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Agency requiring that translators work only in online sytem
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 14, 2015

An agency I have worked with frequently is now requiring that all translations be completed on-line through their cloud-based system (wordbee management system). This method of translating (and sharing translations) online in real time is completely foreign to my translation method where I create several different drafts throughout the term of the project and nothing is complete and ready for use until the day before the deadline.

Should I run for the hills?

[Edited at 2015-01-14 17:44 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes Jan 14, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

An agency I have worked with frequently is now requiring that all translations be completed on-line through their cloud-based system (wordbee management system). This method of translating (and sharing translations) online in real time is completely foreign to my translation method where I create several different drafts throughout the term of the project and nothing is complete and ready for use until the day before the deadline.

Should I run for the hills?

[Edited at 2015-01-14 17:44 GMT]


Yes. Run for the hills.


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Obi Udeariry  Identity Verified
Nigeria
Local time: 03:43
Member (2011)
French to English
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Yes, si, oui, Ja! Jan 14, 2015

Do not look back, do not pass GO, just run.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:43
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@suoıʇɐlsuɐɹʇ ǝƃɐɯı ɹoɹɹıɯ, re: Wordbee Jan 14, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
An agency I have worked with frequently is now requiring that all translations be completed on-line through their cloud-based system (Wordbee).


I have one Wordbee based client. I can do the translations online, but I don't -- I download the translations in XLIFF format, translate it using OmegaT+Okapi and additional CAT tools, and then upload the translations when I'm done. The client knows that I do this.

One can download all files in a single zip file, but unfortunately one can't upload all files all at once -- you have to visit each file online and upload its corresponding XLIFF file from within its own screen. QA checks done by Wordbee also require a bit of clicking around in the system, but my translations generally come out clean anyway.

This method of translating (and sharing translations) online in real time is completely foreign to my translation method where I create several different drafts throughout the term of the project and nothing is complete and ready for use until the day before the deadline.


Does your client's Wordbee system allow XLIFF export and import, and if so, can you involve a CAT tool that handles XLIFF files in your normal workflow?


[Edited at 2015-01-14 19:00 GMT]


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xxxDr Howard Ca  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:43
Italian to English
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There are confidentiality issues! Jan 14, 2015

There are most definitely serious confidentiality issues with 'cloud-based' work - the principal problem being with the type of work which may be accepted. How can a translator sign a Non Dislosure Agreement (NDA) for sensitive material and yet work on it in what is essentially a public (ie 'hackable') domain?

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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member
French to Spanish
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I would give it a try Jan 14, 2015

I was tempted to tell you: Run!

But on second thoughts, maybe you can give it a try and find out if you feel comfortable with this method. Who knows? You can tell the client about your own method and your reservations, and obviously, about NDA, if any (like Dr Howard Camm points out).

Greetings.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Exactly Jan 14, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:
I have one Wordbee based client. I can do the translations online, but I don't -- I download the translations in XLIFF format, translate it using OmegaT+Okapi and additional CAT tools, and then upload the translations when I'm done. The client knows that I do this.

Exactly the same in my case with a MemSource-based customer. I download and upload XLIFF files and work with memoQ internally. The customer knows it and it works beautifully for them and for me.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:43
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Wordbee is not cloud Jan 14, 2015

Dr Howard Camm wrote:
There are most definitely serious confidentiality issues with 'cloud-based' work...


If the client *requires* the translator to use a cloud-based system, then it doesn't breach the client's confidentiality (only your own, if that is an issue for you).

And, Wordbee is not a cloud-based system. It is a web-based system that is hosted on a single computer whose physical location is almost certainly known to the client.


[Edited at 2015-01-14 20:27 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:43
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Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Yes, but... Jan 14, 2015

I think the client's intent in this case is to be able to split huge projects up into little pieces to be done by multiple translators who can "share" translations as the project progresses and so that they can keep track of your progress.

Samuel Murray wrote:


... I download the translations in XLIFF format, translate it using OmegaT+Okapi and additional CAT tools, and then upload the translations when I'm done. The client knows that I do this.



[Edited at 2015-01-14 20:32 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
French to English
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Run for the hills IF the agency won't budge... Jan 15, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
Should I run for the hills?


Silly question, but have you actually talked to the agency about this? I've worked for a couple where they initially asked me to use a silly on-line system but when I pointed out the problems with it, they were happy for me to just Send Them The Files. So I'd say it's worth identifying what the actual issues are and telling them and seeing what they say.

Of course, if they won't budge and are putting silly systems in place that hinder their best translators, then they deserve to lose them...


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 10:43
Chinese to English
Intentions schmintentions! Jan 15, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I think the client's intent in this case is to be able to split huge projects up into little pieces to be done by multiple translators who can "share" translations as the project progresses and so that they can keep track of your progress.

Not sure if it's the same agency, but one I work for is doing something similar now. I don't like it, but I think we shouldn't be too freaked out by the fact that agencies are trying out new ways to work. This model will clearly work for some kinds of texts - questionnaire answers, some legal stuff - and not work for other kinds. Soon enough they will find out that trying to translate an app interface this way produces complete gibberish, and they will start to moderate the way they use their systems.

I actually really enjoy collaborative translation, and I would like to work on a system that allows me to see what other good translators in my pair are doing. But if the agency tries to use the system to divide and conquer, then much of its value to me will be lost.


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JaneD  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:43
Member (2009)
Swedish to English
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+1 Jan 15, 2015

Obi Udeariry wrote:

Do not look back, do not pass GO, just run.


I have a few clients who use this kind of system for some jobs. I try out the system, and when I don't like it (not if) I refuse to use it any more. Sometimes it turns out that it's not actually essential to use that system. Sometimes that means that I part ways with that client.

But if they're committed to an online system that means I'm working at half my usual speed or less then the relationship is already dead as far as I'm concerned.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:43
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@Jeff Jan 15, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
I think the client's intent in this case is to be able to split huge projects up into little pieces to be done by multiple translators who can "share" translations as the project progresses and so that they can keep track of your progress.


Well, on the upside you'd be responsible for just one file, then. On the downside, you would not be able to "benefit" from the existing translations in other files or from the new translations by other translators. But if you're happy with that, you can still download the XLIFF file, and simply upload it once a day (even if you're not done with your translation). Wordbee merges your uploaded file with the online file even if it's not fully translated, and AFAIK you can upload a second version of a file and tell Wordbee to overwrite conflicting segments with your latest version.

Clients who split work up but use an online system often have this belief that because the system shares translators' translations in real time, the end-product will be much more consistent.


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Nathalie Elson  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:43
Member (2006)
French to English
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Try it and decide for yourself Jan 15, 2015

I had that exact same issue last week when one of my regular clients asked me to use Wordbee online. It was only 100 words, I thought why not? When I checked the system, it turned out I could download the file, work from my computer with my own TMs and glossaries and upload the bilingual file at the end (the PM wasn't even aware of that function).
A few of my clients are starting to work that way, is this a new trend? Some systems are OK, some are really useless and very time-consuming and I'd rather not work that way. Try them and decide whether they are worth the effort.

[Edited at 2015-01-15 12:52 GMT]


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Interesting... Jan 15, 2015

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:


Exactly the same in my case with a MemSource-based customer. I download and upload XLIFF files and work with memoQ internally. The customer knows it and it works beautifully for them and for me.


How do you deal with the client's online TM? Does the client provide it for you, do you pre-translate? Because you can't download it, as far as I know, unless the client allows it? What about TermBases? I'm curious, because I'm the same situation...

[Edited at 2015-01-15 13:47 GMT]


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