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Repetitions old story
Thread poster: Bright Bridge

Bright Bridge  Identity Verified
Morocco
Local time: 18:35
English to Arabic
+ ...
Mar 1, 2006

Hi all,
With regard to repetitions subject I wonder whether requiring a TM (Trados, wordfast ...) implies reduced rate for repetitions. In this case shall we as freelancers fix the rate for repetitions or go for the fact that the 25% rate is granted .
Sometimes, what is worse, you are asked to work for reduced rates for 100%, 75%, 50%, 25% match repetitions which will deprive you of 50% if not more of the total price of the translation.
In Some cases, as in Arabic translation, the TM is not 100% effective in finding repetitions which requires additional effort and time to proofread the document.
any suggestions?


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:35
French to English
+ ...
You don't skip them, so.... Mar 1, 2006

It is rare that I would even consider discounts for repetitions.... I still have to input the word, still have to make sure that it is the right word for the new context, and I still have to proof the work.

Does my plumber give me a discount when he has to tighten three identical bolts? Nope.

Does my attorney charge me any less for the same question asked a second time? Nope.

Why would translators be the only ones who offer free work?

Respect and self-respect.....


Patricia


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:35
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
I would not comapre full repetitions to plumbers or attorneys work Mar 1, 2006

Please consider, that repetitions means segments, not words.
You could better compare this with producing something, for example printing a book. If you would print one book only, the cost will be extremly high. But then if you produce 10000 books, the cost is lower. And it will be lower for 1 million books.

Real repetitions and real 100% matches should mean really less work - you can save your time and thus work on other pieces of text in the same time. This can be a reason to give a discount for repetition or 100% match. I can only speak for languages I work with. And in Polish we do have situations, that one segment may differ according to the context. So for that purpose I need more than one 100% match for my source segment. When translting or analysing this match will never be counted as 100%, provided I have set up a proper penalty for more 100% matches. In this way tranlation process allways stops at such segment. Then you have to chose the proper segment from your TM, place it and ready you are. Usually this is much faster than translating from scratch.

And the real question is not wether I provide discounts for matches and repetitions or not, but only how much I have to earn with this project to get my neccessary hourly fee. With other words you can set the calculation so, that there is no charge for repetitions and 100% matches for example and still earn more money with this particular project, as would you do charging a lower word rate without any discount. Looking from the customers point of view, I would tend to the conclusion, that he would probably chose the translator with the higher word rate and discount (psychological effect: you are buying a "premoim priced" product and getting a rebate on it), than someone with a lower word rate and no discount. But this is my personal impression - maybe I´m wrong. My experiences until now seem to confirm my point of view, but once again - this is only my own opinion, nothing more.

Regards
Jerzy


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Peter Bouillon  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:35
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Be the one that shouts first Mar 1, 2006

Nabil EL ABIDI EL ALAOUI wrote:

With regard to repetitions subject I wonder whether requiring a TM (Trados, wordfast ...) implies reduced rate for repetitions. In this case shall we as freelancers fix the rate for repetitions or go for the fact that the 25% rate is granted.


Don't let reduced rates be "granted" to you. Trados rebates are a matter of negotiations, just as rates in general are. They aren't something that the client is entitled to fix on their own.

In my experience, the one that shouts first in our business has the negotiating advantage. For instance, if an agency simply asks you for your rate, you should quote it and immediately add what would be your Trados scaled rates. This gives you an opportunity to ask for Trados "new text" rates that are higher than your "non-Trados" rates:

"This year, my rate is x $ per source word. I can also offer Trados scaled rates; in this case, I charge (x * 1.25) $ for new text; ...$ for matches of at least 85%; ... $ for repetitions or 100% matches".

If you let the other get his shout in first, they are going to cite what they consider appropriate Trados rebates, take it or leave it. These are usually rather worse.

The same goes for payment delays. If you're the one that shouts first, you can say, for instance, "six weeks". OTOH, if the other gets to shout first, you're going to end up at three months and have to be thankful for it, too.

P.

[Edited at 2006-03-01 20:15]


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:35
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Keep the average in mind Mar 1, 2006

Nabil EL ABIDI EL ALAOUI wrote:

...
In Some cases, as in Arabic translation, the TM is not 100% effective in finding repetitions which requires additional effort and time to proofread the document.
any suggestions?


I have the same experience. Sometimes 90+% matches are worthless due to
* the style of that translator and your style are a world of difference
* more or less the same: is a local variant of the target language (nearly all languages have local variants)
* worser: that translation is nothing than faulty
* that translation in itself is right, but it doesn't fit in your very application. For instance, source segments can be the same for a header, title, column header, and a normal sentence, whereas you'd like to translate them different.

I always use the next breakdown:
0-74%.....................................Euro 0.10 (= also my non-Trados rate)
75-99%...................................Euro 0.07
100% + repetitions.................Euro 0.03 (= also my proofread rate)

I think this is right on the average. There are many factors that make a translation wothwhile, interesting and so on (difficulty of the subject, lenght of the sentences, readability, number of tags and other "clutter", kind of document, the professionality and kindness of your client and so on). I stick to standard rates, however.

As to the question whether a tarif breakdown is realistic or not, I think you'd consider that mechanization and automation is irreversible and make products and services accessible for a lot of people. When you want to buy a new car that costs 9,999 Euros, who did pay for the huge investments the car maker did make? I think the car maker, not you. However, now you are able to buy a fine car for 9,999 Euros instead of 120,000 Euros. But if you want to go to your dealer and say to him "listen, I don't like that nonsense, I want to pay for this car as if it was handmade, so I want to pay 120,000 Euros", well, I think nobody would stop you.


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Ouadoud  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
English to Arabic
+ ...
I support Henk's system Mar 2, 2006

Ahlan Nabil,

My rating method is not very different from Henk's. It seems to me quite fair, and It happens that I refuse jobs if the customer does not stick to these rules.

I also agree with the peer who explained that working with repetitions and their lower rate is not really a problem, since our main parameter as "workers-producers" is TIME.

A quick arithmetic calculation shows indeed that one hour pf repetitions is +/- three hours of ordinary translations, justifying therefore that you invoice just 30 pc for repetitive segments.

One last note that is perhaps more specific to Arabic: TM does not seem to consider always grammatical Arabic sophistication: it may give you a segment as repetitive when in fact you have to rework it. That's a point that should be pointed out to the client when negociating the repetitions fee.

Salaam,

Ouadoud


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:35
French to English
+ ...
printing books Mar 2, 2006

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Please consider, that repetitions means segments, not words.
You could better compare this with producing something, for example printing a book. If you would print one book only, the cost will be extremly high. But then if you produce 10000 books, the cost is lower. And it will be lower for 1 million books.



Jerzy, I am glad you used that example. What you say is very true. it costs much less per volume to print more books than just one. Why? because the costs come in before: in the typesetting, preparing the machine, calibrating etc... Once everything is set up, you program the number of copies, the machine does the rest. There is no additional human labor intervention time, just resources (paper and ink).

This is not true in translating.

Moreover, very often a client wants a) your best binding quote right off and b) the project has a quick turn around time. It is thus very difficult to provide that binding quote before having actually done the translation. How do you work around that issue?

Finally, looking at costing at translation to have it concur with your hourly rate fully depends on 2 factors a) what that rate is and b) how fast you can translate well -- and still allot time to proof your work.

Rates and rate setting are never easy things to do....


Patricia


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:35
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Printing manuals vs. translating them Mar 2, 2006

There are more similarities, that you want admit.

You are absolutely right - when printing books the costs decrease with the increasing number of books, as the biggest cost is the prepation to print.
This is the same with translation.
Imagine the following situation: A customer of you is building machines. Each machine consists of standarized components, ie engine, gearbox and so on. When we start to translate his manuals, the cost will be ver high, as we have to translate everything. But when he builds a new machine, using the same engine and gearbox as in a previously produced machine, the work for translation will be much less. There will be only some adaptation in the text because of some changes, but the biggest part of the text will remain the same. Such customer will not want to pay always for a complete new tranlation. What they can do, is to provide you only with the changed sentences. But this is not a good solution - missing context and so on. Or they provide you the whole text, but you give them discount. And why souldn´t you? you have already been paid for the translation done, now you are getting money for checking, if the translation suits to the new text - it is not a translation job anymore, but reviewing.
Surely, this example is not always applicable. Discounts ara also not always applicable. With a repetition rate of 5% discount will not do a big difference. While when you have 10% reps and 10% 100%-matches the discount makes a big difference.
And - to use the example with a car - if you order a special hand made car, you will have to pay the full cost of its construction and production. But now, when the car will be produced in several thousand copies, would you as manufacturer (this is you when it comes to translating) sell it still at the same price? Then you would find no buyers for that car... And please don´t tell me it is not applicable to translation. Because it is applicable. When there are 100% matches you are selling your work again and again. And you are still in better situation, as a car maker. Because you can sell your work for full, when you get another customer. Then you will negotiate new conditions with a new customer. With a new TM - so there cannot be any 100% matches. But no one stops you from using your existing TM. And everything you have there is yours...
I do not defend rebates as the best way to get new customers or the only possible way to offer translations. But if you start to think a bit different, maybe you will earn even more when granting discount as without them. You now exactly how fast you are. You know how many words per hour you can translate. Go on the safe side and even decrease your average. Then define how much you working hour is worth. For example: you translate 300 words per hour and need 30 $ per hour - so your word price must be 10 cent. Now you get a job with 3000 words. You wil need 10 hours for that and will earn 300 $. Make an analysis and give a word rate, which gives you 300 $, regardles of repetitions, matches and so on. When there are 10% repetitions and the customer will not pay for them, you have then 2700 words left, which will be paid. So your word rate for that particular customer must be 11 cent. Your customer will not pay you for repetitions, but even then you will earn your 300 $ with this job. And maybe you will not need full 10 hours, because there are 10% repetitions and this will save your time, so you will end up wit 9,5 hours. Your hourly rate will be then also bigger, now you will eanr 31,56 $ per hour. The bigger the job, the better the numbers are. This works not only on the paper but it also does in real life.

Regards
Jerzy


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:35
French to English
+ ...
That is one of the scenarios Mar 2, 2006

where I'd accept to do a discount (my first post did say there were rare times when I do).

Say that M*Soft hires me to translate the manual for the first edition of a new software (no discounts on repetitions in my mind on this original text). But say that every year or at every upgrade they hire me again to update the user manual. Then yes, repetitions should get a discount -- I already did the work, it is fair in my mind both ways and quality is not in question. This for me would not be the case if I had to update a translation originally done by someone else because I have to be fully responsible for what I hand in to the client of course.

So weren't not necessarily so far apart in our viewpoints, it often depends on the situation.

Patricia


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