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Pricing structure with Trados
Thread poster: Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation

Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 11, 2002

Hi,



I would really appreciate it if someone could give some advice about how the pricing structure works when you are using Trados.



Some weeks ago, I got this approximate discount structure from a friend. Is this accurate according to the market?



Repetition 75%

95-99% match 35%

84-94% match 25%

75-84% match 10%

0% match 0%



If I am not wrong this was already discussed in this forum, but I couldn\'t find it back.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:17
English to German
+ ...
Sounds fair to me Jun 13, 2002

...just make sure that anything less than 75% is charged in full.

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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
A slightly different TRADOS matrix Jun 13, 2002

I mean, you will charge to cheap.

I practised the following rates:



Repetitions and 100-95% with 30%

Matches 75-94% with with 60%

Less than 75% with 100%



Those are realy good approaches to cover the work needed to do a translation using TRADOS, because you need to check even 100% matches.



On the other hand, I have a client, who pays everything in full, but does not pay any cent for 100% matches. Since the slightest change in the document structure or setting a comma elswhere causes a match with less than 100% it is acceptable too.

But using the TRADOS matrix for charging is much better - and very transparent for any customer.



Regards

Jerzy


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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 23:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
Trados and the interpreter Jun 14, 2002

When an interpreter has to repeat the same words over and over again, no matter how much % match, does (s)he give a rebate on his/her hourly rate?

Who benefits from the discount for repetitions and matches: the translation agency and not so much the direct customer.

Yesterday, I got an offer : We have an assignment for you, about 6000 words with 29% repetitions, Trados required. I turned it down. Sorry, but Trados costs 495$ at the lowest price and 695$ at the price Trados sells it, only to earn less?

When there is a flue epedemia and a doctor has to treat a waiting room full of patients with flue, will he lower his fee?







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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Reply to "Dolphin" Jun 16, 2002

Sorry but you are completly wrong. You do not earn less using TRADOS and giving rebate to your customer.

You are quite right about interpreting, but you cannot compare interpreting and translating.

Since you can work much faster using TRADOS within a text with a lot of repetitions you can save a lot of time. And this allows you to start next translation earlier as if you could without TRADOS. I\'m using TRADOS since more than 2 years and it works. For example, I did a translation of two big technical manuals. The customer provided the security advices only for one machine. After the translation was done they checked, that the security advices for the second machine slightly differ from that fpr the first one. The one was a geaborx, and the second a turning unit for turbines. So I had to translate the security advices for the turning unit too. There were more than 90% of 100% matches, so I charged them with only 30% of my normal rate. I finished the translation in 20 minutes or so and charged my customer with 70 EURO. Wouldn\'t I give him the rebate, he had to pay more than 200. But he wouldn\'t want to. Translating this advices without trados would take me an hour or so (12 pages or so), so I\'m sure, using TRADOS saves time and allows me to earn more even if I\'m giving a rebate to customer.



Jerzy


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
A different view Jun 16, 2002

I have been using Trados for several years, but I don\'t give discounts for repetitions. I work faster, no doubt, so the benefit to the client is consistency and a quick turnaround. No need to add a discount on top of that.



Incidentally, when I first started using Trados, Transit, IBM Translation Manager, and ForeignDesk, they were all provided free of charge by the client.



It\'s just a matter of how you market yourself.



PS: FWIW, my CAT tool of choice is DéjàVu.


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Cecilia Coopman, M.A. in Translation  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:17
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 17, 2002

Thanks for your point of view!

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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 23:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
All about money Jun 24, 2002

Sehr geehrter Herr Diplomingenieur:

\"I know that interpreting and translation are not the same. I am not a \"self-anointed\" translator, but have a graduated at a school for T&I, so I know how the interior of an interpreter booth looks like\".

Many of your colleagues are in the consulting business. Do you think they will lower their rates if a customers consult them ten times and they have to explain ten times the same? T&I means business and business is about making €,£,$ (money) and steady growth.



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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
All about money Jun 24, 2002

and that is why a lot of big customers in Germany force us to give discounts. It is not that I wish to do so, because if I can, I will surely charge the whole rate. But a lot of customers are companies handling with technical documentation and using CAT tools themselves, so I only have the chance to say no to a good job or to accept this discounting. And I\'m sure, even if I\'m only \"Diplomingenieur\", I do better to accept this job, then I can earn the money I wouldn\'t if I had refused.

Surely, without any discount I would earn much more, but only if I use TRADOS.

Well, if you do not need to give any discounts, so you can call you lucky.



Thats my slight different point of view.



Jerzy

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-06-24 18:30 ]


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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 23:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
Alternative activity Jun 25, 2002

This proves that the idea of having an alternative, though related freelance service to offer to customers and not putting all one’s eggs in one basket might be a good idea. Thus one can say \'NO\' to low rates and discounts.

Most people on Proz have a university (level) education and can engage in another activity beside translation, if rates offered are too low and if saying no to low rates and discounts creates gaps in their agenda. It would be wise when an offer comes in to ask half an hour to reflect on whether to accept the offer or not and make an activity based price-calculation of how much you will earn. If it is less than the other service you offer, it is up to you do decide whether you accept an offer or not.



I have yet to meet the first interpreter who will give a discount for repeating words over and over again. Moreover, interpreting pays a fixed price per diems not included. The same is true for teaching MsOffice on a freelance basis and which translator does not use MsWord?

By the way, in construction specifications the same phrases and a lot of technical terms appear very often. No architect ever asked for a discount.

I have already received offers with Trados required (rang a bell), but who said: read my lips: “NO discounts for Trados (lowest price was $495), Déjà Vu (approx. price: €1000) or any other CAT or Translation Tool”. I find it rather odd that you invest in CAT to earn less and use the fact that you are cheap and will earn less as a tool to promote yourself. I\'d rather do something else then give discounts (How much do you think Access programming earns on a freelance basis per day?). The dictionaries, I use are nearly all electronic versions. This speeds up the translation process. Should I give a discount because I use them instead of paperback versions? How far can you go in offering discounts, lowering rates and creating a downward spiral? Corporations and agencies are no charity institutions either. Why is it that some translators absolutely want to be the Lada of the Industry and that some are the Ferrari of the Industry?



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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:17
English to German
+ ...
Missing the point (at least part of it) Jun 25, 2002

The point about discounts for repetitions is not to earn less, but to improve (your own) efficiency. Quite frequently, large projects (such as an annual report, for example) include several \"waves\" of amendments to the original text. Now if the client has to pay 100% for each version, the consequence is clear: you get the final version only, with a breakneck deadline. If, on the other hand, you can advise the client that it\'s beneficial to start translating with a \"semi-final\" version and then incorporate changes as they happen, chances are that you\'ll run this project two to three times over.



For obvious reasons, I won\'t go into too much detail here - just this much: forget the fixation on line or word charges and look at your hourly rate.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-06-25 05:35 ]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:17
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Hourly rate vs. word rate Jun 25, 2002

Ralf, you have spoken this out, what I meant.

It is not the case I want to earn less with giving discounts, but I can earn the same even giving a discount and gettng a large project.

Very good example are two documentations I made recently. The one was a big description of trams, and I got this documentation the second time. So I agreed with the customer a discount, but I got the whole documentation and not only a part of it, because the deadline was really very very tough, and I could manage it only using TRADOS. My hourly rate was surely not worser in this case. Had I not agreed any discount, I would get only a part of this documentation, and the rest would be lost to some colleagues, who are perhaps cheaper (and there surely are a lot of them, especially in my language pair). Arguments such as quality and so on are good, but if the customer has to pay two or three times as much, than he goes rather elswhere - as far as my experiences go.

The second one were those security advices, I mentioned above in my first post. Had I not agreed the discount, this translation agency had done the job by themselves, surely not better, but I hadn´t earned any cent.



Just my two cents

Jerzy


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Monia Di Martino
Italy
Local time: 23:17
Italian to English
+ ...
new to CAT tools Oct 17, 2008

Due to the larger and larger demand for using CAT tools, I'm trying to understand how this world works, so I say beforehand that I can't use any.
I read the whole thread but couldn't understand some basic things about Trados or whatever CAT tool. As the rate is calculated in percentage, I presume I should calculate a total amount for the entire job, it would be hard to make a percentage out of a word price, am I right?
Secondly, how can I know the number of repetitions? I know CAT tools suggest you references from the TM, but are they counted by the tool? In numbers or percentage? And are repetitions taken into account as entire sentences or words?

Besides, taking back the posts by williamson (the "dolphin" translator) isn't the time I save through the tool spent in using the functions of the tool? Maybe because I'm not used to them, but thinking of adding a term to the TM or correcting the TM suggestions because they don't entirely match, while I translate, rather picks on my nerves and makes me think it is something that gets in the way of my job.

Last question: has anybody ever had the chance to estimate if not giving discounts with CAT tools really makes the offerers turn you down or do they normally accept this anyway?

Maybe too many questions, but as I said, I'm trying to understand. I don't know if I'm wrong, but I'm personally ortientated to Wordfast as it seems to be the easiest to use tool and fittable to all formats.

[Edited at 2008-10-17 14:36]


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