Over on the update section of your Proz account is a new affiliated service called TM Town. It’s a relatively new service--essentially a marketing hub for your translation brand, a connection between translator’s TM (translation memory) to source texts entered into their proprietary Nakōdo search engine, and an online market for your personal ‘glossary’.
Curious about this seemingly innovative mix, we signed up for an account. Then, had a great discussion with our local translation community regarding TM Town’s service mix and how this does or does not present value. Here’s what we (Intran Solutions), in being a target service provider, understand about what TM Town is and how we’ll go about using it.
TM town is innovative, in that it is an integration of online services that relate to translation. One of these is that it allows search of an online community of translators. Nothing new there. The innovation comes in where it connects the ambiguity of content contained in a translator’s TM to what clients want-A translator that’s done work specifically in the topical area of the source text. It does this through ‘Nakōdo’, by making connections between customer sample source text and translator’s TMs available in the TM Town network. That’s cool and innovative. The alternative method of search, as exemplified by the more traditional Proz market, is where client and service providers can learn about one another through only on a few points of information. Customers that need translation services learn about translators through their Proz account page (profile, translation examples, and reviews, for example). Such limited and self-selected information does not present a perfect picture regarding a translator’s potential quality. The result can be a mismatch between client and translator. Having a history between client and translator is, of course, a better way to go--but given that the US Dept of Labor predicts a 29% rise in inter-language services, how are all these new market entrants going to figure out who the heck to work with?
The stumbling block remains with ethics.
TMs are derivative of what goes into making them. According to the rules of the road (ATA has a translation agreement guide that suggests industry best practices), once a translation has been completed, delivered and paid for, its text is owned by the client. And rightly so.
We applaud TM Town’s efforts to innovate-to create more marketing opportunities, especially for new-to-the-market translators-like us, and their attempt to create a more liquid capital (such as a platform to sell one’s glossary). We are especially excited about the former, in that we keenly search out ways to make our online identity (Linkedin, Proz, Website...) validly connect with potential clients. It’s hard to do this when you’re still working on getting all of your certification and accreditation ducks in a row.
For now, here’s how Intran Solutions will be working with the TM Town and Proz affiliation.