or for some other needs (without disclosure of any confidential issues, of course).


ArtefactHT  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
English to French
+ ...
Other - NA Jul 31, 2014

I do not. My professional association requires me to keep all documents on file for at least 3 years.


Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jul 31, 2014

Obviously, I would do so if the client requested it, but this has never happened.

However, this has:

Tim Drayton wrote:

I just feel that a query about work I have done may come years later

in my case, 5 years after delivery of the original translation. Fortunately, I still had the file and was able to resolve the issue.


Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
No Jul 31, 2014

I've never had a client ask me to do this.
I would if they did, but they haven't, so I haven't.

I delete information about projects that I didn't end up accepting, but I figure that's an industry standard for translators.


Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Italian to English
+ ...
No Jul 31, 2014

Under the terms of my professional-indemnity insurance, I have to keep job documents in the unlikely event of a claim.


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 07:04
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Never Jul 31, 2014

I have kept copies of all my translations on USB drives since the day I started. Sometimes people have lost their copy and ask me for another copy. Sometimes I use them as as an example, or even as a template, for a new, similar document.


Rudolf Frans Maulany  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
English to Indonesian
+ ...
No, except after 10 years Jul 31, 2014

No, I usually kept all documentation for about 10 years and delete it after this time.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:04
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Only if requested Jul 31, 2014

I don't delete anything except when a client insists on the destruction of all documents. Again, with the exception of the invoice, a must-keep.

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Poll: Do you delete all documents after delivering a project to your client?

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