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Poll: Do you have a reduced rate for word repetition?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:40
SITE STAFF
Apr 18, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you have a reduced rate for word repetition?".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Of course... Apr 18, 2008

...as we use translation memories for everything and it would not be fair to charge our customers the full rate again for just a fraction of the effort.

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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 02:40
English to German
+ ...
of course not Apr 18, 2008

The next step would probably be to reduce the rate for letter repetition. I reduce the rate for 100% paragraph repetitions each time to 50%, i.e. to 50%, 25%, 12.5% a.s.o.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Of course not Apr 18, 2008

We do not translate words, we translate ideas. I charge for ideas, but I measure them by words, all of them.

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RichardDeegan
Local time: 19:40
Spanish to English
What next? Apr 18, 2008

As most of my work is from Spanish to English, there is often repetition of words, albeit in different contexts, even though in the same field (reports on projects, programs etc.). A prime example is "desarrollar" / "desarrollo", which may often occur 10-15 time within a span of 1,000 words, but may have 5-10 different meanings in English within the same document. It is our task (and art) to find exactly the right meaning and nuance for each and every word or combination of words depending on its conext, position, etc.
What's next after discounting for supposedly repeated words, charging less for small words or articles? Ten cents for six letters or more, but two cents for the "de"s and "la"s?


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Marina Soldati  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What´s meant by word repetition? Apr 18, 2008

Hi All,

I think that those of us who voted yes, by word repetition understood "repeated segments", which, usually, are charged at a reduced rate.

If by word repetition the poster meant single words repeated throught the text, the answer is obviously NO.

What`s the meaning of "word repetition" here? Please clarify.

Marina


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:40
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Repetitions Apr 18, 2008

Charging by the word is just a convenient way of establishing a price for our work. Some words will be easy for us to translate and others will be quite difficult. Sometimes I may spend an entire day on a single paragraph. Therefore, “easy” portions of a document (such as simple discourse, straightforward passages, the occasional repetition, partial repetitions or so-called “fuzzy” matches) are in a way compensation for the more difficult sections or portions of the document (complex sentences, difficult technical terms that require hours of research, etc.) and all of this is taken into consideration when you establish your rate. If you are lucky, it all balances out in the end (you are "overpaid" for some parts of the job and "underpaid" for others). Of course, it would be better to establish a flat rate for each job that would take all of this into consideration, but because of the fast pace of today’s translation world, there often is not enough time to perform an accurate and detailed assessment of each translation project.

Even without CAT tools, I would never charge a client for the translation of entire documents or several pages of a document that are the same or similar (2003 balance sheet vs. 2004 balance sheet, computer manual version 1.2 vs. version 1.3). Instead, I charge for the time involved in comparing the two versions and making the necessary changes – this is something that CAT software does automatically as well as more efficiently and more accurately than the human eye (as does the Word compare function albeit to a lesser degree).

If I were to grant discounts for the use of CAT tools with occasional repetitions and fuzzy matches, then I would have to consider charging a higher base rate. What will happen when it becomes possible to compare every translation project with every bilingual text available on the internet? What will be left to translate in the future when computer speed and memory capacity increases and TMs of every translation are downloaded into a central database?

I don’t believe you can simply ignore 100% matches either because sometimes changes will need to be made based on the grammar and inflections of the target language, style of the document, etc. Ex: The sentences “It should be repaired.” and “It should be repaired.” would be considered a 100% match, but may need to be revised in Spanish, for example, if the previous sentence referred to a masculine instead of a feminine noun: “Hay que repararlo.” vs “Hay que repararla”.

Most of the documents I translate do not contain any repetitions and therefore any small gains in productivity I might make in the translation of individual sentences would be offset by the cost of the software, software errors, compatibility problems as well as the need to maintain large TM files on my computers.

Charging by the word may be the standard, but the number of words may have very little to do with the amount of time required to complete a project. Unfortunately, "time" is an aspect that is often not considered in today's market that has become somewhat obsessed with "words", "matches" and "repetitions".


[Edited at 2008-04-19 00:50]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No way!!! Apr 19, 2008

How the "repeated" word is going to be translated will depend on the context.

I worked ONCE for a client using TRADOS who did not pay for repeated words and phrases. I found that the words, and even the phrases, changed so much from one context to the next that I got royally stiffed.

Now, if the word is "paracoccidiodomycosis," that's a different story. But even so, it has to be manipulated in the context, and the translator may end up having to type it again.

The whole idea of paying less for repeated words and texts is crazy!


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 02:40
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
Sorry Apr 19, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

We do not translate words, we translate ideas. I charge for ideas, but I measure them by words, all of them.


Dear Henry, I simply love your comments.

2 ways of solution:
1. not offer at all discount for the repetitions;
2. offer to client discount, but
Version A: building a special database for the customer (= they simply does not know what a translation memory is) i.e. create for them an exclusive translation memory
Version B: offer the customer to purchase a TRADOS for me - then 100% repetitions I can perform for 0 rate.

(Trados I bought, of course, from my own pocket) And I think, I purchased Trados not because of having a strong desire to have less remuneration, but for making my work easier and faster. Sorry ;-(


[Módosítva: 2008-04-19 00:52]


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:40
French to Spanish
+ ...
I don't quite understand... Apr 19, 2008

...the question.
Proz is always encouraging the use of CAT tools -and selling them, too, as part of its business, that's no secret.- And that's OK.
Now, translation memories -quite expensive- as I understand, helps not the translate again the "same words or sentences". Fine.
Outsources and translators will then engage in a rough battle about repetitions, fuzzy matches, etc., 100 %, 25 % discounts, etc. Fine.
So, the answer is simple in a Proz poll: Yes.
For us, who don't know how to translate "Red" [Rojo, rojos, roja or rojas in Spanish] and who translate ideas, not words, ditto Henry Hinds: No.


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 21:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
No way! Apr 19, 2008

I translate documents composed of texts composed of chapters composed of paragraphs composed of sentences composed of ... words, all that in a different context each and every time.

I translate documents. Words, for want of something more representative of the total manpower I put into each translation, are mere accounting units.

MediaMatrix


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 21:40
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Hay que analizar esta traducción... Apr 19, 2008

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

“It should be repaired.” would be considered a 100% match, but may need to be revised in Spanish, for example, if the previous sentence referred to a masculine instead of a feminine noun: “Hay que repararlo.” vs “Hay que repararla”.


[Edited at 2008-04-19 00:50]


Jeff,

I know it's just a point you're making, but I would never associate "should" with "hay". I would say "debería repararse" (and in this case skirting the whole masculine/feminine issue you take up).

The use of "hay" has an implied sense of urgency. Should is more like it's a good idea, but if you don't repair it, well..then it can wait.

My take.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:40
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
The question is asked entirely out of context Apr 19, 2008

If the same client sends me a document which resembles a previous one, where chunks of the text have been retained and others changed, naturally I only charge for what is new.

If I have a translation of a "standard" sentence or paragraph in the translation memory (e.g. it may be standard throughout the profession), then I do not give a discount for it to client B if I have already previously translated it for client A. The benefit of the CAT tool is clearly mine in that case.

I do not at any time tolerate nonsense about "repetitions", "matches" and "fuzzy matches" from translation agencies. Either they pay the price I quote or they go elsewhere. In any case, my experience is that the agencies who pay the greatest attention to the latter phenomena tend to take the longest to pay, and those who are excessive in attempting to negotiate such phenomena often do not pay at all in the end if you nevertheless agree to take the job, on your own terms, and they issue a P.O., although they still do not really want to accept your terms.

Astrid


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:40
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Reduced rate yes, 0 payment no Apr 19, 2008

To me, the use of Trados means that we can do a lot more work and trust any materials we reuse. I think that accepting a rate reduction in sentences I don't have to type again or fully rethink every time is just fair and allows the customer to offer you more work as the budget is optimised.

Of course a 0 payment on repeated segments does not make any sense at all.

I think the replies will vary a lot depending on the nature of each translator's business. If a customer sends you 20 versions of the same manual (the same user manual for an evolving series of very similar products) and 70% of the job as a whole in the year is repeated text, charging the customer for 20 new books would not make much sense (and the customer would not translate the books anyway). I'm not making this up just to make a point. It's reality for us every year.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:40
Flemish to English
+ ...
No(nsensene) Apr 19, 2008

What next, reduced rate for the use of Dragon Dictate because we have to pronounce the same words again. Does any other professional (lawyer) gives a reduction when he has to send templates to his clients f.e. payment reminders.

[Modifié le 2008-04-19 07:28]


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