Translating Dictionaries
Auteur du fil: Malika Lakbiach
Malika Lakbiach  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
néerlandais vers arabe
+ ...
May 17

Dear All,

I was asked to help translating a dictionary and have, to that end, to sign a contract.

While the contract states that the name of my business will be mentioned in the dictionary as being the translator, it also says the following about copyright:

"2.1 Editor acknowledges that all of the copyright and other rights in the Core and the Work belong solely to XX.
2.2 XX grants to the Editor a non-exclusive right to use the copyrighted contents and material concerning the Work for the sole purpose of carrying out the Services in accordance with this Agreement.
2.3 Editor undertakes to assign to XX, and does hereby assign, all of the right, title and interest, including the copyright therein, that the Editor may acquire in the course of carrying out the Services, for all purposes in all forms and in all media, such that no right, title and interest of any kind in the Services shall remain with the Editor and all such rights, title and interest shall belong to XX."

I am not sure whether, by signing this agreement, I am doing myself injustice by giving up all the rights. However, if I don't agree to these terms and try to negotiate, I might lose the contract all together.

Has any of you had experience translating dictionary entries? If so, how did you deal with this copyright issue?

Your input is much appreciated.



[Edited at 2017-05-17 21:58 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 13:53
Membre (2009)
néerlandais vers anglais
+ ...
Hmm. May 17

Malika Lakbiach wrote:

Dear All,

I was asked to help translating a dictionary and have, for that end, to sign a contract.

While the contract states that the name of my business will be mentioned in the dictionary as being the translator, it also says the following about copyright:

"2.1 Editor acknowledges that all of the copyright and other rights in the Core and the Work belong solely to XX.
2.2 XX grants to the Editor a non-exclusive right to use the copyrighted contents and material concerning the Work for the sole purpose of carrying out the Services in accordance with this Agreement.
2.3 Editor undertakes to assign to XX, and does hereby assign, all of the right, title and interest, including the copyright therein, that the Editor may acquire in the course of carrying out the Services, for all purposes in all forms and in all media, such that no right, title and interest of any kind in the Services shall remain with the Editor and all such rights, title and interest shall belong to XX."

I am not sure whether, by signing this agreement, I am doing myself injustice by giving up all the rights. However, if I don't agree to these terms and try to negotiate, I might lose the contract all together.

Has any of you had experience translating dictionary entries? If so, how did you deal with this copyright issue?

Your input is much appreciated.



Apart from whether the terms are acceptable or not, keep in mind that translating dictionary entries (or glossaries/termbases, etc.) is much harder and more time consuming than translating flowing text. Clients sometimes fail to understand this. If you charge, e.g., €0.15/source word for translating normal texts, you should be charging much, much more for individual dictionary entries. €2/source word? More? I've never done it myself, so wouldn't know what to charge. I would definitely work out what you want to earn per hour an ask for that.

Michael

[Edited at 2017-05-17 21:24 GMT]


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Robin Levey
Chili
Local time: 08:53
espagnol vers anglais
+ ...
You cannot / should not assign rights until the job is finished and PAID FOR May 17

I see no problems with items 2.1 and 2.2, which simply say the source material belongs to XX and are being “loaned” to Editor for the purpose of carrying out the contract.

If I were negotiating this contract, I would seek to delete the words “and does hereby assign” from item 2.3, and add an item 2.4, something like:
The undertaking set out in ítem 2.3 shall become effective immediately upon Editor receiving payment, in full, of the agreed contract price.

That’s because your work, as Editor, is yours until your client has paid for it.


[Edited at 2017-05-17 19:34 GMT]


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philgoddard
États-Unis
Membre (2009)
allemand vers anglais
+ ...
Is it possible to translate a dictionary? May 17

I've never heard of it before. All you can do is take the headwords from the original and write your own definitions.

I don't think you should worry about copyright. As long as the customer pays you, you don't care what the customer does with your work after you've delivered it.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:53
anglais vers espagnol
+ ...
So we give away our rights that easily? May 17

Malika, first, a disclaimer: I've never translated or edited a dictionary.

I own dozens of printed dictionaries, however. As a translator, I also have a keen interest in the evolution of copyrights and their development in the digital age.

Of course, you are right in looking at those clauses with skepticism. You are also right in seeking help from experienced translators who have done that dictionary translation before. But hear this also:

1) Translators create texts; hence, they have a intellectual rights over the translations they write
2) Facing marketplace facts: we all give away our translation intellectual property rights in exchange for payment when we work with commercial clients
3) One of the few ways we translators can retain our intellectual rights to our translation is to self-translate a book we wrote or a book or other work that is so old it has become public domain. Another way we retain those rights: when we create and own our glossaries and translation memories. The fruit of our own research is ours, period.
4) As a translator, please consider your written work as something unique, not just as a product or service you get paid for to deliver


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Malika Lakbiach  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
néerlandais vers arabe
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Thanks Michael May 18

Thanks Michael for your input.

I have indeed attempted to charge per hour, but the client could not accept the offer as it would have been way above budget for them apparently. I am not very happy with their offer either (1 EURO per entry), but I am very passionate about this project and like the prestige that comes with it.

[Edited at 2017-05-18 09:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-05-18 09:53 GMT]


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Malika Lakbiach  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
néerlandais vers arabe
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Very helpful - thank you Robin May 18

Your suggestion is very helpful Robin.
Thank you fo much!

[Edited at 2017-05-18 12:59 GMT]


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Malika Lakbiach  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
néerlandais vers arabe
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Thanks Mario May 18

Thank you Mario for the additional information and tips.

I agree with you on all the points, but as freelance translators, most of us just try to make a living, and there is always someone who would do your work for less. So one has to compete, most of the times and intellectual property rights become then less of a concern sadly.


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Malika Lakbiach  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:53
néerlandais vers arabe
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Thanks philgoddard May 18

Thank you for your contribution.

The dictionary is a bilingual one, hence the need for translating the entries and the sense into the target language. There are no definitions, just entries (headwords), senses, phrases and examples of usage.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 14:53
espagnol vers anglais
+ ...
Hear, hear May 18

Mario Chavez wrote:

But hear this also:

1) Translators create texts; hence, they have a intellectual rights over the translations they write
2) Facing marketplace facts: we all give away our translation intellectual property rights in exchange for payment when we work with commercial clients
3) One of the few ways we translators can retain our intellectual rights to our translation is to self-translate a book we wrote or a book or other work that is so old it has become public domain. Another way we retain those rights: when we create and own our glossaries and translation memories. The fruit of our own research is ours, period.
4) As a translator, please consider your written work as something unique, not just as a product or service you get paid for to deliver


That was an uplifting wee read after a long day; these are things I never give a lot of thought to, so thanks for sharing


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 14:53
espagnol vers anglais
+ ...
Hourly rate May 18

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer wrote:

[I've never done it myself, so wouldn't know what to charge. I would definitely work out what you want to earn per hour an ask for that.

Michael

[Edited at 2017-05-17 21:24 GMT]



Sound advice. An hourly rate is probably how I would approach it too... it seems the safest option.


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