The quarterly meeting of CITLoB members on Saturday, September 26, 2020 was alive with two interesting discussions and we are happy to share the brief summary of both the discussions here. IndoVox would like to especially thank Ms Lalita Marathe and Mr Pradeesh Joseph for summarising the discussions so well and sharing it almost instantly for IndoVox!

Topic: Is MTPE and AI a menace

Moderator: Lalita Marathe

Summary of the discussion

  • MTPE is trending and adds value to language business. 
  • We have trained the engines but not the translators. They need proper training and guidance. 
  • MTPE is a boon to language service providers and linguists if it is used properly. 
  • Linguists will have to adapt to and use MT if they want to survive and thrive. 
  • To understand MT, organisational maturity and awareness of the entire scenario is very important.
  • The financial, lexical, language pair and domain specific issues must also be taken into consideration.
  • Resistance to use MT is the biggest hurdle. 
  • India needs more post-editors and reviewers. 
  • MT is very useful.However, AI could be a menace if it continues to be a word falsely claimed to be used by those who do not understand what it means or how its role in improving technology-driven language solutions
  • CITLoB will organize webinars on relevant topics like MT, data science, AI, etc. so that members can build a better understanding of the subject.
  • Everyone agreed that MT needs to be popularised among linguists and more content on the internet needs to be translated from and into Indian languages.

Participated in discussion: Sandeep Nulkar, Lalita Marathe, Anuj Jaisinghani, Saumitra Mahajan, Sanjeev Das, Biraj Rath, Sudheen, Anandsagar Shiralkar, Pradeesh Joseph

Topic: Securing payments when working with LSPs and direct clients

Moderator: M Sudheen (Crystal Hues)

Summary of Discussion

  • Default and delay in processing payments from the clients are issues of concern.
  • It impacts payments to the freelancers and partner agencies as per agreed SLA.
  • Client review to be conducted every year. Rate clients on the basis of their performance.
  • Written payment terms and SLAs and/or POs are a must if payment issues are to be avoided.
  • Companies may have capacity to pay but may not have intention to pay. So, it is important to assess the ability to pay and the intention to pay of the client before every project.
  • Client’s background check is also a must before signing any agreement.
  • A few indicators were suggested to identify clients for their credibility, before accepting any projects
    • domain checks, presence on social media platform
    • Check on persons behind the company (founders)
    • Check client consistency, stability and performance history
  • Bank guarantee, though a good protection for getting payments, it may not be practical and feasible due to time consuming process and involvement of various departments of the client company. The client may opt for another vendor in the meantime.
  • LSPs need to factor in non-payments of 2-3% of their annual revenue and build that into their pricing.
  • One should not be so eager to take on work that any of the above guidelines are ignored.
  • CITLoB members can request partner agencies to become a member of CITLoB. This will act as a deterrent for payment issues and duping.