Agencies: some say why they do not like ProZ ; some prohibit use of KudoZ in work you do for them
Thread poster: Nikki Scott-Despaigne

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
French to English
Oct 18

When recently applying to agencies, some of them, essentially the more reputable ones, have clearly indicted that they do not like to use ProZ at all. Among the reasons mentioned are that they are inundated with bids from translators who do not meet their quality requirements. Further, they are not reassured by the possibility that confidentiality problems could arise via the KudoZ system. When applying to such agencies, in the NDA, it is sometimes required that the freelancer give a specific undertaking not to use the ProZ KudoZ or other similar online sources for terminology assistance. To be honest, I can understand their request.
Have others met with this?

Edit: to correct typo of "other".

[Edited at 2017-10-18 13:29 GMT]


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
No never Oct 18

First time I'm hearing of such a thing. On the contrary, some are proud of their BB ranking-to taken with a pinch of salt, of course, and invite you to have a look.

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mughwI
United States
Local time: 05:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
Indeed they do Oct 18

Two of my best agency clients have this prohibition in their NDAs/POs.

Part of their QA process also includes checking whether translators complied with this requirement. Quite a few go ahead and do it anyway, despite clearly being in breach of their contract.

smh


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Problematic Oct 18

One of my best clients specifically forbids the use of KudoZ. There have been times when I couldn't find the meaning of a term for love nor money, times when I would normally resort to KudoZ. Due to the confidentiality of some of the work, I hesitate even to ask one of my trusted colleagues, so I am really stumped. When this happens, I highlight the problem text in my translation, suggesting my best possible version of what it might mean. I then write the P.M. and ask her if their reviewer can take a close look for me and possibly help me out. I guess this approach is OK with them, because they continue to send me work.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Agency-level requirement? Oct 18

So some agencies are forbidding translators to ask for help from their peers when they're well and truly stumped, and that ban applies to anything you ever translate for this agency? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! It reeks of lawyer intervention and a*se -covering. I have a direct client who, in two years, has twice sent a "for your eyes only" text. His other texts aren't so confidential that I can't post a suitably anonymised excerpt for help. Few of my other clients object to that practice.

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inesec  Identity Verified
Latvia
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 18



[Edited at 2017-10-18 16:37 GMT]


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Confidentiality? Oct 18

Each KudoZ question only concerns a specific expression, and no names are named. Therefore, I fail to see how this could breach confidentiality. I have never encountered such a condition myself.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Solution Oct 19

I think that the obvious solution is that the freelancer puts the questions to the agency. As an intermediary, the agency is not just a postmaster and should expect and accept to relay questions to the client for clarification.

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Regi2006
Indonesia
Local time: 17:18
Member (2007)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Another solution Oct 19

Most of the terms that people want to translate are usually already written somewhere on the Internet, with different sentences, but similar contexts. Just Google it.

When you find it, you can copy and paste them as the context for your questions. So, you don't need to expose your client's document on ProZ.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:18
English to Portuguese
+ ...
On meeting quality requirements Oct 19

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

... they are inundated with bids from translators who do not meet their quality requirements. Further, they are not reassured by the possibility that confidentiality problems could arise via the KudoZ system.


The use of Kudoz won't make or break a translator's output quality. The same applies to Linguee.
Why shouldn't such prohibition apply to specific dictionaries as well?

A Brazilian EN < > PT bilingual dictionary dictionary was first published in the mid-1960s. Though it became quite popular for its comparatively large size, it was quite misleading for those who didn't master both languages. It often featured the most uncanny uses/meanings of words FIRST. Later, they got their act together, and it's a respected brand for dictionaries nowadays, so the name shall remain unmentioned here.

In order to give an example, in the 1970s I was working at a company, where a newly hired (somewhat self-claimed) bilingual secretary looked quite deft in translating, yet most of her skill came from the amazing speed she had in finding words in that very dictionary.

One day, the Marketing Director - our boss - suddenly burst in roaring laughter, all alone in his office. I went in there to check what had happened. As it turned out, the company manufactured "slurry pumps", locally known as "bombas de lama". The girl had translated the latter literally into English as "mud bombs"!!! ... on a business proposal for a couple dozen of these for the world's largest iron ore mining company. ("bomba" in PT may mean either a pump or a bomb in EN / "lama" in PT may mean slurry or mud in EN)

Therefore, IMHO it doesn't matter where a translator does his/her research; the issue is how much s/he knows of both languages to make an intelligent choice. When I'm in doubt on how my peers usually prefer to say something in either language, I check on Kudoz, Linguee, and maybe others. However I don't take any of suggestions there blindly. Quite often I get the reassurance I want that my choice - though different from all those I found there - is the best option for the context at hand. Consequently I don't think that forbidding the use of any source for research - if done responsibly - will impair translation quality.

Regarding non-disclosure, I wouldn't expect people asking about or quoting entire paragraphs on Kudoz, not to mention naming names.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:18
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Understanding vs. translating the source Oct 19

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I think that the obvious solution is that the freelancer puts the questions to the agency. As an intermediary, the agency is not just a postmaster and should expect and accept to relay questions to the client for clarification.


Yes, but if what you need is not more context and/or an explanation about the source, but rather help in finding a good translation for it, then your client won't be able to help you.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, but Oct 19

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I think that the obvious solution is that the freelancer puts the questions to the agency. As an intermediary, the agency is not just a postmaster and should expect and accept to relay questions to the client for clarification.


Yes, but if what you need is not more context and/or an explanation about the source, but rather help in finding a good translation for it, then your client won't be able to help you.


Yes, of course, that is a problem. However, 9+ times out of 10, once I have really got the intention of the writer clear, with more context, then finding the right term is greatly facilitated. The matter of context is essential.

Situations also arise where we are unable to obtain further context and explanations from the client. That is when things do become complicated and the risk of error increases.

KudoZ comes into its own when we can submit questions to fellow professionals who may have specific knowledge, or simply read the source text in a different way to make it all come clear! One of the most common requests on the FR>EN KudoZ pages are for more context. Among the most helpful information can be three sentences : the one in which the troublesome term appears, the sentence before and the sentence after. However, that can be sufficient to track down the original on the internet and for confidentiality to be breached. Not everyone finds appropriate ways of disguising the source.

Examples of problems of confidentiality:
- I have been asked to translate an identical text by two different clients. That meant that I knew that both clients were seeking to obtain the same contract;
- I have had two clients send me jobs where each is presenting a package in competition for the same particular commercial contract.
Aside from the ethical question of whether I accept to work for both, the knowledge I have gained commercially is a fact of potential interest for the other.
My point here is that I have sometimes seen information on KudoZ questions that could be of interest to third parties in the same business. We have to be much more careful than we perhaps realize.

[Edited at 2017-10-19 14:11 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:18
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
@José Oct 19

Well, it does matter that you are able to use a dictionary correctly. Being able to use a dictionary means understanding the context in both source and target languages. That is why some specialist knowledge is helpful, if not critical in many fields.

For example, it is field knowledge and skill which helps you identify an otherwise ordinary term as a technical term in context. In fact, picking these sorts of term out is one of the most difficult things to do. Sometimes such terms can make perfect sense when read with ordinary meaning and when read with technical meaning. It is only specific understanding that will make the difference. Subsequent research helps confirm, so I think that research does matter. Your own example is a perfect illustration of this point.


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Texte Style
Local time: 11:18
French to English
sure, but Oct 19

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

I think that the obvious solution is that the freelancer puts the questions to the agency. As an intermediary, the agency is not just a postmaster and should expect and accept to relay questions to the client for clarification.


Yes, but if what you need is not more context and/or an explanation about the source, but rather help in finding a good translation for it, then your client won't be able to help you.

Of course you're quite right. But sometimes they'll have already had the term translated by someone else and will realise they ought to have sent you that document... and in fact all the other tricky terms are in there too.

Once when I was doing stuff out of my comfort zone (while working in-house, I'd turn it down now I'm free-lancing) I actually had the client on the phone. They told me if I was in doubt, to look at their competitor's website which was brilliant


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:18
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, but Oct 19

EvaVer wrote:

Each KudoZ question only concerns a specific expression, and no names are named. Therefore, I fail to see how this could breach confidentiality. I have never encountered such a condition myself.


Yes, but there are translators out here who post so many consecutive KudoZ questions they might as well post the entire text of their source here.

If you are concerned about confidentiality, preventing translators from posting parts of the text on a public form is a very legitimate concern.


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Agencies: some say why they do not like ProZ ; some prohibit use of KudoZ in work you do for them

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