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Discounts for matches in Sdlx.
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:37
Flemish to English
+ ...
Feb 20, 2006

Trados used to market its product to companies/corporations by pointing out the reductions for repetitions and matches.
Sdlx did not pursue that policy.
Now that Sdlx has taken over Trados and integrated it, is this policy of giving discounts for repetitions and matches still used as a marketing tool.
Until now I have been able to avoid discounts for repetitions, fuzzies etc and said "no thank you" when receiving a mail asking for my best price and discounts for matches, repetitions, fuzzies. If a word is paid for say 85%, then 85% of a word is what will be in my translation.
It would be a blessing if this policy dissappeared from the scene. It's only benefitting outsourcers and corporations. Not translators.


[Edited at 2006-02-20 15:59]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
German to English
+ ...
Discounts for matches in Sdlx. Feb 20, 2006

This is a matter for negotiation between translators and their customers, and should not concern CAT tool vendors. However, the description of the "discount scheme" for fuzzy matches which was originally promoted by Trados disappeared from the Trados web site a few months ago. Draw your own conclusions.

Marc


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
It benefits translators as well Feb 20, 2006

Williamson wrote:

It would be a blessing if this policy dissappeared from the scene. It's only benefitting outsourcers and corporations. Not translators.


[Edited at 2006-02-20 15:59]


Of course, discounts can be used to get cheaper work from translators, but my view of tm discounts it is not that negative.

I do lots of upgrades of manuals and software where most of the text is identical. Some changes, some additional passages. I'm happy to do this with discounts for matches and fuzzies because what would the alternatives be?

- The companies couldn't afford to have new versions localized at all. What company can dish out ten thousands of dollars every year to have everything translated from scratch? So instead of re-doing localized manuals/software/documentation for even minor updates, they would only do major new releases - if at all. The amount of translation jobs would be drastically reduced. I would lose a good source of income.

- If they still decide to have new versions translated, they would cut and copy the new strings out of their context and have just the new text translated. This makes it much harder for the translator (but I do have some clients who do exactly that). I'd still have my source of income but I would make a good deal *less* money because:

- Doing all the matches, repetitions and fuzzies for a reduced rate is still making me good *additional* money. Often no more than a comma has been inserted or a typo been fixed to make it an 80% match. Particularly, if it's a fixed typo or changed capitalization etc., I don't even have to modify the translation at all. Let's say it is a sentence of 10 words and it takes me a second to insert that comma... Even at 1/2 or 2/3 of my rate or whatever, that's still pretty good money. I'll take it.

- In a highly repetitive text you could easily make more money in a much shorter time with matches and fuzzies than translating completely new text. In other words, you spent a comparatively short time on a large text and can probably make a better hourly rate than by translating unmatched text. The time saved can be used for additional jobs.

- If there are texts with not that many matches/fuzzies anyways, I don't mind giving discounts either because - due to the lack of matches and fuzzies - it doesn't amount to much and, probably more important, it makes the client happy. I've had clients putting a lot of emphasis on the discounts, and in the end it saves them $2.50. I have no problem with that.

Although there are of course agencies/clients out there who are only interested in making the big money for themselves. But generally, I don't see the agency/client-translator relationship as a them-us dichotomy. It's "we". If my clients save money, they are able to stay in business, to compete better, to make more money which in turn they can spend on more translation projects. What goes around, comes around.

Of course, all the clients I work with are trying to save money and to make money. So would you and I. We're all running a business, after all. But they are also fair towards the translators, appreciative of their work and effort and open to negotiation if a project for whatever reason needs more work or extra effort.

On the whole, I don't think I lose a penny by accepting discounts, on the contrary, I make more money in less time and can accept more jobs. For me, this is a win-win situation.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:37
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Conclusions drawn. Feb 20, 2006

I use(d) to translate construction specifications from French >Dutch. The same terminology occurs time and again. Before Trados existed or promoted this scheme, translations had to be made nobody even discussed discounts for repetitions, fuzzies, ... Trados marketed itself so well that some of the translators became to regard giving discounts according to the Trados-scheme as a token of professionalism. Even with Trados I never got/ get a request from an architect for reduced rates for fuzzies, repetitions whereas in construction specifications the same words do occur time and again. A CAT is a tool to enhance productivity, just a speech recognition is. Sdlx and Atril (Déjà Vu) promoted the sale of their product with the argument that they are enhancing translator's productivity, not as a means to save money on the back of the translator. What if every word were paid at 100% with a CAT? Would suppliers go broke? I don't think so. And fortunately in a couple of years, there will be no more Trados. Only Sdlx, Wordfast, Déjà Vu...
Conclusions drawn.

[Edited at 2006-02-20 17:41]


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Would suppliers get broke? Feb 20, 2006

Williamson wrote:

What if every word were paid at 100% with a CAT? Would suppliers go broke? I don't think so.



Well, some of my clients might. If you consider having to re-translate manuals etc. with maybe 50.000 words into 10 different languages (sometimes they are even translated into more languages than that), for a number of different products and packages every year from scratch....

My point is, though, they would not get broke because they woudn't even consider translating their projects into that many languages that often. I would have a fair amount of less projects to do.

I recently had this experience with a client in a non-IT field where something like this happened. They decided not to translate their documentation into all 10 or so languages as previously but only a few in order to cut costs. Since German was not among the remaining languages, they probably figured that the German target group knows English well enough so it won't be necessary.

Since most Germans - almost by necessity - understand English well enough to read the original English documentation, particularly in their own field of expertise, in many cases the translation into German is not really a necessity, but rather customer service. If money gets tight, these would be the costs cut first.

The result: not the suppliers go broke, but maybe the translators.


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fully agree with Williamson Feb 20, 2006

Hi Heike,

I don't give any discounts. Eventually I can give a discount for updating a document with a large number of 100% matches for a good client on an exceptional basis, like when I update a new version of a document recently modified.

When you accept to give discounts for fuzzy matches after one year you should take into account the time you spend analyzing the document, the cost of storing the translation memory or document, etc.

Our business are 'parts'. I don't make money with new clients. I make money with frequent clients because I know the vocabulary, I have translation memories, etc. And this is also a benefit for them because they spend less time reviewing the translations. What you and many translators are doing is killing the essence of our profit. It is like going to Dell every year and telling them, just charge me for the parts of my computer I am updating; or what would happen if you go to Ford and ask them to provide you just a new engine, you'll probably pay twice the value of the car, etc. These things are the ones that make a business profitable, economies of scale, repeat clients. IMO it is a big mistake. I make money from this, frequent clients and CAT tools. New clients serve only as new opportunities and for volume purposes, not profit. And some Trados clients have requested me this, but they can have the translation memory and do the work themselves if they wish, some accept some don't, but this is how I make money.

I didn't understand very well who had started this discount trend in the translation market. Now I feel very happy I bought Wordfast.

Fred


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:37
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Trados Feb 20, 2006

Fred Neild wrote:

I didn't understand very well who had started this discount trend in the translation market. Now I feel very happy I bought Wordfast.

Fred


Trados Gmbh when the freelance translator market became saturated. It was a means to sell their product to big corporations.


[Edited at 2006-02-20 19:11]


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 21:37
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Common sense should be followed, Feb 20, 2006

because cases differ, besides TMs also help the translator to upkeep consistency of terminology.
But in general- if this is a new job, there will not be so many repetitions as to make you feel very deprived moneywise.

OTOH, we have more than few clients who republish their several hundred page brochures every year. We charge them by old standard Trados scheme:

Match................Payment
0-74 %...............100 %
75-99 %...............66 %
100 % & repetitions...33 %

Which means we charge 33% (and pay the same percentage to the translator) for a huge volumes, where the only task of the translator is to sit by, drink coffee, and watch Trados translate page after page... with occasional fuzzy segment inbetween- where he has to put his coffee cup down and use keyboard for a moment.

Not so bad, IMHO.

Uldis

Fred Neild wrote:
I don't give any discounts. Eventually I can give a discount for updating a document with a large number of 100% matches for a good client on an exceptional basis, like when I update a new version of a document recently modified.

When you accept to give discounts for fuzzy matches after one year you should take into account the time you spend analyzing the document, the cost of storing the translation memory or document, etc.



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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:37
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Giving discounts does not equal less money in your pocket Feb 20, 2006

Fred Neild wrote:

What you and many translators are doing is killing the essence of our profit.

Fred


Unless you have numbers to back up your statements, please don't pass generalized and unjustified judgments like this.

I make plenty of profit, thank you very much. No complaints in that respect. And my point is exactly that I would make less money if both clients and translators would not be able to take advantage of those discounts since most of the jobs that make up the majority of my income would simply not exist.

I would have to find more clients, maybe add other fields of specialization etc., all requiring most likely much more time and effort - and thus money - than analyzing the texts or storing tms (which, by the way, is something the clients do; I store tms just for my own benefits).

Also, if I help my clients to be more profitable (and this does *not* automatically imply that I make less money per hour, on the contrary!) and stay competitive, I ultimately help myself by receiving more projects from that client.

A comment on the side: It's interesting that both Amy and Fred have completely avoided giving discounts so far. Maybe if you would have experienced the nice feeling of making good money by just occasionally clicking a key or making some minor changes before going back to "Translate to Fuzzy" as well as seen a positive rather than a negative impact on your bank account, you might have different opinions.

Making less per word on matches and fuzzies does not mean you make less money per hour. On the contrary! And you can relax, enjoy your coffee and think about your next vacation while doing so!

[Edited at 2006-02-20 20:47]


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Could be better Feb 20, 2006

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:
Which means we charge 33% (and pay the same percentage to the translator) for a huge volumes, where the only task of the translator is to sit by, drink coffee, and watch Trados translate page after page... with occasional fuzzy segment inbetween- where he has to put his coffee cup down and use keyboard for a moment.

Not so bad, IMHO.

Uldis



Hi Uldis,

Thanks for your patient explanation, but I believe we (translators and agencies) would make a mistake if this became a standard.

It is not so bad but could be better. I understand both sides, but CAT tools are still extremely rudimentary and need an intense participation on behalf of the translator. Also many things can go wrong (starting by the CAT tool). It is not like you are watching a Swiss clock work, but rather one from XXX (your choice).

I am not sure what the option for these large manuals would be, but I am sure this should not be our problem. I understand that you state that you get more translation work this way. You have your perception and I have mine. Do you get more 'coffee sipping' giving discounts; or me not giving discounts and charging 100% for fuzzies? That is the question and I guess we will never know.

Fred


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Figures Feb 20, 2006

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

Fred Neild wrote:

What you and many translators are doing is killing the essence of our profit.

Fred


Unless you have numbers to back up your statements, please don't pass generalized and unjustified judgments like this.


Wow, I feel at school. I'll let you figure that out

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:
And my point is exactly that I would make less money if both clients and translators would not be able to take advantage of those discounts since most of the jobs that make up the majority of my income would simply not exist.

I would have to find more clients, maybe add other fields of specialization etc., all requiring most likely much more time and effort - and thus money - than analyzing the texts or storing tms (which, by the way, is something the clients do; I store tms just for my own benefits).

Also, if I help my clients to be more profitable (and this does *not* automatically imply that I make less money per hour, on the contrary!) and stay competitive, I ultimately help myself by receiving more projects from that client.


Pardon me, but you are the one full of general and unjustified assumptions.

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:
Maybe if you would have experienced the nice feeling of making good money by just occasionally clicking a key or making some minor changes before going back to "Translate to Fuzzy" as well as seen a positive rather than a negative impact on your bank account, you might have different opinions.


Actually, you have probably missed my point. How about charging 100% of your rate for that, while you sip coffee of course. Like I said, I lose some prospects, but I really don't miss them.

When I first heard about this practice I found it interesting. But I think it is an extremely dangerous game. Let's say you charge US$0.15/word. Some translators charge US$0.02. What do you think will be their discounts. I am sure there are already many translators charging nothing for 100% matches and maybe even for fuzzies.

I understand the points made by you and Ulris, but I don't share them. This is just my perception since I have never given discounts so I have no statistics to back this, but I can live with that. On the other hand, if you can provide me the figures showing your increase of profitability since you started accepting discounts I will appreciate it.

Fred


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:37
German to English
+ ...
Discounts for matches in Sdlx. Feb 20, 2006

Heike Behl, Ph.D. wrote:

Unless you have numbers to back up your statements, please don't pass generalized and unjustified judgments like this.


That's exactly it, Heike.

If your discount scheme works for you, your rates, your work and your customers, stick with it. But attempting to impose a single, rigid, "standard sliding scale" of discounts upon all translators is as generalized and unjustified as you can get. It should never have happened, and I'm glad to see that it's going out of fashion.

Marc


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 21:37
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I obviously cannot judge for whole World Feb 20, 2006

But in Europe, for better or for worse, it already *has* become a standard. I don't see any sense to fight against it, as English manufacturers did fight against the first weaving machines few ceenturies ago- the process can not be stopped. Even 4 years ago we here discussed hotly whether source or target words should be counted, some lesser half argued that, due to general avalanche of CAT tools in nearest years, it should be the source. I myself expressed my disbelief... I was wrong. Small time have passed and it already is standard here, as well as CAT tools themselves. Actually if you don't use any CAT, your jobs are limited with about letters to grannies (and literature translations, of course).

In a nutshell- If you don't use some CAT, your chances to get any technical/legal/marketing job in Europe are very limited. And I don't expect the things to reverse, on the contrary, they are bound to get worse- machine translation is advancing, I expect it will not yet endanger me (I'm 50 at the moment), but who knows...

So what can we do but to adapt as best (and as profitable) as we can

Uldis

And please guys, this is interesting discussion, but let's not get personal. None of us have invented these discounts and is not responsible for their existance, but some of us have to live with them in our markets, no choice there, actually.

Fred Neild wrote:
Thanks for your patient explanation, but I believe we (translators and agencies) would make a mistake if this became a standard.

It is not so bad but could be better. I understand both sides, but CAT tools are still extremely rudimentary and need an intense participation on behalf of the translator. Also many things can go wrong (starting by the CAT tool). It is not like you are watching a Swiss clock work, but rather one from XXX (your choice).

I am not sure what the option for these large manuals would be, but I am sure this should not be our problem. I understand that you state that you get more translation work this way. You have your perception and I have mine. Do you get more 'coffee sipping' giving discounts; or me not giving discounts and charging 100% for fuzzies? That is the question and I guess we will never know.

Fred


[Edited at 2006-02-20 22:09]


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Standard for agencies Feb 20, 2006

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

But in Europe, for better or for worse, it already *has* become a standard.


I only have a few clients in Europe, but I have not seen this standard. Maybe it is a standard for agencies, but not for direct clients. This takes me to the next question. Are translators aware of this?

Also, there must be certain fields where companies have a lot of translation work like you and Heike have mentioned, so they have to be quite savvy regarding translation tools to cut costs. But I don't think this is the rule. Like I said before maybe, on an exceptional basis, there are specific cases where it is acceptable.

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:
Small time have passed and it already is standard here, as well as CAT tools themselves. Actually if you don't use any CAT, your jobs are limited with about letters to grannies (and literature translations, of course).

In a nutshell- If you don't use some CAT, your chances to get any technical/legal/marketing job in Europe are very limited.


I agree that CAT tools are essential and very useful, but I believe we differ regarding who gets what benefits from them.

Fred


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 20:37
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Simple economy... Feb 20, 2006

Williamson wrote:
What if every word were paid at 100% with a CAT? Would suppliers go broke? I don't think so.


No, they would just receive less jobs, as they could not offer competitive terms for their customers. Which would mean less work for us.

To turn this around, the advance of the technology has allowed the outsourcers to offer cheaper service for their customers, so that translators have more work to do.

You don't really think that outsourcers charge their customers for every word, pay translators the discounted rates and keep the difference in their pockets? Those who do that would be quickly outpriced of the market...

And finally, I do not really think that proposing a lower rate for something that requires less work is so unfair.


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