Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >
What's your take on TM Town?
Thread poster: Joëlle Bouille

Joëlle Bouille  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Dec 28, 2015

I neglected building a portfolio on proz for a while, and started building one yesterday. This is how I came across the TM Town Export feature.

I have, to say the least, a lot of reservations against machine translation as well as against any attempt to have me upload previous work (confidentiality issues), even more so in the form of aligned translation units.

So I was immediately skeptical and suspicious about TM Town. I try to critically assess any potentially useful new tool though, so I gave it a try.


I worked 7 years as a software developer before becoming a translator, and I currently dedicate part of my free time to the creation of 2 websites. This is why I’m usually very critical when trying out any interface (re: actual point and usefulness of features, overall logic, redundancies in the interface, etc.).


So I put on my interface tester hat – on top of my professional translator one – and exported one short translation sample (20 TU’s) from my proz portfolio to TM Town.

And then the irking started.

Flaw #1: only aligned TU’s and very limited pre-defined specialty areas, with no possibility to enter new ones.

Like many of us, most of my work is either confidential or done through a translation agency, which means the end client is not supposed to know who actually did the job (we’re not supposed to try and steal the end client from the agency by posting a work sample in our portfolio).

This largely limits what we may actually post in our portfolio. My answer to this is to pick freely and publicly available source material that I find both interesting and relevant, which means I have to mention the reference for the chosen source material.

This is impossible in TM-Town.

Flaw #2: TU’s are segmented based on periods, yes, but also on opening brackets (???!!)
Flaw #3: You cannot correct alignment in a bilingual view, only either in source or target (???!!)

Too bad for me, my sample (only 20 TU’s) contains additional brackets in the target that do not appear in the source, and I inserted the reference for the source in my proz portolio, which messes up alignment even further on TM Town. I first wasted my time trying to correct segmentation on TM Town, but could only get a proper alignment by 1st removing the source reference and uploading the files directly on TM Town, then manually correcting alignment.

So there I was. After much ado, I finally got a first teeny-weeny work sample on TM Town. Yes, but…

Flaw #4: Text gets cut just about anywhere

When clicking on the View button for my uploaded work in my TM Town profile, I noticed text was cut just about anywhere, right in the middle of words, both in source and target (I can’t unfortunately post the printscreen here). Not quite professional display for any potential client perusing your work.

At this point, I started to feel this didn’t look like a seriously, convincingly, professionally designed platform.

In the meantime, I had sent an email to info@tm-town.com about the messed up alignment thing and words cut anywhere in bilingual display accessible through the View button (in the My Work section in profile, which only appears if you enter a public title for either TM, source or target under MANAGE YOUR DATA > YOUR WORK – you have to click on the tag icon in bottom right of the page, then go up and fill Public Title).

Answer came back (supposedly from Kevin Dias – at least it’s the alias that appeared for info@tm-town.com) explaining how I should correct alignment (I already had by then), and stating words inappropriate cutting was now fixed.

Yes, but…

Flaw #5: View button disappeared from my profile???

I obviously went right away to the MY WORK section to check if words now displayed properly cut. BUT THERE WAS NO VIEW BUTTON anymore!

At this point, I’m getting really suspicious and start browsing other translator’s profiles.

This is how I come across another profile, where View button DOES still appear and words inappropriate cutting is evidently NOT fixed (printscreen available).


OK, now I’m getting very very very puzzled, because...

Flaw #6: Some features seem to be enabled/disabled on a case by case basis???

“Join now, it’s free!”, they say. So no paying features, right? Why did the View button disappear from my profile, then? So I cannot check if words cutting is actually fixed now?

As an aside, if you go under MANAGE YOUR DATA > YOUR WORK and enter a public title (through above mentioned tag icon) for a TM AND for the matching source AND for the matching target, all three will REDUNDANTLY appear in the MY WORK section. Obviously, I cannot test further now since the View button has disappeared (i.e. was removed) from my profile.

I go on browsing translator’s profiles and at some point, I notice some absolutely ridiculous and pointless so-called “keywords” (French): qu’un, lorsqu’il, niveau, d’être, qu’on, provient, avons, s’il, vit, chose, sait, bonne, mettre, dit, qu’elle, grande, rav, qu’ils (printscreen available).

At this point, the whole thing really looks like a scam.

Anyone mastering French will see that this “keywords” list is totally pointless, as it ONLY contains words and forms that are among the most frequent in French. How could they help in any way determine “the best translator for a given text”?

You cannot enter keywords anywhere in your profile. So how is this “remarkable” keywords list created? By the “patent pending” TM Town search engine, maybe? (oh, by the way: “rav” is no French word).

I think it’s obvious the whole point of TM Town is gathering TM content. That’s it. This interface is just a decoy (and a very unprofessional one, at that). How could it even appear on proz.com?

You may also want to have a look at this thread: http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom_profile_help/289102-please_remove_this_unwanted_feature_tm_town_export.html

You will see that Sheila Wilson explains her profile was copied on TM Town without her consent… Some say it didn’t. I think it was simply removed after she complained (just like the View button disappeared from my TM Town profile – see above).

I can only concur with Tomás Cano Binder: “My customers know of my firm commitment to privacy. What would they think if they saw my details in a website about sharing TMs and glossaries?”

I concur with Sheila Wilson as well (see this thread: http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/289034-strange_email_about_a_new_service.html), who says:

“Well, any good agency that really is an agency rather than a broker WILL be able to judge the quality because they either understand both languages or they've had the work proofread by a second expert. They will also have had feedback from end clients, and presumably repeat orders if the volumes are high. Therefore, I would hold that testimonials from those agencies and direct clients who know your work are far superior to a faceless website interface that can come up with a high volume of matches, with no indication whatsoever of quality. It's just more of the usual "never mind the quality, feel the width" approach.”

To sum it all up, if anything, TM Town is just about high volumes regardless of quality. They even give you badges that count uploaded translation units!

And here’s the kind of keywords list their “revolutionary patent pending” search engine creates in French: qu’un, lorsqu’il, niveau, d’être, qu’on, provient, avons, s’il, vit, chose, sait, bonne, mettre, dit, qu’elle, grande, rav, qu’ils (for a translator who apparently uploaded 59,196 translation units!!! as of December, 26th 2015). Mostly words/forms you will find in almost EVERY French text (and even one word that does not exist in French) …

Matching clients with the “most appropriate translator”, huh?

Not convincing, I’m afraid.

[Edited at 2015-12-28 13:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-12-28 13:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kevin Dias
Local time: 03:19
SITE STAFF
Responding to your points Dec 28, 2015

Hi Joëlle,

I was in the middle of responding to your email and then was alerted of your post here. So I guess I can respond to your questions/criticisms in this thread. Though I must say I am disappointed that you posted this in the "Scams" forum...but hopefully I can convince you otherwise.

Yes, I am Kevin Dias and I was the one who responded to your first email. I'm been working on TM-Town since the summer of 2014. I'm sorry that your first experience with TM-Town was underwhelming/frustrating.

Anyway, hopefully I can shed some light on some of the issues you came across.


Flaw #1: only aligned TU’s and very limited pre-defined specialty areas, with no possibility to enter new ones.


This is actually a few separate complaints. So let me split it up:

1a) only aligned TU’s

You can load monolingual documents on TM-Town.

1b) very limited pre-defined specialty areas, with no possibility to enter new ones.

We currently have 404 pre-defined specialty areas (you can see the full list at the bottom of the FAQ page). Translators often email us and ask us to add a new field and we do. The reason that we do not allow you to add a custom field in the app is that then we get lots of misspellings and things like (car, cars, auto, automobile, automobiles). So when we first opened TM-Town we allowed translators to input their own fields, and then after we had a lot of fields collected over a few months we pulled out the unique ones and allowed translators to email us if something was missing. So bottom line, if there is a field not there that you would like to see just let me know.

1c)

Like many of us, most of my work is either confidential or done through a translation agency, which means the end client is not supposed to know who actually did the job (we’re not supposed to try and steal the end client from the agency by posting a work sample in our portfolio).

This largely limits what we may actually post in our portfolio. My answer to this is to pick freely and publicly available source material that I find both interesting and relevant, which means I have to mention the reference for the chosen source material.

This is impossible in TM-Town.


We offer a library of sample source texts from which you can choose to try out a sample translation. If one from your field or language is missing just email us and we'll try to add some in that area. You can also do as you did and pick your own sample texts and upload those. You are correct though, on the profile page in the sample work section we do not currently have a field to show the reference for the chosen source material. We can definitely add that though (we have the reference listed in the sample source library).


Flaw #2: TU’s are segmented based on periods, yes, but also on opening brackets (???!!)


No, not on opening brackets. But it does look for numbered lists, which your sentence in the target text contained (i, ii, iii, iv). This is our segmentation library which we released as open source software under the MIT license. You are free to improve it and submit a pull request. I would greatly welcome that. Our library does perform very favorably in terms of accuracy when compared against other libraries though as you can see here.


Flaw #3: You cannot correct alignment in a bilingual view, only either in source or target (???!!)


The portfolio samples that are pushed from a ProZ.com portfolio to TM-Town are automatically aligned. Usually the samples are very short and there are not issues with the alignment. Obviously this was not the case with yours though. At this time, to fix a misalignment from a sample sent from ProZ.com the method is as I described in the first email, using the Translation Unit Viewer.

For regular alignments (when you upload a source and target document) and use our manual alignment tool, you get a bilingual view as you can see in this demo video.


Flaw #4: Text gets cut just about anywhere


This has been fixed. There was an incorrect word break on the CSS of that table.


Flaw #5: View button disappeared from my profile???


All documents you upload to TM-Town are private. The only documents we show on your public profile would be the samples that you send from your ProZ.com portfolio samples, or samples you complete from our library of sample source texts.

In your case, you first transferred your ProZ.com portfolio sample and thus it was visible on your public profile. You then deleted that and uploaded a source and target document which you aligned. Any documents you upload are private so they do not and will not appear on your public profile.


Flaw #6: Some features seem to be enabled/disabled on a case by case basis???

“Join now, it’s free!”, they say. So no paying features, right? Why did the View button disappear from my profile, then? So I cannot check if words cutting is actually fixed now?


Actually we just released paid tiers today. Here is the blog post. This is something we have been asked about in these forums in the past as well as on our ProZ.com webinars and we mentioned that paid tiers would be coming.


As an aside, if you go under MANAGE YOUR DATA > YOUR WORK and enter a public title (through above mentioned tag icon) for a TM AND for the matching source AND for the matching target, all three will REDUNDANTLY appear in the MY WORK section.


This sounds like something that needs to be fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.


I go on browsing translator’s profiles and at some point, I notice some absolutely ridiculous and pointless so-called “keywords” (French): qu’un, lorsqu’il, niveau, d’être, qu’on, provient, avons, s’il, vit, chose, sait, bonne, mettre, dit, qu’elle, grande, rav, qu’ils (printscreen available).


Keywords are chosen by the translators themselves (not any algorithm). So if you don't like a particular translator's keywords you would have to take that up with him/her.



You cannot enter keywords anywhere in your profile. So how is this “remarkable” keywords list created? By the “patent pending” TM Town search engine, maybe? (oh, by the way: “rav” is no French word).


Keywords are created by clicking the pink plus icon next to an extracted term. You can find the extracted terms by clicking on one of your documents and going to the extracted terms tab.


I think it’s obvious the whole point of TM Town is gathering TM content. That’s it. This interface is just a decoy (and a very unprofessional one, at that). How could it even appear on proz.com?


Well, this is just not true. Please check our Terms of Service.


To sum it all up, if anything, TM Town is just about high volumes regardless of quality.


We are here to help translators grow their business and match them with work in their language pair and field(s) of expertise. There is no perfect indicator of whether someone is a good translator or not, but our goal would be that when looking at a translator's TM-Town profile you can ascertain to a certain level that translator's experience and expertise. Your loaded work is one more way that we can better match you to clients, but if you look closely at the TM-Town profiles there are many areas covered (outside of the loaded work) where translators can demonstrate their experience and expertise.


Matching clients with the “most appropriate translator”, huh?


Yes, this is one of our goals. Specifically, this is one area that we think our Nakōdo search technology brings something new and unique to the table that other sites do not offer.

Thank you again for the feedback. While TM-Town is far from perfect and we are still working hard to improve it every day, I hope you can see that it is surely not a scam.

Kevin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Help request Dec 28, 2015

For some reason this TM-town thing appears in my profile.

I didn't put it there and I don't want it there.

Can anyone tell me how to remove it, please?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joëlle Bouille  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Tom Dec 28, 2015

Hi Tom,

I tried using the link you provide in another thread to opt out of the API but it doesn't work.

I'd like to remove TM Town from features in my profile as well.

As the TM-Town add on proz says:

"TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries".

How does any professional translator not see through that?
You're doing all the alignment and the work for them.

Can't you store and manage your TM's on your own computer, already?

IF THIS REVOLUTIONARY NAKODO SEARCH TECHNOLOGY WORKS, WE ONLY NEED TO UPLOAD A LIMITED NUMBER OF WELL-CHOSEN TRANSLATION UNITS, WITH RELEVANT TERMINOLOGY, RIGHT?
WHY PUSH TRANSLATORS TO UPLOAD SO MANY WITH GIZMOS LIKE THE TM TOWN BADGE, WHICH ACTUALLY COUNTS TRANSLATION UNITS?


Anyone can upload loads of TU's: but how is their quality assessed?
BESIDES, WE SIMPLY HAVE NO WAY TO ENSURE CONFIDENTIALITY OF ANYTHING STORED "IN THE CLOUD".
Oh wait: we have "their word"...

(funny paid tier was introduced just today)

I now removed my TM Town account as I already wasted enough of my time with this. Unfortunately, most of Mr Dias answers seem "technically convincing".

Wait and see if patent is actually granted. In the meantime, HUGE GATHERING OF TM CONTENT WITHOUT ANY EFFORT, that's certain.

(Btw, how would any professional translator enter such keywords as "qu’un, lorsqu’il, niveau, d’être, qu’on, provient, avons, s’il, vit, chose, sait, bonne, mettre, dit, qu’elle, grande, rav, qu’ils", seriously? Looks like a test or fake profile to me).

[Edited at 2015-12-28 15:57 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Totally remove Dec 28, 2015

Joëlle Bouille wrote:

Hi Tom,

I tried using the link you provide in another thread to opt out of the API but it doesn't work.

I'd like to remove TM Town from features in my profile as well.



I hope someone else may be able to tell us how to totally remove all TM-town related stuff.

I have no objection to Proz asking me if I would like to include X or Y in my profile, but the decision should be up to me. Such things should be "opt in", not "opted in without permission and with no way to opt out".

I object to displaying these things in my profile because it creates the impression that I am endorsing something - and I'm not ! It doesn't communicate the professional message I would like to offer with my profile. I work so hard to get my profile just right, and then along comes this !

This add-on needs to be reconsidered by Proz - not least because it also sets a precedent for more future unwanted things to be forcibly added on in future.

If others have the same objection I hope they will make their voices heard.

[Edited at 2015-12-28 18:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Isn't it our ProZ profile? Dec 28, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

I object to displaying these things in my profile because it creates the impression that I am endorsing something - and I'm not ! It doesn't communicate the professional message I would like to offer with my profile. I work so hard to get my profile just right, and then along comes this !

This add-on needs to be reconsidered by Proz - not least because it also sets a precedent for more future unwanted things to be forcibly added on in future.

If others have the same objection I hope they will make their voices heard.

[Edited at 2015-12-28 18:02 GMT]


I fully agree with Tom and Joëlle. It should be left to us entirely what we want to display on our profiles and what not.

One thing is for certain, I will not ever submit anything to TM Town. And if it will continue to be impossible to remove it from my site, I'll just add a disclaimer to my profile, a brief note that I don't endorse TMT and have no connection with/to it whatsoever.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Me too, I want it removed from my Proz profile! Dec 28, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

For some reason this TM-town thing appears in my profile.

I didn't put it there and I don't want it there.

Can anyone tell me how to remove it, please?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:19
Member
Italian to English
Where? Dec 28, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

For some reason this TM-town thing appears in my profile.



Where does it appear in your profile?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kevin Dias
Local time: 03:19
SITE STAFF
TM-Town does not appear in your public ProZ.com profile Dec 28, 2015

Hi Tom,

TM-Town does not appear in your ProZ.com profile. The message telling you that you can export your portfolio samples to TM-Town is only visible when you are looking at your own profile, other visitors can not see anything related to TM-Town on your profile.

Kevin



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:19
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Is it displayed in "Visitor view" or only in "Owner view"? Dec 29, 2015

The large, white TM-Town Export icon appears on my profile page in the Portfolio section, but only in Owner view. If I switch to Visitor view by clicking on the red "Force visitor view" on top of the page, it does not show up, so nobody can see it.
Isn't it the case with you guys?

Update: It seems Kevin posted the same thing while I was typing this.


[Edited at 2015-12-29 02:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:19
SITE FOUNDER
Definitely not a scam Dec 29, 2015

I have talked extensively with Kevin and I can say that TM-Town is certainly not a scam. What TM-Town is, is two guys (Kevin and now, Nate) with a new approach and good intentions. I imagine that anyone who has interacted with Kevin, and certainly anyone who has submitted a request to him, would understand that he is serious about making something useful for translators.

And, for what it is worth, I find both Kevin and Nate to be impressive as developers and individuals.

Tom, sorry I never gave you a way to remove the TM-Town element from your own view of your profile. We do mean to do that.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joëlle Bouille  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
About "impressive" web development... Dec 29, 2015

Just a last word about what "impressive" web development means in 2015.

I'm actually working on 2 websites in my free time (as I said, I worked 7 years as a software developer) and this is how I know that nowadays, anyone can buy rather "impressive" website templates at a nominal charge.

For example, I bought the template for my first website on envato market (http://market.envato.com/) for... $17.00.

You can get a preview of this "impressive" template here: http://themeforest.net/item/zap-multipurpose-html5-template/13114357?s_phrase=&s_rank=8.

Just click on Live preview, then choose Demo 1, for example, and you will see the kind of "impressive" design/layout one can get for just $17.00.

All you need to do is then amend the pictures, contents and code.

Of course, if you know absolutely nothing about HTML, CSS, PHP, etc., you might have a hard time creating the website you want based on such a template.

But if you know the basics and are willing to learn, it's pretty accessible. No need to be an "impressive developer".
Besides, you can learn "all the tricks" for free thanks to the http://www.w3schools.com website, which covers HTML, CSS, JAVASCRIPT, SQL, PHP, BOOTSTRAP, JQUERY and ANGULAR.

Those among you who are a little familiar with web design will see that the structure/layout of the TM Town profile page is very similar to this Demo 1 I reference above. A list of divisions/sections (div HTML tag), some "animated" content (very limited on TM-Town: for example, hover on the MY WORK section if you do have an account), and essentially a lot of empty, unused space.

All in all, quite the opposite of a serious platform/portal like Proz.com: you can see that the proz.com website was carefully designed to use every bit of space as smartly as possible. It WAS actually designed SPECIFICALLY FOR ITS PURPOSE.

On the contrary, TM-Town is full of empty spaces. It looks like a mere tweaked template.
Event font sizes are inappropriate: does the translator name need to be that huge on the profile page?
And the "picture wall" that appears on the landing page when not connected, well, it looks just like the kind of design/layout you find for... dating websites templates.

Impressive design? Not quite...

What I do find most "impressive" though is getting some translators to actually pay to be allowed to give away their TM content.

[Edited at 2015-12-29 09:13 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Thanks Henry Dec 29, 2015

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Tom, sorry I never gave you a way to remove the TM-Town element from your own view of your profile. We do mean to do that.


Thanks Henry - I'll look forward to it !


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cheating in TM Town? Dec 29, 2015

Kevin Dias wrote:
Yes, this is one of our goals. Specifically, this is one area that we think our Nakōdo search technology brings something new and unique to the table that other sites do not offer.

Kevin, there is one thing I would like to ask you: as I understand it, translators can upload samples of their work or even full TMs (as long as their NDA and privacy agreements allow it, which is not my case) and the Nakodo terminology will match new customers to their skills.

What keeps sneaky translators from uploading a pile of stuff they have not translated, to capture new work in fields in which they have no experience at all? Isn't it easy to trick TM Town into believing that they master more areas than they actually do? What defence would honest translators have in TM Town against these practices?

Thanks a lot in advance!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joëlle Bouille  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 19:19
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Tomás Dec 29, 2015

Excellent question indeed...

[Edited at 2015-12-29 10:26 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What's your take on TM Town?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search