How long do you have to save translations?
Thread poster: Anna Fredrikson

Anna Fredrikson
Local time: 18:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
Mar 11, 2013

I have a general question about how long you are supposed to save translations once you have delivered them to a client. Is there any established rule about how long you need to have them saved/filed?
The same goes for email correspondence with clients.
How do you organize your old work into arhives? How do you know when it ok to delete work?
Any tips/advice would be welcome.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
How long is a piece of string? Mar 11, 2013

There is no set rule - in my case, I just leave all my old translations in their folders until I get round to clearing out the old stuff.
I just had a quick look in my "Work" folder and I have most of the work I've done since 2005 still in there - so I must be due a cleanout sometime... although it's not a priority for me and AFAIK my storage space isn't an issue either.

Email correspondence with clients? -> No particular system; I delete old mails when I can be bothered, or if it becomes necessary due to space or other consideration (which has never happened, at least not that I can recall).

How do you organize your old work. into archives? - I don't "organize" in general, I just leave them sitting where they are, then move on to the next job.

How do you know when it's ok to delete work? -> When it's done, delivered, accepted, billed and paid for, and I don't consider it necessary for future reference (although I seldom get round to deleting old jobs)

Any tips/advice would be welcome. -> Please don't take my behaviour as a model - I am notoriously disorganized and scatty when it comes to admin. I even forget to bill my clients sometimes...

[Edited at 2013-03-11 12:33 GMT]

PS: I just checked the size of my Work folder, which as I mentioned contains everything I've done s¡nce 2005, and it is just under 6 GB. I keep it on a pen drive and a backup PC too, so it's always available in case I ever need it for reference. This way, I can clear out my main PC from time to time without worrying about the older material.

[Edited at 2013-03-12 10:23 GMT]


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:19
German to English
Depends on local regulations Mar 11, 2013

Your country or client may have certain regulations requiring data retention. For tax purposes you may need to retain various job-related documents (correspondence, invoices, payment records, etc.) for a statutorily-specified period.

Clients may require you to delete material after a certain period. This can backfire, sometimes. I had a client who required me to delete all project files after 90 days. A year later they contacted me, as they had lost the documents I had translated (both originals and translations, apparently). They were quite annoyed that I had followed their instructions. I've had other clients who have requested copies of old translations. Since I archive my files by client and year, I can usually find old projects quickly if the client knows when they were commissioned.

Since storage (hard drives, disk media, etc.) is so inexpensive, retaining older files on a separate hard drive or CD/DVD isn't much of a bother. I have translations going well back into the last century. I tend to delete job-related e-mail after about 5 years. Since I filter my incoming messages, I can usually track queries without much problem.


 

finnword1
United States
Local time: 12:19
English to Finnish
+ ...
let the client save it if he wants to Mar 11, 2013

after all, it's his. I try to keep mine in one directory, where Windows can scan and find it quickly, should I need to check something.

 

Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:19
English to French
+ ...
Remember all your files are in your mail Mar 11, 2013

I used to keep files and files : "in case" they might be needed.
By now I, know that the clients have my POs, original files translated files, and for a few of them my memories too.They archive much more than we do.

Then we have our mail: all POs, all original files, all translated files are there. Mail clients being now so generous with the amount of space we can refer to any file in a jiffy. In order to invoice for example, just type the wanted name and PO and there you get the whole month, or even year of the POs sent by that client.

So, my files for each client are getting thinner and thinner. Mainly memories, incidents and invoices.

The result: I have never had any problem locating what I need.


Claudette Hepburn


 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 18:19
French to English
+ ...
Storage is cheap... Mar 11, 2013

You can pick up hundreds of GB for 100 Euros or less so why throw anything away?

I have a several hundred GB external hard drive but I am a little tight on space on my C: drive. This is how I organise it:

1. When a job comes in, it gets its own folder under C:\Translations. I name these with a sequential number plus something that tells me roughly what the job is. So, something like "1234 EDF document XYZ1234".

2. As soon as the job is sent to the customer I copy it to F:\Translations (F: is my external hard drive). I also copy any TMs and glossaries that are not in the same folder and my accounting spreadsheet at the same time. For the TMs and glossaries, I keep customer-supplied TMs & glossaries in the project folder and my own TMs & glossaries in a seperate folder ("0000 TM").

3. Whenever my C: drive gets full, I burn all of the project folders to a DVD and then delete them off my C: drive (note that they are still on F:). That way, once a job is finished, I always have two copies of it. The TM folder is never deleted of my C: drive.

I've had customers call me in a panic because they had lost their TM and I was able to send them the latest version. That makes one happy customer!

At the current rate of progress, I expect my external drive to outlast me. But if it doesn't, I'll get another one. They will probably be 10 cents a Terabyte by thenicon_smile.gif


 

Michael Talu  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Network drive Mar 11, 2013

I have a network drive (MyBook Live 2TB), set up to automatically back up the My Docs folder whenever a file is added or modified. It's more than enough space to store all the translation I could ever complete in a lifetime. I also use it for invoices, translation memories, termbases etc (not to mention videos, music, etc). It also has the added benefit of being able to keep several versions of the same file (I think up to 5), so that if you ever save anything or make irreversible changes, you can revert back to another version and get them back.

But as someone else mentioned, all the files are stored in your email anyway, so is there any need to keep old files at all...?


 

Anna Fredrikson
Local time: 18:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Mar 11, 2013

Thanks for all of the interesting information! I appreciate you taking time to answer my questions.

 

Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:19
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm with neilmac Mar 11, 2013

neilmac wrote:

There is no set rule - in my case, I just leave all my old translations in their folders until I get round to clearing out the old stuff.
I just had a quick look in my "Work" folder and I have most of the work I've done since 2005 still in there - so I must be due a cleanout sometime... although it's not a priority for me and AFAIK my storage space isn't an issue either.

Email correspondence with clients? -> No particular system; I delete old mails when I can be bothered, or if it becomes necessary due to space or other consideration (which has never happened, at least not that I can recall).

How do you organize your old work. into archives? - I don't "organize" in general, I just leave them sitting where they are, then move on to the next job.

How do you know when it's ok to delete work? -> When it's done, delivered, accepted, billed and paid for, and I don't consider it necessary for future reference (although I seldom get round to deleting old jobs)

Any tips/advice would be welcome. -> Please don't take my behaviour as a model - I am notoriously disorganized and scatty when it comes to admin. I even forget to bill my clients sometimes...

[Edited at 2013-03-11 12:33 GMT]


I save files for future reference but I can never find them when I want to look something up because the name of the file doesn't doesn't usually give me any clues about the contents.


 

Pavel Nikonorkin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:19
Member (2007)
English to Russian
+ ...
Online back-up services Mar 11, 2013

I use online back-up services for all translations. So they will be accessible in case of hardware problems.

 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 10:19
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No rules Mar 11, 2013

As far as I know there aren't any specific rules. In Canada we have to keep our tax records for 7 years, so that would be the least I would save my translations and invoices as well. I have stored all my past translations since the day I started on USB-drives and I keep only the current and previous year on the C-drive.

The translations are kept in folders by year. Within that folder there are two sub-folders: Dutch (incoming) and English (outgoing). Each file is named by the name or type of document (with standard abbreviations for the most common ones) plus the client's or agency's name.

The same goes for my invoices, all saved by year and name. I make hard copies of my invoices for the current year and I keep these in two folders: paid and unpaid. The paid invoice is marked with the date and method by which it was paid and then I delete the e-mails.

Keeping everything has come in handy sometimes. Over the years several direct clients have asked me for a new copy of their translation from years ago and agencies have sometimes sent me documents that are a continuation of a previous one (in a court case for example), so I need to refresh my memory about what went on before.


 

Petra_44  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:19
English to German
+ ...
10 years? Mar 12, 2013

Well, I'd just save them for ten years, as I save everything connected to fiscal accounting for ten years - and after all, a translation is proof of what kind of work I did.

 


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


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

How long do you have to save translations?

Advanced search







WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



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