Repeated words? How do you work that out?
Thread poster: Maria Pardo
Maria Pardo
Spain
Local time: 06:20
Dec 6, 2016

Hi everybody, I wonder if anyone can help me.

I've been offered to translate a website, and as I'm not a professional translator (though I can translate) and I'm doing this as a one-off (at least for now), I don't know how to invoice it, how to calculate the amount of words, basically. I've read that most clients nowadays want translators to discount repeated words, but I have no idea how to work that out; I do not have translating software, and the way I'm doing it is copying the content of each page, pasting it into a Word document, translating it, then pasting it back on the website (I don't know whether it sounds cowboyish to you, being professionals, but I don't know how to do it any other way...). I'm accumulating separate documents (well, I'm actually using Open Office), so I guess at the end I'll have to do a word count on each and add them all up, but how on Earth can I work out how many repeated words there are, and which type of words? It sounds quite bizarre to me, and if the most common words (such as articles, prepositions and the like) have to be discounted, it's going to end up like a skeleton of the translated job, and I can imagine much more than half the words will have to be taken off!

I'm really lost, and would really appreciate some guidance!

Thank you so much in advance.


[Edited at 2016-12-06 20:17 GMT]


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Lianne van de Ven  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:20
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
freetm Dec 6, 2016

Try https://www.freetm.com
You can upload documents and let it analyze them (wordcount & repeats). Use an empty tm (translation memory) for that.
You can also use it to translate your documents, all for free.




[Edited at 2016-12-06 22:31 GMT]


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Maria Pardo
Spain
Local time: 06:20
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Dec 6, 2016

Wow, thank you so much, Lianne van de Ven!

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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:20
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Words and segments Dec 6, 2016

Discounts are for repeated segments, not words. Segments are usually sentences. A segment may be identical to another segment. That's a 100% match. A segment may also be a partial match.

This only matters if you are using a CAT program. Since you are not, charge for the entire word count.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
+1 Dec 6, 2016

Michele Fauble wrote:
Discounts are for repeated segments, not words. Segments are usually sentences. A segment may be identical to another segment. That's a 100% match. A segment may also be a partial match.

This only matters if you are using a CAT program. Since you are not, charge for the entire word count.


What she said.


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MollyRose  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:20
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
+2 Dec 6, 2016

What Michele said.

You're still doing all that typing, so you should be paid for it.


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Maria Pardo
Spain
Local time: 06:20
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks again! Dec 7, 2016

Well, again, thank you so much, everybody! That's really helped a lot, as I really was completely lost and worried... Didn't want to be unfair to the client if things are done in a certain way and I didn't know how to, but knowing that if I typed it all myself I can charge for everything also makes sense as it should be fair for me too.

¡Gracias!

[Edited at 2016-12-07 00:02 GMT]


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:20
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Source + Free CAT Tool Dec 7, 2016

Maria Pardo wrote:

Well, again, thank you so much, everybody! That's really helped a lot, as I really was completely lost and worried... Didn't want to be unfair to the client if things are done in a certain way and I didn't know how to, but knowing that if I typed it all myself I can charge for everything also makes sense as it should be fair for me too.


At any rate, you could've asked the client to provide you with the source in a file (even including html tags and all) and then used a free CAT tool (like OmegaT or one of the paid ones with a free trial).

As for discounts, IMO you shouldn't give them unless asked (and even then it's your choice). But surely not if you're not using a CAT tool...


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:20
German to English
+3: "Number of words contained in repeated segments" Dec 7, 2016

... or "in repeated sentences" (if it would help to oversimplify things): That is what is actually meant.

"Repeated words" is more or less jargon, because it means two completely different things to people familiar with the concept and to laypeople using common sense to figure out what it means.

I do think you ought to explicitly mention the issue to the client if it is not something that they can be expected to know. If the website contains a lot of highly repetitive text, it really shouldn't be translated without a CAT tool. If it does not contain a lot of highly repetitive text, then I would say that CAT is a matter of personal preference.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Many clients are happy with a reasonable fee for the job - without a lot of calculations Dec 7, 2016

There is a sort of bandwagon effect when people talk about repeat words - many clients do not really understand what they are all about, but they don't want to miss out on anything, especially a smart way to cut prices. They listen politely if you explain repetitions, or they form their own ideas, but many are not really interested in how you reach the figure at the bottom of the invoice. If it is way above their budget, they will not pay, so agree in advance!

Simply say you will do the job for whatever price you find reasonable, considering the hours of work you have to do.

If the client asks about repeats, just say 'Oh, yes, I have taken those into account.' You can explain that you do not use a CAT - I would never trust a TM I had downloaded from the Net, especially if I had never used a CAT tool.


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Tony Keily  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:20
Italian to English
+ ...
Just one element Dec 7, 2016

Repetition is in an case just one element of translation. Do agencies/customers pay bonuses for financial reports containing time-consuming lists of terms, tables requiring formatting, or pdfs of nasty handwritten source documents? If so, it's fair to offer repetition discounts. If not, it's only fair to adopt a swings and roundabouts approach.

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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:20
Member (2014)
English to German
Of course they don't... Dec 7, 2016

Tony Keily wrote:

Repetition is in an case just one element of translation. Do agencies/customers pay bonuses for financial reports containing time-consuming lists of terms, tables requiring formatting, or pdfs of nasty handwritten source documents? If so, it's fair to offer repetition discounts. If not, it's only fair to adopt a swings and roundabouts approach.


... who will offer to pay more than they have to, but the translator needs to look at the whole job and charge for that kind of thing, I thought.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A straightforward business decision Dec 7, 2016

Christine Andersen wrote:
Simply say you will do the job for whatever price you find reasonable, considering the hours of work you have to do.

If the client asks about repeats, just say 'Oh, yes, I have taken those into account.' You can explain that you do not use a CAT - I would never trust a TM I had downloaded from the Net, especially if I had never used a CAT tool.

There is one case where I do go out of my way to give an actual discount. Most clients get just one line on their invoice for each text I translate: rate per word X number of words = amount to be paid. But one of my current regular direct clients sometimes has two lines - not for all jobs, just for some. It says "discount for repetitions" (well actually, it says it in French) and just has a negative amount beside it. This is because he has sent me loads of work all on one particular subject, including a few texts that I've had to turn down because I simply wasn't available. I'm a little worried that he'll settle for someone cheaper one day so, when he sent a text with loads of matches, I seized an opportunity to hopefully make him a little more loyal to me. I explained a little about CAT tools and informed him that it's only because I have all his old translations in my memory that I can give this discount. He's very happy about it and I am too. It costs me a few extra minutes of admin and I don't get 100% for every word but, to be honest, he only gets 50% reduction on repetitions and 100% matches and 25% off 85+% matches. So I reckon I'm not losing out as the rate per hour is good, due to the speed of processing those matches and the familiarity with the subject.

But, like Christine, I would never suggest a discount to a client unless there was a valid reason. It has to make business sense.

Tony Keily wrote:
Repetition is in an case just one element of translation. Do agencies/customers pay bonuses for financial reports containing time-consuming lists of terms, tables requiring formatting, or pdfs of nasty handwritten source documents? If so, it's fair to offer repetition discounts. If not, it's only fair to adopt a swings and roundabouts approach.

Hang on, there's something wrong there. Why would agencies/customers pay bonuses? They aren't our employers. Surely, if there's extra work to be done, on top of what's fair for our normal per-word rate, then we impose surcharges. I have had clients pay me bonuses in the past, and they're gratefully received, of course (even if they do pay havoc with the book-keeping ), but they haven't been in return for something I could anticipate, such as extra work, unsocial hours or anything like that. Those factors attract a surcharge, if I choose to impose one.


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Maria Pardo
Spain
Local time: 06:20
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks once again Dec 9, 2016

Thanks very much, everybody, for all your valuable input, it has really helped!

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