TM on a large project - INSIGHT PLEASE
Thread poster: Carline Dumoulin
Carline Dumoulin
United States
Local time: 14:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 16, 2005

I have browsed the fora and viewed numerous threads on TM and Trados pricing issues. They have all been helpful. As a new user of Trados, I welcome some insight on the following situation (for which I did not come across on the previous threads):
I have been approached by a client to work on a large project. There will be about 4 other translators working on this project and the client wants us to use Trados. We were asked to provide our rates on Matches, no matches, etc...
The client will not be providing us with a TM. Which means that we will have to work from scratch. Now, how do we handle the pricing issue in a case like this one? I'm under the impression that charging for matches, fuzzy and no matches can only be done when the client provides an existing TM, is that so? How could we quote a percentage rate when we will be the ones creating the TM? Am I missing something here? Any insight or proposition will be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

Carline


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:59
English to German
+ ...
Fundamentally wrong Apr 16, 2005

Hi Carline,
Simply speaking, I guess your customer has got his fundamentals wrong...

I outsource quite a lot, but I wouldn't even start to think about match-based reductions if I didn't provide a (quality-checked!) TM to start with.

Best, Ralf


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 20:59
English to Hungarian
+ ...
CATs might become dangerous for the business Apr 16, 2005

Actually, I can see a major danger here: more and more translation agencies insist on using a certain CAT tool (typically Trados) and on price cuts because of the "matches". Once I was even asked to run a word count against my existing TM - a TM created during previous jobs, for OTHER clients in the same topic - and report the matches, in order to establish "a fair price" they should pay: i.e. they wanted to profit from my previous projects.

Now, I think this is deeply unjust: I doubt they charge to clients based on a Trados count and if you invest into a CAT tool, you do it with the purpose to make your life easier and not in order to make less money. And if we accept these rules, this is exactly what's going to happen.

I can accept that for a couple of changes in an existing translation (an update of a handbook, the statutes of a company, a fee list etc.), matches might be a pricing issue, but even in this case, we ought to insist on getting a "pre-translated" file instead. At any rate, when you work from scratch, I can see no reason why you should transfer money to the agency (to increase their margins, from your investments).

Of course, there can be some very specific projects (such as a series of fact sheets, a drug register etc.) where the "framework" is the same and just some specific data shall be inserted, but this is not a TM-issue (you better create a template in these cases). But in most cases, there is nothing special about the job, according to my experience.

I think it would be important to "stand up and fight", otherwise, the CAT tools might become our worse enemies, in terms of the business.


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Carline Dumoulin
United States
Local time: 14:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
TM on a large Project Apr 16, 2005

Thank you both.

This is what I thought.

I agree with you Eva, we have to be careful, otherwise using CAT tools will start to become discouraging to the translator and we will not be paid fairly for our expertise.

Thanks again.

CF


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Selçuk Budak  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:59
English to Turkish
+ ...
Repeats Apr 17, 2005

I think the only reasonable part in such requests is a discount for repeats.

If the project is quite large and there are plenty of repeats, then (as I encountered on several occasions), the client may ask for a certain (negotiable) discount for repeat count which usually ranges between 20 - 30% of the regular rate.

Other than this, requests for rates based on CAT remuneration is unreasonable if the outsourcer does not provide a TM to start with.
SB


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Eva Blanar  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 20:59
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Just some pragmatical comments Apr 17, 2005

In my previous comment I focused on the general issues, but I think right now you need some hands-on advice. Therefore, I'd recommend
- to charge 30% for 100%-matches (repetitions in the text, in terms of segments), with NO further cuts (such as a reduced rate for 90+% or even 75% matches, or the like - remember: to check a segment with a 75% match may mean more work than the translation of a "new" sentence)
- to argue against any reductions based on the circumstance that there will be 5 of you working on the project and this will necessarily mean more work (you've got to agree about the terminology, among yourselves or through the agency).

But anyway, congratulations with the project: now you can show yourself


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