Giving Trados memory away?
Thread poster: Elke Fehling

Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
English to German
+ ...
Nov 17, 2006

Hello everybody!

I have a request from a very good client for a translation of about 30.000 words. It's a translation based on 2 big PDF files from one of the translation agency's clients I have been working for for at least 4 years now.

The client asked me to give me a price that takes repetitions and matches into consideration, and I gave him a rough overview, although I mentioned that this is a bit difficult at this point in time since the conversion from PDF to RTF produces texts with illogical line breaks (translation segments).

I also told him that I need to have a text with proper line breaks in order to really work with it in Trados, and that I will charge him the price of no matches (i.e. 100%) as long as I don't have a text I can work with. I could also work on the line breaks and correct them, but if the client wants to pay less for matches, then he will have to pay me for this kind of work, too.

I also told him that I am stuffed with work at the moment and will need almost 6 weeks for this translation. Actually, I am not too keen on doing it.

Now the client told me that it might be better to give the text to somebody else - which is ok with me. But he asked me for my translation memory. Here I am a bit reluctant, though.

I always charged the client less for repetitons, but I also - sometimes - charged him for the work I had correcting the line breaks.

Is the translation memory mine or do I have to send it to him on request?

I don't just want to give the TM away so somebody else can do this kind of work for reduced prices in the future. But what would be the correct thing to do?

Elke


[Bearbeitet am 2006-11-17 10:16]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:35
English to German
+ ...
Compromise Nov 17, 2006

I would show some loyalty with this long-term client, ask for permission to get help with this job, then hire a translator and hand over the translation memory to a person of your choice.

Other than that, I consider translation a piece of artwork, which, after it is paid for, is property of the client. With all the bits and pieces. All the glossaries that I receive from my clients sure weren't taken at gunpoint.

Jealously guarding a job that you are not able to execute at this time and hence hindering your client to receive the usual quality might endanger your long-term relationship with this particular client.


[Edited at 2006-11-17 13:40]


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Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Giving Trados memory away? Nov 17, 2006

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I would show some loyalty with this long-term client, ask for permission to get help with this job, then hire a translator and hand over the translation memory to a person of your choice.

Other than that, I consider translation a piece of artwork, which, after it is paid for, is property of the client. With all the bits and pieces. All the glossaries that I receive from my clients sure weren't taken at gunpoint.

Jealously guarding a job that you are not able to execute at this time and hence hindering your client to receive the usual quality might endanger your long-term relationship with this particular client.


[Edited at 2006-11-17 13:40]


Yes, I think you are right. I don't want to cause any problems and that is why I asked for a call from the owner (who used to be my friend 17 years ago) find a solution. If she askes me nicely I might just give the TM to her.

But from a more legal point of view: who owns the TM? The client or I?

He paid for it, so actually he owns the translations. But I gave him the translations already, to a reduced price because I could apply reductions for matches etc... Why should I give away my TM if I already reduced prices for the translations he received and in this way loose all my advantages?


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:35
French to English
+ ...
client can make his own TM Nov 17, 2006

if this is the TM from all the jobs you have done for this client - your client has all the source and target texts, so he can align these and make a TM from them.

I've been asked this in the past and told the client (truthfully) that my TM is a giant multi-client one, and I wasn't able to extract her segments from it - so I'd have to align my translations separately, which was a job she could do just as easily. Did she want to pay me to do it, or do it herself?

She did it herself.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:35
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Is the TM produced from the client's texts only? Nov 17, 2006

Your translation memory is definitely your intellectual property and you can refuse to give it away. Besides, if it's a TM with TUs from other jobs/clients, sharing it may be violation of copyright and quite unethical.
However, if this is a TM only from your client's previous texts, you've anyway given it away indirectly as your translation, and, as already said, the client can easily align the source and the target. Or give the source and the target to the other translator(s). If it's a good client, why make such problems to him?


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Marina Marinova
Switzerland
Local time: 15:35
English to Macedonian
+ ...
should I give my TMs from a test translation Jan 16, 2007

Dear All,

could you please share your views on this one?

In short while I will be tested from an agency. I do not know how big the translation will be but I have to return it cleaned up and also the translation memory. The test will not be paid but sharing the same opinion as you I am reluctant to send them the TM.

Please advise me what to do?

Thanks in advance, Marina


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Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:35
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Give it away Jan 16, 2007

First of all I finally decided - back then - to give my translation memory away. The client considered it to be his, I wanted to keep him, so I decided not to get into an argument and help him.

Concerning your test transaltion:

The client will be able to align the text anyway, so I don't see a reason why you should keep the TM and make work difficult for him.

Besides that, it was a test translation. And your cooperation is part of the test. If you don't give him the TM, you will fail...

If you don't care about this client, keep the TM for yourself.

Concerning the legal part of this issue, I haven't found a solution yet.


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Marina Marinova
Switzerland
Local time: 15:35
English to Macedonian
+ ...
thanks Elke Jan 16, 2007

I really appreciate your swift reply. I have already decided to give it but I wanted someone elses opinion on this. I do care for every client but I do not want to be taken advantage as I have been by now.

Thanks again. Greetings from Skopje, Marina


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Klas Törnquist
Local time: 15:35
English to Swedish
+ ...
Room for negotiation Jan 19, 2007

Elke Fehling wrote:

First of all I finally decided - back then - to give my translation memory away. The client considered it to be his, I wanted to keep him, so I decided not to get into an argument and help him.


I think there is some middle ground here.

If I understand it correctly, the client hasn't specifically asked you to use a TM tool or deliver bilingual files.
You have a TM based (exclusively?) on the files you have translated for this client, or, you still have bilingual files, from which you can build a TM.
The client has access to source and target files.

So, the client could align the files and create a TM. This could take somethin like 10 to 20 % of the time it takes to translate the files.

If you don't have a specific TM for this client, but still have the bilingual files, you can build a TM in less than an hour.
Let's assume it would take the client 20 hours to align the files.

In this case you could e.g. charge the client for 5 or 10 hours and you would both benefit.

True, the client has paid for the translation, but he has received unilingual files in the target language. However, he hasn't paid you to maintain a TM.

One obvious reason for charging is that once the client has the TM, he can let others use it and maybe ditch you as a supplier.

Klas


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 16:35
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
a very similar situation Mar 2, 2007

I have a client who gives good and permanent orders in the same area. They have never requested the jobs to be done with Trados - we just agreed on a "straight rate" per word for Word and Excel files, and that is it.

And somehow I mentioned that I use Trados and then they have asked to give me the TM I have been accumulating for almost 2 years (going some 30 pages per week on the average) and apply Trados discount rates for future jobs. Well, I do not think I'd have anything against Trados rates (despite that the client already has a special rate for permanent orders), but shall I give the TM I have already accumulated?

So, what to do as to save the sheep and have the wolf happy at the same time? Eating the shepherd is not a solution...


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Tinedy
Local time: 21:35
English to Chinese
Client should keep their own TM Apr 22, 2007

I think Client should keep their own TM and it's not reasonable to give client accumulated TM for past 2 years if all materials are not from the same client.

For specific job, if translator deliver Bilingual files, client could cleanup the files themselves and collect the TM. If they just want clean file back, translator could give them TM for the job. It's quite unreasonable to give your accumulated TM to a certain client. Sometimes, some materials are confidential, for example, if the translation material includes some confidential technical content or some important contact info. When you doing translation on bilingual files, you also include the information in the TM. As a translator, we should keep client's info confidential and didn't disclose them to any third party. If translator give materials of Client A to Client B, it might lead to some legal problems.

So, I suggest to explain to your client and let him know about it.



[Edited at 2007-04-22 07:08]


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Andrzej Wróblewski
Local time: 15:35
English to Polish
+ ...
From the legal point of view... Aug 11, 2008

It depends on the kind of agreement you had with your client... TMs are considered as tools used to create a work, not a part of the work itself... but still, your agreement might say otherwise, because what's binding is usually what you agree upon with your client...

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Rossko
Spain
Local time: 15:35
Spanish to English
Owership of translation memories Jan 22, 2009

Contrary to some of the above comments and what you always see on agencies' websites, current legal thinking is inclined towards considering the translator to be the owner of the translation memory he/she creates, unless specifically stipulated otherwise in a contract with the client/agency. The "contract hire" doctrine may come into play in the US, if certain conditions are met, but not in the EU and other jurisdictions.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.telefonica.net/web2/rossko/INTELLECTUAL_PROPERTY_AND_TRANSLATION_TOOLS.htm


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