On whom does the burden of TM maintenance fall in TEP?
Thread poster: Thomas Rebotier

Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:29
English to French
Apr 6, 2013

All agencies I work for at this point use TEP, and I am usually in the T and P steps, that is, I receive the track changes versions to aye or nay changes before finalizing. I do this free of charge. It sounds like extra work but by itself it usually goes really fast (most changes are improvements, so you just hop from change to change, rewrite or refuse very few, and accept all at the end), and it's a great way to become a better translator.

Now, one of my good clients has lately acquired a TM management system and as a result wishes to receive a TM at the end of each project, but they are asking me to update the TM I deliver in the T step with the changes in the E and P steps. It is turning that little extra step into a real step, taking maybe an extra 10% time over the original translation work.

What do you all think about this?

A related question is within your own process, do you proof only inside the CAT tool, or also outside? I need to proof outside, especially the spellcheck is better inside MS Word proper, and somehow I'm less blind to my own errors when I proof under a new format. So the TM maintenance issue comes up even internally in that case. I'd like to hear your opinion and practices.

[Edited at 2013-04-06 05:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-06 05:36 GMT]


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:29
Member (2002)
English to Russian
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MODERATOR
Hi Thomas Apr 6, 2013

Thomas Rebotier wrote:
... they are asking me to update the TM I deliver in the T step with the changes in the E and P steps. It is turning that little extra step into a real step, taking maybe an extra 10% time over the original translation work.


There is something I don't understand here: do you mean that you are updating the TM manually or what?


A related question is within your own process, do you proof only inside the CAT tool, or also outside? I need to proof outside, especially the spellcheck is better inside MS Word proper, and somehow I'm less blind to my own errors when I proof under a new format. So the TM maintenance issue comes up even internally in that case. I'd like to hear your opinion and practices.


The best way to save everybody's time is doing everything in the CAT tool, of course, and updating the TM at each step, as the work goes on, with overwriting the existing segments with the updated ones.


In case you would like to deliver error-free translations, I would recommend buying Verifika: it is inexpensive, and does more or less the same as XBench, but is much more customizable, has a user-friendly intuitive interface, good spell-checkers, half-automated correction of certain types of mistakes, and you don't even need opening the files.

Natalia


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm never sure if I'm doing it the best way Apr 6, 2013

I don't have any comment to make or help to give on your first point, Thomas. I do use Wordfast Classic, but only for my own purposes, and I've never been asked to deliver unclean files or a TM. I think it's unlikely that the client would get any leverage from it in my area: marketing simply doesn't lend itself to repetitions.
Thomas Rebotier wrote:
do you proof only inside the CAT tool, or also outside? I need to proof outside, especially the spellcheck is better inside MS Word proper, and somehow I'm less blind to my own errors when I proof under a new format. So the TM maintenance issue comes up even internally in that case. I'd like to hear your opinion and practices.

Now, that's a question I can identify with fully. I read through the bilingual version, and sometimes make some changes; and I hide the source segments and use Word's spell-checker etc (remember, I'm using Wf Classic, so I'm in Word), actually opening the segment if the change risks messing up the segment markers (or whatever they're called). But I do a final proofread on the clean file and I almost always change something. I suppose if I were delivering unclean files, I'd have to go back to that version. That seems like an awful lot of work to me. As it is, I'm reasonably happy to accept that my TM doesn't 100% reflect the delivered translation.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Updating a second file with changes is extra work Apr 6, 2013

Thomas Rebotier wrote:
All agencies I work for at this point use TEP, and I am usually in the T and P steps, that is, I receive the track changes versions to aye or nay changes before finalizing. I do this free of charge.


Well, I sometimes get my files back from E, but I don't consider that to be P. I usually don't mind checking the edits and making fixing any errors that have been introduced, and I consider this to be included in the price of T. To my mind, P is a separate task that should be done by a third person (unless you mean DTP/PDF P, in which case it is okay if the translator does it... if he gets paid for it separately).

Now, one of my good clients has lately acquired a TM management system and as a result wishes to receive a TM at the end of each project, but they are asking me to update the TM I deliver in the T step with the changes in the E and P steps.


I can understand why they want this (assuming that the format in which the E and P was done is not a bilingual format), but it is quite a bit of extra work, especially if you are expected to do it for free. Particularly if there were many changes to the text. Perhaps you should suggest to the client that they perform E and P in the bilingual format instead...?

Other that that, I think you should insist that what they are asking for is a separate task. The client is essentially asking you to update one document (the TM) with changes tracked in another file. This can't be included in the price of T. It would be okay if it was considered P, if P is paid for separately at the same or a similar rate as E, in my opinion.

A related question is within your own process, do you proof only inside the CAT tool, or also outside?


For the most part, I do E and P inside the bilingual format. In some cases, I really need to work on printouts, but even then try to print a two-column view. Either way, after I've made edits on paper, I transfer those edits back into the bilingual file, because that is typically what my clients want me to deliver.


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Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
to Natalie, Sheila and Sam Apr 6, 2013

Thank you for feedback!

Answering to Natalie: yes updating the TM manually is what I am asked to do. Namely, since I get a track changes version that I finalize, I have either to re-open the document in the CAT tool and report the changes one by one, or to realign the final version. This is a very recent request, the client just equipped their TM management tool, and I am in the process of deciding whether I will ask for compensation.

I don't agree that doing everything in the CAT tool is the way to go. It is best from the TM maintenance point of view, but at the cost of ultimate quality, so a bad thing, like programs designed to make the programming easier rather than the user happy. Some people seem to be comfortable proofing their work inside the CAT tool, like Natalie, and some don't, like Sheila and mself. Even then, I've seen high-end projects handled that way that had to be post-edited at the output in a very expensive way because of CAT tool behaviors I can only call bugs. There was nothing wrong about individual segments, except that sometimes the same English word, especially in isolation, requires different translations in French, etc. There are also formatting problems: if the English sentence starts with a bold phrase and then turns to regular font, you will get a single tag in the middle of the sentence... no way to create that "turn bold on" tag for the French that's no longer the first word... Like Yul Brynner used to say: etc., etc., etc.

I agree with Sam that this is not properly speaking a P step. However, I wonder how often you really get TEP. The only agencies that can afford it is when P is done in-house, but these agencies are most frequently second middleman, and they do E and P in one go... Not TEP according to the book. This is an entire different can of worms. TEP *with three persons involved* as a mass standard is IMO nearly gone. It's still the standard in high-stakes niches, like medical or legal, and the per word reflects it. But for run-of-the-mill technical translation the downwards pressure on prices have I think killed that full-model TEP. So, the P from the original translator, who gets the text back after at least 24 hours and often a bit later, is an acceptable cost-effective step...

[Edited at 2013-04-06 19:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-06 19:17 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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Trados Studio lets you use Track Changes Apr 7, 2013

Trados Studio 2011 is expensive, I know, but it lets you use the Word spelllchecker AND track changes.

Then you confirm the segments, and the TM is updated, so you can send the client the whole TM or filter out the last day's work as a .tmx as appropriate.
____________________

With the Workbench version of Trados, I used to print out the translated text and mark it manually with a red pen. (I agree, you need to look at the text away from the screen...)

I did not always make full corrections on paper, just marks for typos and so on.

Where rephrasing was necessary, I sometimes worked it out on paper first, and sometimes went directly to correcting the bilingual file, depending on how complicated it was.

If the client wanted tracked changes:

1. I saved a version of the bilingual file as RED, turned on Track Changes and corrected it. The Word spell checker works if you hide the source text, and the changes are tracked.

2. When I was finally satisfied, printing out etc. if necessary, I saved two copies of the edited bilingual version (as RED and CLEAN).

3. In the CLEAN version I approved all the changes at once, and turned off Track Changes.

4. Finally, I cleaned this version up with the options set to update the TM.

5. Then I could quickly make a .tmx if asked to, and send the client the RED file with the changes visible as well as the CLEAN file.
_________________

That way my TM was up to date, and clients could update theirs with the .tmx

It was all fairly fast, with very little repeated effort.

I think you can do something very similar with Wordfast Classic - I used it as a backup for a while when Trados went through an update, until SDL sorted out the bugs.


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Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Christine! But ... does the editor have to have Trados? Apr 9, 2013

I've had Studio 2011 for 18 months now and have used it for about 6 projects, total maybe 40k words, so it wasn't the smartest investment, and I've balked at forking more money for training, so I don't know all the features.

Are you telling me that I can import a tracked changes MS Word version and work all the changes automatically? Because really that would solve the entire problem. I can switch to Trados from WordFast, and deliver the clean MS Word get it back after the E step and add even more changes in my pseudo-P step, then automatically update the TM i created at first?

Or does the whole process have to occur in Trados Studio 2011? Because I doubt the editor would be using it, and even myself, as I say, I've seen mangled pages in the "clean" file from two of those 6 projects. And these were projects where I was given a trados project, I didn't even have the electronic source, just a PDF reference. The PDF had been digitalized and imported in Trados with no proofing of the digitalized version... I don't know how the whole process really happened, but I saw the result and it eally really justified my desire to proof in the final state--something I could not do on these projects since i had not been given the source, just a trados project to hand back. Turns out that the agency is really professional and has several stages of post-processing, paid work, where these issues can be fixed, but it speaks volumes against Trados. That was medical work, I guess the client can pay the additonal stages, but still. I *want* to proof in final version, at least until the CAT tool can give me a perfect WYSIWYG... So if the entire process has to be inside the CAT tool to let me handle track changes... It's still a no-no.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Studio 2011's tracks only work inside of Studio 2011 Apr 9, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:
Trados Studio 2011 is expensive, I know, but it lets you use the Word spelllchecker AND track changes.


Yes, but let's be clear about this (because I sense confusion): the "track changes" feature in Studio 2011 happens inside Studio 2011 only. You can't create an MS Word file, use track changes in that MS Word file, and then import the changed MS Word file back into Studio 2011. The changes must be made inside Studio 2011 itself. At least, that is what I gather from these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmpjoG1AKTw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3UF7fzPxb8

What you can do, however, is to use Studio 2011 SP2's "External Review" feature to export the translation into a two-column MS Word file, on which you can use MS Word's "track changes" feature, and then import that MS Word file back into Studio 2011, to update the TM. This "external review" does not retain layout, though -- it exports a bilingual file with two columns.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP9LAEFImzE

Note that at no step in either of the above processes does Studio 2011 create a normal MS Word file with the normal layout, with changes tracked. So if the client wants you to deliver a version of the actual translation (e.g. the MS Word file with all the layout), including tracked changes, then neither of these features in Studio 2011 will be of any help.

==

Thomas Rebotier wrote:
Are you telling me that I can import a tracked changes MS Word version and work all the changes automatically?


No, unfortunately not. Studio can only import a "tracked changes" MS Word file if that MS Word file was originally exported by Studio as an "external review" file (which has two columns).

Or does the whole process have to occur in Trados Studio 2011? Because I doubt the editor would be using it...


If the editor is willing to edit the MS Word file not with its usual formatting and layout, but in a two-column table layout, then your editor does not need to have Studio 2011. You just have to export an "external review" version of the file for the editor to work on.


[Edited at 2013-04-09 06:39 GMT]


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Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:29
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sam Apr 9, 2013

So, things are as feared... No real surprise, it would probably be very, very difficult to import and assign the tracked changes.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 03:29
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Could you get your client to align the text? Apr 9, 2013

Here I am assuming that somewhere there is a source document and a target, otherwise you don't get a TM.

If the translation is done without the CAT, it should still be possible to use WinAlign or the equivalent tool with your CAT to produce a bilingual document.

Then you could work within the CAT and make a tracked changes version of the bilingual document.

As long as you do not disturb the codes, and then only clean up the document after you have accepted the changes and turned off the Tracking, that would do it.

It might only be marginally easier than your method, and if the agency asks you to do the aligning, then you should certainly invoice them for the extra time.

Just a wild thought.


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