Do most of you insist on being able to translate with TM software? And, how would you charge?
Thread poster: Hardy Moreno

Hardy Moreno  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 25, 2011

I have a client who wants to send me health plans to translate for three different companies. He wants send me the files with two columns. One column in English and the other column blank where I would do the translating to Spanish (these are 15-page documents).

In view of the fact that "all three files are similar", I want to insist on translating text only from English to Spanish with the use of TM software. I think you would understand why.

They are willing to send me the text in English only, with no columns to translate into Spanish, but after translating the text, they want me to paste in the Spanish side columns of the corresponding files.

Has anyone had to deal with this? Have you insisted on text only in a case like this, and how would you go about translating such a project. Or would you just translate the two-column files they want to send you.

They also want me to consider not charging them my normal fees for the second and third files.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


Sandra Peters-Schöbel
Local time: 05:22
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Copy and paste? Aug 25, 2011

I normally copy the English column in a word document, translate with my CAT Software (of course I do, why not benefit from the fuzzies and repetitions!!), clean the text and copy it back into the Excel(??) file...

This does not mean additional work and might prevent discussions with the client about why we need a certain format...

Good luck


Teymur Suleymanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:22
Russian to English
+ ...
I agree with Sandra Aug 25, 2011

Yes, I agree. I guess Hardy, your question is more about the organizational procedure and not so much about the translation itself...
The only solution here is to request the client to prove how EXACTLY similar these files are. Let them send it to you so you can inspect the text before you start, no obligations.
If they are similar, then yes, you just copy-paste the English version into a new doc file, work on it with Trados, clean up and then paste right back in.
The second and third companies would have a similar translation, apart from perhaps company and people's names and what not...

But if the three files are different indeed, then you'd have to do some serious re-negotiating with the client.

Hope that helps...


Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:22
English to Dutch
+ ...
Some more thoughts Aug 26, 2011

First, I would want to have all files before I even start negotiating. How can you quote when you don't know what you're quoting for?
Second, if you get a Word file with two columns, then Sandra's solution is fine. You can analyze the files, find out about reps and then quote. If you want, you can give a discount for matches (that is actually what they're requesting, with their reduced rate for the second and third file). Then translate with TM and copy and paste.
If you get an Excel file, I advise against copying into a Word document. If there are several lines of text in one cell, then these get split up when you copy back into the Excel sheet. In stead of one cell with, say, four lines of text, you get four cells with each one line of text. Copy the lot into a separate Excel sheet, translate it in TagEditor, and copy the result back into the original Excel sheet. This avoids that problem.


Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:22
French to English
I get 2-column documents all the time Aug 26, 2011

Some customers think it's easier for us to have a blank column to put the translation inicon_smile.gif Or maybe it's for their own convenience so they can see which parts correspond to what for the next step of their process (layout in a brochure for example).

I use Wordfast and this is how I handle these files:

Word documents: I translate the column that needs to be translated, clean up and save. The translated text is thus in the left-hand column. I copy/paste that column back into a copy of the original file, putting the translation in the right-hand column.

Excel files: Mostly the same procedure, except that I copy everything into Word first, translate, clean up and paste back into Excel into the right column. To avoid the problem that Jan brought up, I use find & replace as described in this article, in the last section.


Hardy Moreno  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you all for your comments Aug 30, 2011

Thank you all for your comments.


Thanks for your suggestions. I, too, use Wordfast Professional. I did exactly as you described and everything worked perfectly.


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Do most of you insist on being able to translate with TM software? And, how would you charge?

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