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Prices for larger translations with Transit.
Thread poster: Elke Fehling

Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:34
English to German
+ ...
May 10, 2004

Hello everybody!

One of my clients (translation agency) just asked me for an offer for the translation of technical manuals in TRANSIT (English, French into German). They want me to make me a proposition with a price that becomes less the more text there is.

I have a very good relationship with this client (I know this translation agency since 15 years, they helped me to get started as a translator). I would like to make them a good offer, but I have no idea where to start.

I don't know Transit at all (the client is going to send me a CD with the software so I can have a look at it) and I have no idea how it compares to Trados. How much faster will I be using this tool?

I also don't know where to start reducing the price. Do you apply any rules of thumb when you offer reduced prices for larger volumes? What is a large volume?

The agency also asked me if I know somebody I could team up with in order to work faster. Now this is something that really scares me a bit. I am used to working on my own, and I don't like the idea of taking over the responsible for somebody else's work...

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks you very much in advance!

Elke


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:34
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Cite your normal price May 10, 2004

I have no experience with Transit (turned some offers down which required Transit). You won't be faster than with Trados, rather slower. I here, much depends on how the translation manager is able to use transit and how she pre-translates the segments.
When you have worked 15 years with this firm you should be in the position to ask for a rise, not give them any discount. But that's up to you of course.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:34
German to English
+ ...
Why Transit? May 10, 2004

Why do they want Transit?

Do they want a translation memory? If so, why can't you produce a TMX file in Trados for them, for a small fee?

Marc


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Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:34
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Don't know May 10, 2004

MarcPrior wrote:

Why do they want Transit?

Do they want a translation memory? If so, why can\'t you produce a TMX file in Trados for them, for a small fee?

Marc


That\'s probably a good question, I am going to ask the translation agency. You are saying I can produce valid Transit files with Trados?

Elke


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 18:34
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
How do you know then? May 10, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

I have no experience with Transit (turned some offers down which required Transit). You won't be faster than with Trados, rather slower.


I worked with Transit and I can be very clear: it works fast.
Moreover, the Transit Satellite PE version doesn't cost a penny and is very very easy to use.
I don't think you can tell the same about the tool you have in mind.

How would you know it's slower than Trados, Heinrich, if you never used it?

And to people querying 'why Transit', I reply 'why Trados', and 'why not Transit' or 'SDLX or DV or Fusion or whatever'?
Or why any CAT at all if all they want is lower rates?


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:34
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Give them discount for repetitions and then for allready translated text May 10, 2004

What I mean is, that you can start with charging less for repetitive translation units. This makes sense, as you will not need to touch once translated sentences, if they occur once again (Transit does this for you, as the default setting for Transit is translate to fuzzy). You can download Transit Satellite PE 3.0 at no cost here: http://star-solutions.net/html/eng/support/Transit-SAT-PE.html
After you work further on that project with your customer, the translation memory will grow (unluckilly, you will not hava any TM using Satellite, as the whole TM remains by customer), so they will probably pretranslate the files and perhaps even not pay for that - you will perhaps even not notice this, as they will be able to filter only not translated segments ...
But alltogether it is still better to get the project with Transit as to say no.
I must admit, that even if i do not like this tool and don´t feel comfortable working with it in any way, it is fast. Faster than SDLX for sure. So knowing its limitations - and there are many, at least in Satellite PE - one can work with it.

Regards
Jerzy

[Edited at 2004-05-10 11:07]


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:34
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Transit repetitions May 10, 2004

I worked with both Trados and Transit. Similarly increases your speed and productivity, depending on how much repetition the text contains. The two systems are different. Whereas you can work with Trados in Word, you cannot work in Word with Transit, you have a different interface and in Transit you will not be able to use the Windows spell checker. I believe Transit has its own spell checkers.
However I doubt that you can produce valid Transit files with Trados.

As for the rates, you should not offer discounts for volume, as you will already be offering the repetition and full matches discounts. Transit has a similar grille of repetitions as Trados and probably it is a good idea to offer the same rates as in your work with Trados.

It is not very difficult to work with Transit, there is a multimedia tour downloadable from their site and you will quickly find out everything you need to know.

I am not sure if the agency asked you to do project management for them on the project, but if they simply asked for a recommendation, you could recommend someone you know as a good translator, if you find it appropriate, but you can equaly tell them that you do not know anyone suitable. Probably they need a second translator due to the volume of the project. But you cannot be held responsible in any way for a translation that was not done by you.

Best of luck.

[Edited at 2004-05-10 11:37]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:34
German to English
+ ...
TMX/why Transit May 10, 2004

You are saying I can produce valid Transit files with Trados?


Elke:

Not to my knowledge, but you can certainly produce TMX-format files in Trados, and Transit is able to read them, see:

http://www.star-ag.ch/deu/gruppe/partner.html

And to people querying 'why Transit', I reply 'why Trados'


That kind of reply is not helpful in the slightest.

The customer obviously has a reason for asking for Transit. The most likely explanation is that the customer maintains memories internally in Transit format. The translator in this case has a good reason for NOT doing the translation in Transit: she has Trados, is presumably familiar with it, and doing a job in Transit entails time spent learning the software and a reduction, at least initially, in efficiency, with a resulting loss in earnings. Since Trados and Transit can export and import TMX memories respectively, that loss may be totally unnecessary.

A sensible solution would be for the translator to supply TMX files and the customer to convert them to Transit format. First, though, the customer's reasons for wanting Transit in the first place have to be established.

Marc


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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:34
Partial member
German to English
+ ...
What I would do May 10, 2004

1. If client requires CAT use, charge $0.01 more per word that I would otherwise. Then:

2. Grant a 70% discount on all repetitions. Then:

3. Grant a volume discount of 1% per $500, up to 20%. Examples: a $1,000 job gets a 2% discount of $20; $5,000 job gets 10% = $500; $10,000 job gets 20% = $2000.

(Another way of granting a floating volume discount would be to charge one rate for the first xxxx words, a somewhat lower one for the next xxxx and so forth. Obviously, with any model, you'll have to cap the discount rate somewhere.)


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:34
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Fuzzy discounts not bulk May 10, 2004

Hi Elke,

I wouldn't give them a reduction on the bulk, but rather on the fuzzy matches. Transit has a very adjustable counting system (characters/words/lines) with different percentages and weightings and they can take these matches into account.

I presume the agency wants to use Transit as they already have translations for the customer and will use them as reference material during import. They can also add relevant terminology automatically to the target text during import. I'd ask them to include any relevant dictionaries in the projects along with reference extracts.

I presume that you'll get the free Satellite version, but its enough to start off with. If you like it, as I do, it is worth buying the Smart version as you can import projects of your own, and it is much more flexible.

I've not used Satellite since I bought Transit Smart, but if I remember correctly, you can add previous translations as your own reference material.

As Cristiana mentioned, there is a very good CBT (computer-based training) module at the PE download site. Once you've worked through that, you can start working with Transit quite efficiently.

As for the speed issue, Transit will speed up things eventually - once you've got the hang of it and your reference material has built up. My main agency forced me to use Satellite and I was totally p*****d off at first as I was much slower. But after a relatively short time, I realised the advantages and now get cheesed off if I can't use Transit (or Trados if the worst comes to the worst).

GO FOR IT, you won't regret it!

Regards, Jill


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:34
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
"Translation memories" May 10, 2004

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

unluckilly, you will not hava any TM using Satellite, as the whole TM remains by customer


This is not true. Transit does not have a TM like Trados. Transit creates 2 main files for a translation, one contains the source text, the other contains the target translation. These pairs of language files are the "TM" and are used as reference material for fuzzies and importing in subsequent projects. This makes Transit extremely flexible, as you can switch and swap reference material during translation as you need it. e.g. if you have a standard disclaimer in the text and have translated a similar one for a different customer, you can add this project as reference material just to translate the disclaimer. You can then remove this reference material from the project to translate the rest.

So whatever you have translated remains reference material that you can keep on using.

Hope this clears up this widespread misunderstanding.

Cheers, Jill


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:34
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
TM once again May 10, 2004

Sorry, but Transit Satellite PE does NOT build any sort of TM you can use in direct way, as it is with Trados or SDLX. Well, you still have your language pairs, but this is all, no concordance search, and if you wish to use your previous translations, you MUST copy all language pairs into your project foldes. Say, if you wish to use a book, you have to get the whole library with you. You cannot generate extract with Satellite PE, as it was possible with previous (full) versions of Transit - and is still possible, but only with the full version of Transit, which is expensive as Trados or all other CATs are.
The Satellite PE version limits the translator only to do, what his project manager has created. No possibilty to change anything. If the segmentation is bullshit, you have to work with it...
That's why I don't like Transit PE.

Regards
Jerzy


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:34
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Sorry to disagree again, but... May 11, 2004

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Sorry, but Transit Satellite PE does NOT build any sort of TM you can use in direct way, as it is with Trados or SDLX.


I didn't say it did. Previous translations are pairs of files used as reference material. Transit doesn't have a "TM".

Well, you still have your language pairs, but this is all


Exactly - they contain the previous translations - aligned reference material.

... and if you wish to use your previous translations, you MUST copy all language pairs into your project foldes. Say, if you wish to use a book, you have to get the whole library with you.


So what is a Trados TM if not the essence of all previous translations? And you don't have to copy in all pairs, only the files of interest.

... You cannot generate extract with Satellite PE, as it was possible with previous (full) versions of Transit - and is still possible, but only with the full version of Transit, which is expensive as Trados or all other CATs are...

no concordance search....

...The Satellite PE version limits the translator only to do, what his project manager has created. No possibilty to change anything. If the segmentation is bullshit, you have to work with it...


It would be extremely counterproductive to put any bells and whistles in a free demo. Who would fork out the dough for the full version? It is no secret that Satellite is project manager-oriented and not translator-oriented. But at least it is functional and can be used for translating.

Regards,
Jill


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:34
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Transit IS fast but not very flexible in the free version May 17, 2004

I must admit I have done rush translations in Transit only half knowing how to use it, but it works very fast, and I like the fact the translation is horizontal rather than vertical. When the agency does something wrong with the alignment - then that's it total panic though. I have only used the limited version.

I also use Wordfast (which I like, also vertical) and started with SDLX which I find more difficult to concentrate on (horizontal translating), but perhaps that is just the beginning.

Of course the question was about discounts - there are all kinds of discounts possible, I would say at least for 100% matches (although you still have to check them!) although I am not too fond about the 'fuzzies' - often it is totally incomprehensible what the machine comes up with. Or you tend to forget part of the sentence - even worse.

About volume discounts:
If you receive big projects - that is good, but it will keep you from not being dependent on one agency and stop you from taking on other jobs that could take you further, so I would not be too enthousiastic discounting my earnings away.

I have very good experience working together with other translators, on a translator - proofreader basis (you can take turns to start with). That way you can start making the translations consistent, and a colleague may come up with this fantastic solution you never thought of.

Good luck!


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