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Fuzzies and repetitions. To discount or not to discount?
Thread poster: sylvie malich

sylvie malich
Local time: 00:08
German to English
May 20, 2003

An agency contacted me this morning by email and asks \"What are your rates for fuzzies and repetitions?\"

I haven\'t the slightest idea how to answer. I\'d rather just say I don\'t give discounts for fuzzies and reps, but what is the common practice out there? And just how is this done?

I use Wordfast. Where would I see a calculation of fuzzies and repetitions?


Sonja Tomaskovic (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
English to German
+ ...
Controversial May 20, 2003

Hello Sylvie,

this subject has been discussed a several times and - as many issues like these - very controversial.

There are a number of ways to calculate fuzzy matches and repetitions, and I guess, it is up to you to decide which one is best for you.

Calculcation should be based on your usual rate, where you can, e.g., grant discounts on the various matches.

I don\'t know what is common. Maybe you can perform a search in the forum to find out what has been discussed so far.

Regarding Wordfast:

Select the appropriate TM in the Setup and open the document that has to be translated. Choose \"Tools->Tools->Analyze\" and Wordfast will analyze the document against the chosen TM, with fuzzy matches and repetitions.

Hope it helps.


Sonja icon_wink.gif


Jørgen Madsen  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
English to Danish
+ ...
Use a sliding scale May 20, 2003

In my experience, the normal thing (when using Trados) is to apply a sliding scale. My standard scale is:

Rep. 25% (of full word price)

100% 25%

95%-99% 30%

85%-94% 50%

75%-84% 60%


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:08
German to English
+ ...
How good is their TM? May 20, 2003

I have not been faced with this issue, but one thing I would check out is how good the TMs are that you will be working with - should you maybe disclaim liability for 100% matches? (i.e. if they are 100%, you are not responsible for them at all and don\'t have to edit or proof them.)

After all, just because they are 100% matches, doesn\'t mean they were translated right in the first place.


sylvie malich
Local time: 00:08
German to English
Thanks so far for your answers. May 20, 2003

Thanks, Sonya, I\'d never used the analyse function before. Now I know why it\'s there.

An open question:

Is Jorgen\'s sliding scale pretty much the standard if there is such a standard?

I did a search through the forums and found one discussion a year old addressing this subject and the general concensus then was \"No way!\".

What is it now?


Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:08
Flemish to English
+ ...
Ask the agency if they pay your license May 20, 2003

was a suggetion of a member of this list who does not give discounts for CAT-tools.

\"Trados 6.0 just $595 - 15-20 units left\" to earn less?

One of my specialisations is construction specifications. In these specifications at the end of each chapter the same phrase pops up time and again. In \"Trados-speak\" this would be a 100% match and you should only calculate a certain percentage of the value of the sentence. I calculate the full-rate. Do you think that they agency will give discounts to the end customer because you used a CAT-tool?


rauhl  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
French to German
+ ...
personally: no discounts May 20, 2003

Hi Sylvie!

Nice to meet to you on

Just to introduce another point of view to this discussion: Personally, I don\'t offer discounts for repetitions and fuzzy matches. Up to now, I have only had a few agencies asking me for such discounts, but they have all accepted my decision. I explained to them that I offer a relatively competitive rate and that I would have to charge a higher rate if I offered such discounts. They are already getting the TM (I also use Wordfast)\" for free\" whereas agencies that grant discounts and give away TMs already charge a much higher basic rate which is based on the assumption that the client will be granted discounts and a TM. Instead my lower rate is based on the assumption that I don\'t give discounts for reps and fuzzies.

Besides, saving time with fuzzy matches often is an illusion because a lot of times figuring out the correct sentence out of a fuzzy takes just as long as translating the whole sentence again without looking at the fuzzy.

And, after all, I am using a CAT to raise my own profitability, not the profitability of the client (otherwise they would have to offer me a CAT for free). I don\'t mention this last point to the client, though icon_wink.gif

So now, Sylvie, you\'ve got 3 translators and 3 opinions...

Anyway, good luck in negotiating with the agency!



Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
German to English
+ ...
Current trend May 20, 2003


Do you think that the agency will give discounts to the end customer because you used a CAT-tool?

I think the trend is increasingly for agencies to promise the discount to the end customer BEFORE contacting the translator, who is then told the s/he has no choice.

I have launched an initiative in my professional association to prevent this becoming standard practice, but so far, the response has been, shall we say, minor.



sylvie malich
Local time: 00:08
German to English
How about a discount on 100% matches ONLY? May 20, 2003

Seems to me the obvious solution if the agency insists on a discount.


Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:08
Italian to English
+ ...
This has to stop.. May 20, 2003

No way! I don\'t do discounts on repetitions and an agency that tries to put my prices down whilst raking a hefty profit in for themselves is not for me.. (Not saying that your agency is raking in a profit, Sylvie, but I\'m sure there are many out there who are..)

Many agencies are already pushing translators\' rates down and discounts for repetitions are just another kick in the teeth.

Have you ever heard of a professional musician having their fee reduced because they played a repeat section in their music?


Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:08
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
Stick to your guns... no discounts May 20, 2003

Dear colleagues,

Like many freelancers, we are strongly opposed to discounts of this sort.

Why should a freelance translator be expected to conform to an industry standard by purchasing expensive software that will only serve to erode his/her income?

We politely explain to agencies that we have invested MONEY in our CAT software and TIME in building up a database of translation memories, and that both of these have INHERENT VALUE. For this reason we do not offer discounts.

So far, so good. We have not lost a single project by standing our ground on this issue. If anything, it seems the agencies respect us more.

Just our two cents... good luck!

Todd and Monica

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