TAUS drops membership fees, finally

The Translation Automation User Society has always been an organization that I’ve admired more in theory than in practice.

That is, I admire the organization’s goal of broadly sharing translation memories (TM).

But I’ve been less than enthusiastic about how this organization operates.

TAUS always felt a bit like a country club — in which only a few large players could afford to join and its inner workings kept top-secret. TAUS caught some flack awhile back from trying to prevent its attendees from tweeting its conference sessions. It’s this culture of secrecy that has always bothered me. For translation memory sharing to go mainstream, you need to raise awareness significantly. You need lots of evangelists embedded in companies large and small.

So I’m happy to see TAUS lowering admission fees for its Data Association. TAUS writes:

The annual associate level fee has come down from €625 to €250. Professional membership has been reduced from €75 to €50 and allows individuals to download 10 times the amount of data that is uploaded.

Many executives that I speak with still do not see the value of sharing previously translated text strings (if this is on their radar to begin with). And if you don’t see the value in sharing TM, you sure as heck aren’t going to throw money at it.

More important, you’re not going to throw money at membership fees for something you don’t understand.

By lowering the fees, not only do you expand your organization to smaller players, you lower the barrier for larger organization that may not yet see the value of participating.

It will be interesting to see how membership evolves based on this change. The last I checked, current membership stands at roughly 70 corporate members.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.