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Any experience, recommendations regarding BAK Files?
Thread poster: Desiree Staude

Desiree Staude
Germany
Local time: 20:14
English to German
+ ...
Feb 20, 2011

Hello,

I have been asked by a potential customer to provide BAK files with the translation.

Checking the internet I only found a very expensive AutoCAD software which shall set up these backup files. But I am not willing to pay over 1K Euro for something I have been asked the first time (I admit, had only been working for two other agencies and they did not ask for it).

Here are my questions:
- Is it common to send the customer .bak files?
- Any experience with such a software? How to proceed?
- Can you suggest a software which provides them but does not cost the world?

At least I got a backup software which is quite good also for my other working documents, so that I can restore old files again. But those files are not called .bak.

Thank you very much in advance!

Best regards
Desiree Staude


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Trados unclean files? Feb 20, 2011

Is it possible that the client is simply asking for unclean Trados files?

If you work with Trados WorkBench and MS Word, using the Trados tools within Word, then the bilingual file will still have a .doc extension, but after you clean it, the .doc file will have the target text only, and the bilingual file will be preserved in a separate file with a .BAK extension.
(As far as I know, this working method is no longer supported in the new versions of Trados, by the way.)

Was the client talking about using Trados?
Katalin


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Desiree Staude
Germany
Local time: 20:14
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do not have Trados Feb 20, 2011

I do not use Trados and the client knows it. So it cannot be that. Any way, thank you for the fast answer.

Have you ever been asked to provide such files with the translation?


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:14
Chinese to English
+ ...
Definitely not AutoCAD! Feb 20, 2011

You definitely do not want AutoCAD. “.bak files” are generally just copies of your working files at some point in time; depending on what software you happen to be using, they can be anything.

[Edited at 2011-02-20 08:05 GMT]


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Desiree Staude
Germany
Local time: 20:14
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Feb 20, 2011

I guess I will just tell them, that I cannot provide these .bak files and either they want me to work for the agency or not.

Those 'temp' files that the software produces while working at it do not make any sense. I guess, he just wants a kind of versioning information. Which you already have when you get/have a source text. If there shall be amendments, it would make sense to store the document under different but logical files so that there is always a chance to track how it has been some amendments before.

Seems, its not usual to provide .bak files with the translation.

Best regards
Desiree Staude


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:14
French to German
+ ...
Request needing clarification Feb 20, 2011

Hello,
your client's request needs some clarification.

As Katalin wrote it, TWB in Word generates bilingual .bak files after the clean-up. Wordfast Classic does the same.

I have never been asked to provide such files.
Most of my clients want 1) target-only or 2) bilingual files, but always in the original format and not as .bak files. These are so to say only unavoidable by-products in the processes mentioned above (in our case, .bak stands for backup copy).

Heartsome, in turn and as you will know, processes files internally in .xlf format and generates a target-only file in the original format. If your client meant bilingual files when saying ".bak files" (which is IMHO the point they need to clarify), then maybe you still can offer to deliver the bilingual XLIFF?

(edited to correct a mistake: the abbreviation/extension for XLIFF is .xlf and not .xliff as stated previously)

[Edited at 2011-02-20 08:34 GMT]


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Desiree Staude
Germany
Local time: 20:14
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's a good hint Feb 20, 2011

Thank you! Yes, I know the Heartsome .xliff format files. I always keep them.

I will ask the client if he would be fine with that.

In the times before I also only had to provide the translation or the bilingual files.

I will get back to the client and ask him. I hope, he comes up with a clear answer.

Thanks!

Best regards
Desiree Staude


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:14
French to German
+ ...
I keep them too... Feb 20, 2011

D. L. Staude wrote:

Thank you! Yes, I know the Heartsome .xliff format files. I always keep them.

(.../...)

I keep them too and will typically create a folder for each project, which contains the source file, the XLIFF file and the target file.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Definitely, ask your customer what they mean Feb 20, 2011

I think this is a situation in which a simple question can save you lots of time. Just ask your customer what they mean exactly with "BAK files". Good luck!

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Desiree Staude
Germany
Local time: 20:14
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Question has just been sent Feb 20, 2011

I sent a mail to the customer. Wasted a whole day because of it.

Well, in future I will not struggle over it again.

@Mr Krauland: I also have a file per translation work, keeping all files stored there. Best way of never mixing up projects and versions.


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Desiree Staude
Germany
Local time: 20:14
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
'Client' feedback Feb 21, 2011

I have just received the answer:

"Ok. Because without BAK files we are not able to allocate any project."

Not answering, why they need it, not saying anything about my proposal of sending .xliff files or bilingual files.

I guess, they are just not willing. Why they did contact me in first place, I do not know.

Well, at least now I am carefull with complicated agencies (generating lots of work to fill in forms, etc. without any real outcome for me).

Anyway, thanks a lot to all who have responded! I highly appreciate(d) it!

Best regards
Désirée Staude


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:14
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then forget about them! Feb 21, 2011

Customers expect a lot from us in terms of response, quality, flexibility, good business attitude and good partnership. We should expect the same from them, or it will be impossible to make the job a success. If they don't cooperate... it's just best to let them go.

Good luck Désirée! See you around!

[Edited at 2011-02-21 15:06 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:14
French to German
+ ...
This reminds me of the agency I described here Feb 21, 2011

The heart of the matter being the agency referenced as #2:
Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

Two examples about that:

#1 - a customer wanted me to translate a huge InDesign file using Adobe's programme. I suggested to be provided an .inx file and to translate the file using a CAT tool. The offer was accepted and everything went smoothly.

#2 - a potential customer demanded that I overwrite a file which obviously was tagged RTF and gave tons of useless instructions ("Don't touch the tags!" being the lamest). As I recognised the format, I suggested using a CAT tool too. The customer found a more flexible translator.

In both cases, the solution the customer had thought of was the less suitable for me. The outcome, however, was different because #2 was not ready to think outside of their box.


Some people shouldn't just be allowed to run any kind of business if you ask me!


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 20:14
French to Dutch
+ ...
I deliver .bak files Feb 21, 2011

Regularly. I don't have any problem with that. For me .bak files are the Word back-up files that Wordfast Classic creates when cleaning the document. They can be renamed .doc. Nothing strange. They are the uncleaned bilingual documents, and they are entirely compatible with Trados. Some agencies prefere these files over the cleaned Word files, because they make corrections in them and/or clean them again in their own TMs, either with Trados either with Wordfast.

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:14
French to German
+ ...
Certainly, but... Feb 21, 2011

NMR wrote:

Regularly. I don't have any problem with that. For me .bak files are the Word back-up files that Wordfast Classic creates when cleaning the document. They can be renamed .doc. Nothing strange. They are the uncleaned bilingual documents, and they are entirely compatible with Trados. Some agencies prefere these files over the cleaned Word files, because they make corrections in them and/or clean them again in their own TMs, either with Trados either with Wordfast.


Certainly, but Désirée works with Heartsome and this CAT doesn't generate bilingual files. The only bilingual file as such is the XLIFF one used for the internal processing of the translation.

BTW, this is also the way in which Studio 2009 works. Nothing strange with that either - just a "fundamental incompatibility" between Heartsome and the tool used by the agency.

This reminds me of this thread which has hit page 7 today:

http://www.proz.com/forum/translator_resources/192449-general_strike_against_trados_and_other_expensive_cat_tools.html

My take is that the critical point is not the tool used, but the formats it can or cannot produce.

And in the case we are currently discussing, the client could have been a bit more precise as per his request. Asking for .bak files without any contextual information (context which could e. g. have been: We use X as our main CAT tool and want bilingual files to be delivered in format Z) is rather sketchy to say the least.

[Edited at 2011-02-21 19:55 GMT]


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