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Trados billing
Thread poster: Jessjean
Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 14, 2008

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place - I don't know whether this should be a 'Trados' issue or a 'business' issue.

This follows on from an earlier post I had about Trados billing. Whereas before my questions about billing arrangements were more general, this is a very specific deadlock my client and I have arrived at and I would really appreciate your opinions.

For one end-client (and one end-client only), I have agreed that I will not charge for 100% matches if I agree not to even look at them. This goes against my whole working ethos, as I see things that should be corrected, but ignore them as I won't be billing for them and have been asked not to look at them.

What I need help with is the billing of repetitions. My client also wants me not to bill for repetitions as he says that repeated parts of the text are counted once (somewhere within the 0% - 99% range) and on any further occurrence of this chunk of text, it appears in repetitions. Is that correct does anyone know?

If the repetition is counted in the part I'm billing for the first time it occurs (ie. everything except 100% matches + repetitions), then I'm prepared to bill on this basis (for this one client I hasten to add).

I'm basically confused as to what the case actually is with repetitions. If it's not counted in the part I'm billing for, I'm actually cutting an awful lot off my invoice for work I'm in fact doing for the client.

Many thanks in advance for your advice.


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:30
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes and no May 14, 2008

My client also wants me not to bill for repetitions as he says that repeated parts of the text are counted once (somewhere within the 0% - 99% range) and on any further occurrence of this chunk of text, it appears in repetitions. Is that correct does anyone know?


Yes, this is true. You should however take into account that if you find mistakes or things that need to be changed later on, you're going to have to go through them all, because you are the one that entered the first occurrence in the TM.
This is the big difference with the 100% matches you don't need to look at (I assume they are in the client's TM, and that TM is made available to you). But you do want a chance to deliver your own part of the work to your own standards, don't you?

Since it is easy to use Find&Replace with repetitions, you could offer to charge only 10 or 15 %.


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
He wouldn't accept a 10-15% rate May 14, 2008

Thanks Margaret. I think you gave me some advice the last time I posted too!

My client would not accept 10%-15%, even for the repetitions. I do make sure I'm 100% happy with my entries before sending them back so hopefully all will be well!

Thanks again
Jessjean


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
+ ...
Be aware of different translations May 14, 2008

Jessjean wrote:

Thanks Margaret. I think you gave me some advice the last time I posted too!

My client would not accept 10%-15%, even for the repetitions. I do make sure I'm 100% happy with my entries before sending them back so hopefully all will be well!

Thanks again
Jessjean


Margaret's advice is very wise.

I would only add one thing:

With repetitions be careful because some times the same source text may need a different translation ni your target language.

Maybe your language combination and the type of texts you do are not so prone to this problem but keep it in mind because it can take lots your of time to review the repetitions if there are many of them and they need different translations depending on the context.

You could also make a joke with your customer. When you finalise your first job for them, deliver a file where only the new texts and the first occurrence of the repetitions is inserted in the document.

If they think that translating 100% matches and repetitions should not be paid, they must think it takes no effort to translate them.

They should be able to do this themselves, as it will take them no effort.

Daniel


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 22:30
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
My take May 14, 2008

Thankfully, only one client has so far asked for a discount on 100% matches (which was fine, because it was a continuation of a previous translation I did for them).

Even 90% and above matches that occur several times in a text should be read to make sure the context is still appropriate. That takes time, and time is money.

On the other hand, why not tell them you'll charge once for every single word? Offer to put all the words in the document into alphabetical order, say in a table, and they can sort it out later?


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:30
English to Dutch
+ ...
:-) May 14, 2008

You're welcome.

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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you May 14, 2008

Hi Buck, thanks for your thoughts.

I know the context might change, which makes it all the more frustrating that they are happy to say 'just ignore the 100% matches and repetitions' ! I do see things that should be changed, but if they're asking me to ignore them, and I'm not paid to change them, tant pis! It makes me so uncomfortable to send work back like this, and I've made my feelings clear to the client.

I think it's such a false economy to instruct a translator to do this. My hope is that they will eventually see that leaving these things unchecked will probably cost them more time, and money, in the long run!

Thanks again, it's always good to hear other people's opinions on issues like this.

Jessjean


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:30
English to Dutch
+ ...
Pessimistic May 14, 2008

Hi Jessjean,

I just wanted to make clear that I agree with your latest posting completely.
I've been working with one client who uses this system for over a year now. It's frustrating and annoying.
I have tried to reason with them, explain my thoughts and told them I cannot guarantee the quality of the completed work this way. They haven't listened.

So I'm pessimistic about the possibilities for change. But I think it is a good thing to point this out to the client, as you have done.

Good luck!


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 03:30
Partial member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Bad quality translation by using TM and non-payment againts 100% match and repetition May 15, 2008

I have a conflict with one good client whom I have been working with for many years.
They claimed that my translation quality is going down and down continuously.
The working process is:
1. Client gives me TM and source texts; they insist not to pay for 100% match and repetition in Trados. They will pay only for non-matches and fuzzy matches.
2. I translate the texts.
3. Client requests another translator for proofreading and editing.
4. Client cleans up translation and gets the translation and TM.
5. Client does in-house editing (without their updating of TM).
6. Client requests me for online review (final product is webpage document).
7. Client ask me for another job by providing TM and repeat step 1.
In this manner, bad quality segments are sure to occur in step 4 and 5 if translation before cleaning and creating TMs is bad.

Now, they told me not to pay for bad translation at all. I observe that it is a fair treatment. I also did editing of their TM and found many mistakes/discrepancies.

Regards,
Soonthon L.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:30
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Adjust your word rate accordingly May 15, 2008

It should not matter how the client wants you to invoice, the only that matters is to put the word rate so high that you get the same amount of money as in the case of a customer who pays full for the whole text.
If 100% matches are not paid I analyse the files and export the less than 99% matches as rtf. Then I translate this rtf only and finally translate the original files using translate to fuzzy. Then I do not see these 100% matches at all and do not worry either.

The biggest obstacle in this case is that the context is lost, when you are forced to look at translation units only. So you have to look many times at the whole text which is usually provided as pdf. This requires more time than the translation of a simple Word-document. This is one factor to be taken into account when pricing.
Regards
Heinrich


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:30
English to German
+ ...
Zero weighting makes no sense, IMO May 15, 2008

Hi Jessjean,
Your concerns are spot on: you just have to check for context etc. - after all, who will be able to tell in hindsight whose fault any error was?

Applying a zero weighting to 100% matches and repetition makes no sense whatsoever, IMO.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:30
Member
English to French
Of the difference between 100% matches and repetitions May 15, 2008

Maybe this will help understand the difference:

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/100550-trados_billing-819242.html?post_id=819242#819242

Note that this applies in a different context (agencies).
To an end client, I would try and convince them that not checking 100% matches in context is asking for trouble, with an common and simple example in your language:
In EN-FR, take "Temperature range" as column header, with a hard break between both words due to the fact that the phrase won't fit on a column width. There will be two segments, and no way to join them unless tweaking the source file.

Temperature
range

In context, "Temperature" will be translated as Plage de/Intervalle de/Gamme de in FR. Then "range" will be "températures" in order to have "Plage de températures" as a column header in FR, with a hard break between "Plage de" and "températures"

Plage de
températures

Later in the file, there is a label named "Temperature" on its own, alone on a line. It is a repetition, and the TM translates it as... "Plage de". You change it to "Température". You do because you convinced your customer to pay for repetitions because they require work, however you look at the issue.

When the TM is updated, "Temperature" translates as "Température".

On the next update, our previous "Temperature range" is autotranslated (100% match) as "Température températures"

Température
températures

If nobody checks 100% matches in context, this is the kind of problems they will get. And I just refer to the way Trados works, not even to any potential issue with synonyms that translate differently in context.

For what it is worth,
Philippe


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree with all the replies... May 15, 2008

Thank you all - I think we all agree this is ridiculous!

Philippe, the 'temperature range' point has happened many times when I've been responsible for checking 100% matches. As I've been told not to look at them for this client, who knows what is going back to the end-client!

If they approach me about translation quality issues - I will make my thoughts very clear (as I have done already)!

Unfortunately I don't have the flexibility to raise my rates with this client on a case-by-case basis. I do intend to continue to work with him though as he's been a very good client to me over the years and has provided me with a lot of work. Thankfully, this Trados issue only relates to one end-client.

The point at which I will finally pull the plug is if the files I translate (ignoring the 100% matches) come back to ME for proofreading / editing. That will be too much...

I will read the link about the difference between 100% matches and repetitions - thank you!

Best wishes
Jessjean


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Jessjean  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Link to my post May 15, 2008

Hi Philippe,

That link was actually to my post a little while ago!

Based on the information I received from this first post, this was actually the issue I raised with my client and his response was that repetitions were counted once and then analysed as repetitions. For this reason, he believes that I am being paid fairly for the repetitions.

We've had a fair few 'heated' discussions about these Trados billing issues now and I don't think he will move from his standpoint.

This whole business has currently made me very tired of Trados, unfortunately I use it the whole time!

Thanks again
Jessjean


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:30
Member
English to French
Memory blackouts May 15, 2008

Yes I realised it later, sorry. I am not good at remembering stage names.

Trados is a CAT tool and not a discount-generating utility; customers who require it should know how it works. Educating them is the way to go, but now however painful and disappointing this might be, the customer still comes first: if they don't want their 100% checked, too bad for them but it is their requirement.

If they don't want to pay for repetitions either, then as last resort I would state the way I would work, to match the way they pay me:
filter for repetitions (in the Analyse window)
translate them once (context of the first occurrence) however I can
change colours to highlight 100% matches in a different colour
autotranslate 100% matches
change colours again to unchanged to avoid highlighting all the text as you translate
discard from reareading any 100% coloured text

This method still requires a bit more work than what you are paid for, but the output is closer to what they pay you for (and what they should "expect"): 100% matches and repetitions not checked.

This is an issue I faced with a customer agency a while ago. It is just the endless story of cutting costs by all means. I am fine with that, but not at my expense, because I also have a business to run.

Good luck,
Philippe


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