Fee calculation based on the internal analysis of the global analysis (cat tool)
Thread poster: Ronald van der Linden

Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
German to Dutch
+ ...
Sep 23, 2013

You get an empty TM, a file of many thousands no match to translate and a PO based on the internal analysis of the analysis... and all of a sudden there are much less no matches and fuzzy matches to translate (Trados 2009), but the TM is EMPTY. This is new to me, it shouldn't, but it is.

Please, before you start replying that you're a translator who does not accept cat tool discounts, thank you, but that is not going to be my question.

First there were pages and lines, then came Word. Then with CAT tools, analysis and "CAT tool discounts" have appeared, and now there is the internal analysis of the analysis.

I understand that a text of 10,000 words may have repetitive sentences/segments, especially in technical fields/manuals. But the idea of discounts was to use the client's TM. Now, with the "internal analysis of the analysis" and an empty TM, I am being confronted with fuzzy matches and a client who no longer offers to pay the original analysis, but now came up with the idea to use fuzzy matches of the internal analysis as a base to negotiate fees, even though there is no TM.

In this case the internal analysis is calculated based on 70% match. I can agree to a point that the internal analysis can help to analyse how much of the "no match" of the global analysis would become a fuzzy much once translated. But, is it really a tool to calculate discounts on "no match" which used to be 100% paid for? This only would make a bit of sense when I first translate 100% no matches and then continue with fuzzy matches... but if I don't know these 100% no matches and start translating fuzzy matches, I think I should be paid 100% for translating that fuzzy match, and not calculate discounts?

It's getting to complicated for me nowicon_smile.gif

My question is how to value the internal analysis of no matches of a text and how to go about? Does anyone have any experience on this topic? Any thoughts/ideas?

Thank you.

PS please don't reply with "I don't do discounts", that's not the answer I'm looking for... thanks.


Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Local time: 15:09
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Define your own rules Sep 23, 2013

I'm assuming this is coming from the client-side, so my simple advice would be that if you don't like the fee structure that they have proposed - tell them and explain your reasons for doing so. Several clients will propose several different methods of rate calculation to you, but as a service provider, it is your responsibility to decide what you will and won't accept. Unless you do that on your own beforehand, I think you're going to get rather frustrated.icon_smile.gif Propose your own structure, see what they say and negotiate from there.

It would also be a good idea to write up your terms of service and send these out to your clients so that they know what to expect. Don't be afraid to just say no - honestly - if you spend time working for companies that you resent (for whatever reason), you are using time that you could be using to work for companies who you respect.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:09
Member (2007)
+ ...
Another attempt to get more for less? Sep 23, 2013

Yet another company that refuses to accept that they're dealing with a business partner providing an intellectual service, rather than a piece-worker in a production line. Whatever this analysis says, you still have to translate every word of that text.


Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:09
English to French
Internal leverage now to the agency's benefit Sep 23, 2013

"Homogeneity" with MemoQ, "internal matches" with Trados... This option (that most agencies seem to use) decreases the wordcount because it counts "matches-to-be". The rationale behind it is of course to "cut costs".

You would alledgedly spend less time on a "match-to-be": after translating "the white dog jumped the fence and rode a horse", translating "the black dog jumped the fence and chased the horse" will take you less time. This second segment, maybe worth 75% as an internal fuzzy, will be paid according to the associated discount scheme.

SDLX has had this feature for a long time, but old Trados before the merger didn't. So in the old days, the time saved on "internal fuzzies" with Trados went into your pocket. Now it goes to the agencies'.
Beware that with this internal fuzzy option enabled, you can lose between 10 (non-repetitive brochure, for instance) and... 80%+ (e.g. parts catalogue) depending on the type of text between an analysis with old Trados and with a new-gen CAT tool.

Be sure that agencies asking your rates and requiring a specific CAT tool will use the option if available. So increase your base rate taking this into account or inform them of your rates with and without the option enabled to make your point.

In fact, if you don't do anything about it, this option just decreases your income without your decreasing your base rate. Magic, huh?

I've posted countless times about this matter to raise awareness. To me this option has no use whatsoever apart from decreasing the wordcount. CAT tool makers have chosen their side.



LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:09
Russian to English
+ ...
This why all translators and IT people Sep 23, 2013

dealing with translation should have some linguistic education -- then they will know that there are very few real repetitions in language. Otherwise, you see nonsensical things like that --- IT ideas which apply to typing applied to translation.

It is almost like deducting the value of the holes when buying Swiss cheese.

I think all alleged repetitions should be at least highlighted, so the translator has an idea what a particular company counts as repetition, and to be able to question the repetition, and refute their calculation.


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Actually, it's the wrong way around Sep 23, 2013

Ronald van der Linden wrote:
I understand that a text of 10,000 words may have repetitive sentences/segments, especially in technical fields/manuals. But the idea of discounts was to use the client's TM.

The original idea was wrong. Using the client's TM means reusing segments that you yourself did not create and can't be certain of. The best practice would actually be to offer discounts only for internal fuzzy matches and not for matches with another translator's translations. Internal matches are matches with segments that you yourself translated and therefore can trust.


Local time: 16:09
English to Finnish
The price should go up as well Sep 23, 2013

Counting internal fuzzy matches can be a good thing, it can for instance make it easier to schedule work. In general, it's better that the prices reflect the actual amount of work instead of the word count, which is an extremely unreliable metric. And internal fuzzies do definitely speed up work, as they are always at least as good as normal fuzzies (as you can be sure of the quality).

The problem is that lowering the price for internal fuzzy matches will decrease the share of money received by freelancers unless there's a corresponding raise in the price of new words. So if you agree to getting less for internal matches you must at the same time insist on a raise on the new word price, otherwise you are being ripped off.

One thing that separates internal fuzzy discounts from TM or MT discounts is that there is no potential efficiency gain for the translator, just a transfer of profits from the freelancer to the client. Internal fuzzies have always existed in TMs, it's just that they have always been considered a sort of bonus for the translator. Now that it's possible to measure that bonus, some clients want to take it away from the translators without giving anything back.


Ronald van der Linden  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
German to Dutch
+ ...
higher fees? or a new fee calculation Sep 23, 2013

Thank you all for replying to my post!

With CAT Tools, basically the whole idea of rates per word was already made history. In the end we want to earn our hourly rate / daily rate and we negotiate with clients based on that, not on rates per word or discounts. Whether a client or not applies discounts based on CAT tools, should not matter as long as you get what you really want.

The idea of telling a (potential) client about 2 different rates, one for "regular" analysis and one for "internal analysis" is not appealing.

Project size 10K words; project value $2K. Then Trados discounts come along and you still want those $2K. Your fee is not 20 cents, but should higher, however most translators (I assume) do not adjust rates to compensate for discounts. The "standard analysis" shows 25% no match and lots of fuzzies and repetitions. Then there's the internal analysis... telling us that those 25% no match consist of even more fuzzies. All of a sudden the project value is only $250. Instead of charging 20 cents, which for Trados discounts is too low, now for internal analysis discounts you would charge 8x more? How do I explain that to a client? (An extreme example)

I think, it is a matter of switching to another type of fee (calculation) in order to cover clients using "internal analysis" or simply refuse projects from these clients.

In the end, it's not about words, pages, etc. It's about what you want to earn. Therefore, I don't think CAT Tool makers have chosen sides with the agencies, instead the analysis is going to be what it was meant to be for: a project management tool and not a fee calculation tool.

In the meantime, I cannot use my standard rates with clients who use Trados "internal analysis" or equal analysis. So, how do I deal with that? Disclosing my standard rates does not help. Explaining 2 rates for 2 analysis types, just would be odd to me.

Any thoughts, ideas?


564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:09
Danish to English
+ ...
Stick to your guns Sep 24, 2013

I'd never even noticed the 'internal matches' option in the Trados analyses I receive from my major client, as they don't include it in their analyses.

I agree with you that you should be paid 100 % for all no matches in the original analysis.

In my view, it is simply a question of what YOU consider feasible. YOU decide the value of your work and any discounts you may or may not want to give.

My thinking is that the vast majority of end clients have no clue as to what CAT tools are, let alone the intricate systems of calculating fuzzy matches. All they want to know is the price of a complete job. Agencies, however, may want to squeeze every penny out of any job, or rather any translator, that they possibly can, and they will continue to come up with ideas as to how to do this. As translators, we have to put our feet down and 'just say no' to their crazy ideas.

Personally, I offer a 75 % discount on 95-100 % matches and repetitions in the original analysis, everything else is charged at my standard (= my only) price. That's just my choice. You decide your own prices/rates, and then just stick to them. You may lose a client or two, but you will keep your integrity intact.


Terry Richards
Local time: 15:09
French to English
+ ...
Cheese please Sep 24, 2013

LilianBNekipelo wrote:
It is almost like deducting the value of the holes when buying Swiss cheese.

Actually, I buy cheese by weight so, effectively, I do deduct the value of the holes...


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:09
Member (2007)
+ ...
A better example, maybe? Sep 24, 2013

Terry Richards wrote:

LilianBNekipelo wrote:
It is almost like deducting the value of the holes when buying Swiss cheese.

Actually, I buy cheese by weight so, effectively, I do deduct the value of the holes...

An amusing analogy, but maybe not too useful. But think of all those spaces that we insert in the target text: should the client be expected to pay for them? Of course, they are implicitly included in the per-source-word rate at the moment, but perhaps if the final €/$/£ figure is so all-important (far more important than the quality of the translation, it seems sometimes), perhapstheclientwouldliketobenefitfromareductionbynotpayingforthespacesinthetargettext.

Mind you, typing that one 'word' actually took me much longer than including the normal spaces (habits are always difficult to break), so I personally would have to raise my per-source-word rate substantially.icon_smile.gif

Apparently, every CAT has them Oct 2, 2013

Worfast Pro calls them "internal repetitions" and we discussed about it here.

Translators are split:
1) either they value the internal reps/fuzzies most, since they come from your knowledge and you can be sure of their quality
2) or they appreciate external TM's match/fuzzies because they didn't have to make an effort to translate them in first place.

We all agree that either way you see it, the agency will use it to your disadvantage!


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Fee calculation based on the internal analysis of the global analysis (cat tool)

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