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Does anybody here disagree to Trados breakdowns?
Thread poster: Yasutomo Kanazawa

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
May 16, 2006

Hi.

I wanted to ask you all if you agree or disagree to Trados breakdowns (discounts) for Repetitions, fuzzy matches, etc.

I believe many colleagues here use some kind of CAT tools, and I assume many use Trados.

Since I introduced Trados to work, I have had greater opportunites of receiving jobs from agencies all over the world. However, there is one thing I cannot agree to. Why do 99.9% of agencies ask for Trados discounts? I believe this is unfair, since the translations offered using Trados have more consistencies, and this leads to guaranteeing the quality of the job (excluding cases of mistranslations, of course).

I know that this discount is an industry standard, but would you all be kind enough to let me hear your comments, opinions, etc.? Of course, opinions of full agreement to discounts are also welcome.

Regards

Yasutomo


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
German to English
Do you approve of two-for-one specials at restaurants? May 16, 2006

This has been hashed over many times in the forum. It generally boils down to a personal marketing decision, because that's exactly what discounts are. If you can afford not to give it, then don't. If you need the work, well, there you are.

Good luck!

Steven


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
German to English
+ ...
Does anybody here disagree to Trados breakdowns? May 16, 2006

1. It is not an "industry standard".

2. Trados/SDL has itself removed reference to the breakdown from its web page.

3. What Steven said.

Marc


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:56
Member
English to French
I do comply with discount requirements from agencies May 16, 2006

provided they are decent.

As far as I am concerned, I don't feel "robbed" when applying discounts.

At the end of the day, I translate more "trados-equivalent" words (e.g. a Catcount total) than that same wordcount not using Trados. So, even with discounts, my average income per hour is still higher than if I weren't using Trados at all.

The differential earned pays the investment in Trados.
The only bottomline that matters to me is: using Trados on an ongoing basis and complying with decent discounts offered increases my net income per hour and gives me more job opportunities.

And Trados or not, you are supposed to be consistent in your translations. Trados just makes it easier...

Of course I would earn more per hour if I weren't applying discounts. So I don't offer discounts when I am not prompted to!

N.B.: I work only for agencies on technical stuff. My stance would certainly differ in another situation.

Enjoy your day,
Philippe


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, but perhaps it depends on the target language? May 16, 2006

I have abandoned these rates - for some clients altogether, and for others I keep some discounts, but not the former 'official' ones.

The reason is this: I found that for translating from English into Danish many fuzzy matches included in these discount rates took just as long to check and correct as if I were to translate the segments from scratch, because things would have to translated differently in a different context etc.

This may not be the case for all languages, I don't know, but this is what I found in my case, therefore I don't agree to these rates.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:56
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
The total counts May 16, 2006

If I get with discounts the same as normally when counting only the text per se I agree to the discount scheme of the customer. The problem mostly is the extra work these Trados-jobs cause with poorly formatted source-files, poor quality TMs and the hazzle of keeping track of these discounts for various customers.
And I believe translation quality is degrading with the use of CATs, but that's another subject altogether.
Regards
Heinrich


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Arturo Mannino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I would approve discounts if... May 16, 2006

... I could ask my dentist to apply discounts because he uses lots of strange tools instead of hammering my teeth.
Or if I could ask my mechanician to apply discounts because he uses a jack to lift my car, instead of his muscles. Or if I could ask... I mean, I can't see no reason why we are almost the only professionals which are asked to apply discounts just because we use our professional tools.

That's the theoretical part. As for the practical one, the one related to eating, rent and so on, the point is that in many cases, maybe too many, we end up agreeing to such discounts.

Anyway, personally I don't miss no single chance to educate my new clients telling them that I do not apply discounts.


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Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:56
English to Swedish
+ ...
No discounts of any kind, but a spectrum of surcharges! May 16, 2006

- Surcharge for time-consuming file types: see http://www.proz.com/profile/7599
- Surcharge for badly written source text: 20-100%
- Surcharge for cheque payers: EUR 50.00
- Surcharge for late payers: 23% p.a.

It works very well!

Sven.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Would you be kind enough to... May 16, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

1. It is not an "industry standard".

2. Trados/SDL has itself removed reference to the breakdown from its web page.

3. What Steven said.

Marc


Dear Marc,

First of all, thank you very much for your comments. It seems that the matter really depends on that person's values. I'll take them into consideration for my future references.

By the way, I wanted to ask you one thing:

You wrote above that this breakdown is not an "industry standard" but from where did you get this information? I assumed that the breakdown was the standard, since many agencies imply discounts when they send me the analysis. Or am I the only one who believes that analysis=discounts?

Also, would you tell me when this reference to the breakdown on the Trados/SDL was removed?

Thank you very much in advance.

Have a good day!

Yasutomo


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Louise Dupont  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:56
English to French
I only accept if... May 16, 2006

the client provides his own TM for the project. And I will not read, modify or spellcheck 100% matches unless he pays a proofreading fee. The same for repetitions.


HTH


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:56
English to Swedish
+ ...
Why bash Trados? May 16, 2006

Steven Sidore wrote:

It generally boils down to a personal marketing decision, because that's exactly what discounts are. If you can afford not to give it, then don't. If you need the work, well, there you are.

Good luck!

Steven


Like Heinrich also put it: it's the total that counts.
If the agency insists on discounts for fuzzies, and you feel that your renumeration on the whole is too low, hike up your ordinary word price instead! That way you'll cover for what you consider is a bad deal.

Rebates for fuzzies DO make sense for certain types of translations, software manuals and other technical documentation to name a few. For other material, the fuzzies are irrellevant and just timeconsuming, like someone else mentioned. If you explain this to the outsourcer, they will listen to your opinion. But refusing discounts flat out just makes you look narrowminded.

And I don't see the point in namedropping Trados, since most CAT tools can provide a wordcount with fuzzies.


/Jan


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Not necessarily implying discounts. May 16, 2006

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

You wrote above that this breakdown is not an "industry standard" but from where did you get this information? I assumed that the breakdown was the standard, since many agencies imply discounts when they send me the analysis. Or am I the only one who believes that analysis=discounts?

Yasutomo


Hi Yasutomo,

Marc is right: There is no such "industry standard".

However. some agencies would like to tell you that there is, and thereby try to persuade you to do "what everybody else does", but you should not fall for this trick.

And, the agencies are not always implying discounts simply because they send you an analysis.
You should take this analysis as information to you about the exact breakdown of the text so that you will know what you're dealing with.

If the client does not specifically ask for a discount, don't give any!


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:56
German to English
+ ...
Does anybody here disagree to Trados breakdowns? May 16, 2006

Yasumoto,

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

It seems that the matter really depends on that person's values.


It is not a matter of values, but of business decisions. Business decisions should be taken by people running the businesses themselves, not by the vendors of software that a business happens to be using.

You wrote above that this breakdown is not an "industry standard" but from where did you get this information?


Firstly, it was not formally published anywhere as a standard. Secondly, it is not, to my knowledge, currently available in any formal shape or form. Thirdly, it was not produced by a standards institute or an open industry consortium, but by a single company, and so would have qualified at best as a "company standard". Fourthly, it has been adopted by some parties in the industry but rejected by many others, so it does not even qualify as "standard practice" (which is something else again from an "industry standard").

I assumed that the breakdown was the standard, since many agencies imply discounts when they send me the analysis.


That isn't a standard, it's a negotiating tactic.

Also, would you tell me when this reference to the breakdown on the Trados/SDL was removed?


I don't know exactly, but I would guess between six and eighteen months ago. SDL may be prepared to tell you the exact date, if you ask them.

Marc


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:56
Member (2003)
German to English
Jumping to conclusions May 17, 2006

Jan Sundström wrote:

But refusing discounts flat out just makes you look narrowminded.

/Jan


Who said anything about flat-out refusing discounts? I certainly accept them sometimes, if things are slow or if a given project is of particular interest.

But we come back to 2-for-1 specials at restaurants--a busy restaurant doesn't need to give them, since the tables are full at full price. A busy translator doesn't have to give discounts either, at the risk of allowing such discounts to become the industry standard.

Good luck!

Steven


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:56
Member
English to French
If I rejected discounts, would I be as busy? May 17, 2006


A busy translator doesn't have to give discounts either, at the risk of allowing such discounts to become the industry standard.

In my working area though, CAT tools and discounts are a kind of norm for most (if not all) agencies, but be sure I didn't vote for it!
I am afraid that if I refused to accept discounts, I wouldn't have "processed" over 710k "actual" words (dividing income by full word rate) on my own in 2005.

However, I am not implying here that giving discounts brings more business. I am aware that discounts are a bad habit in some situations.
But when you're well in the discount scheme, you're still free to increase your full word rate.

Happy translating,
Philippe


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