Translating with CAT tools for an agency
Thread poster: Lesley Clarke

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to English
Jan 20, 2010

I don't know if this is the place to post this, but I was just wondering if this normal practice for agencies.

An agency asked me if I had wordfast for a job, and against me better judgment I said yes, I have only once before worked with an agency that wanted CAT tools. But in this case, what should be my surprise by they sent me a document of extracted phrases and sentences, from which they seem to have remove any repeats, for translation. Under the circumstances it could have been worse, but still there will be quite a few mistakes in the end product as a consequence. I gave them this opinion when I handed in the translation but they did not ask for further information.

I'm just wondering, do other agencies do this?


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Pedro Fernández
Local time: 06:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
They should not Jan 20, 2010

At the very least, a professional agency will always do a pretranslation of the job with the same CAT tool they are requesting you to use, then send the processed file(s). Then of course there is a wordcount where fuzzy and exact matches are paid according to a percentage of new words and/or, in the case of repetitions, not at all. But at least you have a clear picture of the whole job which, I must agree, is essential to deliver a quality work. Something not everyone cares about these days, granted...

I hope that helped!

Good luck,
P.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 07:25
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Bad practise Jan 21, 2010

Also pre-translating is a bad practise. Only the translator knows, how the text must be segmented. The outsourcer should just analyse the files with the tool of choice and send the unprocessed files and the TM.
In many cases the text is poorly formatted and pre-translation results in translation of part of sentences or single words, which is quite useless and counter-productive.

Regards
Heinrich


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 06:25
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Not that strange Jan 21, 2010

Lesley Clarke wrote:

they sent me a document of extracted phrases and sentences, from which they seem to have remove any repeats


You don't tell us what sort of material this was. It seems pretty likely that the original format was something more unusual than a word document and hence the strange output. Perhaps the original was something you couldn't easily access.

You were working with a CAT, they didn't have much of a reason to remove repetitions... they could have just applied a discount.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 06:25
English to German
+ ...
Cannot afford CAT tools to buy... Jan 21, 2010

Hi! I would have said that. I would need fully editable files and not even any .pdfs and page scans that I have to take a print to understand the content. Lately I had an enquiry along InDesign, I told the agency to provide me with a fully editable file, where they can adjust the translation at their end via DTP. The truth came out that the agency did not have any idea of CAT tools and they could not provide an editable file. Finally they came up with a .pdf file, then the pricing did not fit. The OCR and post editing the OCR costs time and hence also energy. The agency just did not respond any further. I guess they did not have resources for conversion. Brandis

[Edited at 2010-01-21 16:58 GMT]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the feedback Jan 21, 2010

Actually Farkas, the format was a Word document with some tables.

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

I was just wondering, I could see how bad this was, but just wanted to find out if it is common practice. Yes, they could have tried to negotiate a discount, but would I have given it? Not at the rates they pay, I wouldn't have. I don't believe in discounts on CAT tools but they never asked.


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Well Brandis Jan 21, 2010

Personally I prefer to get the pdf file (and convert it myself) rather than any that another person has converted. I trust my own quality assurance much more.

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 06:25
English to German
+ ...
well I quote pricing without pre-processing Jan 21, 2010

Lesley Clarke wrote:

Personally I prefer to get the pdf file (and convert it myself) rather than any that another person has converted. I trust my own quality assurance much more.
Hi! I most usually quote on a fully editable file. When pre-processing is needed it goes on hourly rate. Guess I have rather slow functioning comp. Brandis


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
German to English
Export of frequently-occurring segments Jan 21, 2010

This is not an entirely uncommon practice. I've seen this used with large projects that have several source documents with common features, such as headings, notes or captions. The advantage of this is that each document will have the same headings, notes, etc. even though several different translators are involved in the project. The disadvantage is that the poor translator who has to translate these unrelated segments is often not provided with any context, so in many cases the result is unsatisfactory, both for the translator and the quality of the project as a whole.

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