Poll: Do you like using outsourcers' project management/translation platforms?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:42
Oct 17, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you like using outsourcers' project management/translation platforms?".

This poll was originally submitted by Gabriella Vento. View the poll results »


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2006)
German to English
Depends Oct 17, 2016

Most of them I use are fine - Plunet, a few company own sites.
No real problem and I must admit that some of them have their own invoicing system which takes a lot of work off my hands as well as paper.

So, in general, I am open for these sorts of things.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends Oct 17, 2016

Plunet, as set up by one of my favourite clients, is fine.
It is easily accessible and saves me time with invoicing, because the automatically generated invoices meet the requirements of my accountant and the tax authorities. They can simply be checked and printed out.

Others are a real pain - they require numerous passwords, logins, identity codes and nicknames, and may demand a new one every three months, which means every time I consider working for the agency.

Some do not allow me to invoice the same month as I deliver the translation, and THEN want 30 days credit from the end of the invoicing month. That is simply a way to get round the EU 30-day regulation.

I note both types as agencies I don't usually work with - their rates do not usually justify the hassle.

I tell agencies politely but firmly what I think of their platforms, because the best appreciate feedback and really try to make platforms user-friendly, and it gives the others something to think about.

[Edited at 2016-10-17 10:12 GMT]


Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:42
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Depends... Oct 17, 2016

I prefer one-to-one (direct email) communication with a project manager or client to deal with queries and all other aspects (confirmation of assignment, deadlines, rates, etc.).

As regards translation platforms, such as WordBee, I have found that the translation memories provided by clients for new jobs are not always complete, up-to-date and consistent, because one's translations were probably handled by different project managers in the past. This means that, for instance, if you have been working for a specific investment fund for years, not all the previous translation memories will be available to you for new translations for that same fund. A lot of terms which were researched by you and approved by the client some years ago will not necessarily show up in the translation memory of a new job assigned to you. This is a very negative aspect, which happens frequently.

Until now, I have also found that my own billing system is easier to function with than the one provided by clients' platforms. I like to have easy and immediate control/access to my list of invoices, and I can only have that if I have my own (centralized) system in my own computer which gives me an overall view of what I have billed and what has not been paid yet.

So, there are a few "ifs" to be considered...


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Oct 17, 2016

In general, I prefer to work in the manner to which I'm accustomed - my way. In fact, I've never worked with project management platforms per se, as far as I know. One agency made me use Deja Vu, which was okay, although I prefer my own software (WF Classic), but that's not really a platform, simply a cat tool.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wha? Oct 17, 2016

What is an outsourcer? Can the author dispense with buzzwords, please? As if the previous discussion over translators being called/referred to as resources wasn't enough!



Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Oh definitely Oct 17, 2016

They're just so much faster and more user-friendly.

Especially when you have to master half-a-dozen different ones. All those extra neural pathways for free!

To think how disorganised I used to get having to juggle up to three jobs at once using my own head.

And how did I ever manage to complete a translation without all that high-quality crowd-sourced fuzzy expertise to help me?


Teresa Borges
Local time: 10:42
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Oct 17, 2016

On the one hand, when there is a problem it’s impossible to discuss and reason with a machine and, on the other hand, Portuguese tax authorities don’t accept these automatically generated invoices and I have to redo them… Fortunately my regular clients don’t use them; I only have two very sporadic clients who work with translation management platforms.


EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Depends Oct 17, 2016

more on how often I use them than on their actual quality - I find Plunet awful, but it may be because I seldom use it and don't know how. I like my main client's platform, because I am used to it (although I am sure I use only a tiny portion of what it can do).
The main problem is the multitude of different platforms. When you have about 50 active clients and half of them use platforms (each a different one, except the few who use Plunet), it's a mess.


Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Italian to English
+ ...
never been asked Oct 17, 2016

none of the agencies I work for has ever proposed such a thing ...

At the most, Studio with an online memory and/or Termbase.

[Edited at 2016-10-17 14:33 GMT]


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not at all Oct 17, 2016

- They usually don't have half the features of our own CAT, above all your TM and TB;
- You usually have to type a lot more and spend a much longer time translating than with your own stuff;
- They usually don't allow you to export YOUR OWN TM! You help the 'outsourcer' build their mega-TM but add nothing to now your own;
- Wile working on a third-party TM, you are collaborating for them to hire translators for 'post-editing' jobs instead of translations in the near future;
- You depend on a good connection, and you cannot work off-line;
- I could add another 35 items to this list, but I have no time...


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2008)
English to Italian
NO Oct 17, 2016

No.. I was asked to use them and every time it is a lot of time that goes wasted.


Chie. I  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:42
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
may be efficient sometimes but... Oct 17, 2016

Ana Vozone wrote:

I prefer one-to-one (direct email) communication with a project manager or client to deal with queries and all other aspects (confirmation of assignment, deadlines, rates, etc.).

So, there are a few "ifs" to be considered...

Same here too much automation makes me think as if there are no colleague around.


Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:42
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Generally, I hate them Oct 18, 2016

In my experience, these online systems, particularly those for invoicing, are a real pain to use. Time-consuming, inefficient, confusing and, worst of all, pay-delaying.

I'm thinking in particular of a certain UK translation agency which was pleasant to work for until it INSISTED that translators MUST use its new online invoicing mechanism or they wouldn't get paid. Their system was so Byzantine and impenetrable that it took me ten failed attempts to send my invoice - far longer than the small job had taken to translate - before I gave up and sent my invoice by post. Either their system was seriously flawed or their staff were incapable of explaining how to use it.

I think it's the same agency as the one Christine Andersen has referred to here. The one where they change your "password" and "nickname" every ten minutes or so.
Finally, I asked them to remove me from their database of translators.

Why all this complexity? What could be simpler than the "old-fashioned" method of exchanging emails with attachments?


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Poll: Do you like using outsourcers' project management/translation platforms?

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