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Calculations based on Trados analyses unfair?
Thread poster: Igor Indruch

Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:44
English to Czech
Jul 15, 2008

Hi,

I do not work in Trados too often. Mostly I work in Transit, which provides very exact reports of what was actually translated.

But sometimes I get a job in Trados with PO created upon preliminary analysis of the text. Quite often the analysis shows part of such text as "pretranslated", but in reality, those "pretranslations" are unusable, so I have to correct them. But usually there is no way how to put this into account and I am therefore not paid for all my work... how do you deal with this problem?


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
Simple Jul 15, 2008

Don't accept the PO in the first place.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
Move on.... Jul 15, 2008

See my profile page for a calculation how much you loose if you accept Trados reductions and who wins? I thank the agency for the offer, wish them luck in finding the right translator and move on.

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Marta Cervera Areny
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Catalan to Spanish
+ ...
Things clear first of all Jul 15, 2008

When I have one of these translations what I do is ask the client first.

If these pretranslations are not 100% coincidences, then you obviously need to modify them and get paid for it. So I have a kind of conversion table, and apply discounts from full rate depending on the coincidence percentage. If you tell your client that some of the pretranslated strings are not correct and that they should be retranslated, and if your client is sensible enough, he will most probably tell you to correct them and you will get paid for it.

Even if it is a 100% coincidence, and it's apparently a usable translation, it's always good to go over the text again to make sure it is correct, and that it suits the kind of text you're translating... so you can charge them for instance just 25% (or 20% or 10%) of the regular rate.

Sometimes, if they don't want to pay this percentage, and the pretranslated sentences are totally unusable, you can waive your responsibility and say that you won't review pretranslated text.

It doesn't always work... but quite often it does...


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Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:44
English to Czech
TOPIC STARTER
Not so easy... Jul 15, 2008

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Don't accept the PO in the first place.


Williamson wrote:

Move on...



Well, that is not allways so easy... in many cases the agency is OK - the TM and analysis comes from customer... And I have no problem with 100% matches not being paid if they are really 100% matches...

What I am not able to find in Trados is an option to create "completed job" report with clearly specified, what was translated and what not...

In Transit, the report looks like this:

Not translated - Pretranslated - Partially Pretranslated - Translated - Fuzzy...

When I do not like what is "pretranslated" I can change it to original and transalate it , and then it is calculated as "translated" (and fully paid)

But In Trados the analysis is only: Repetitions 100%... 98%... No match.. after transalation it is not distinguished what was pretranslated and what is new translation...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A new customer? Then be careful with the memory Jul 15, 2008

This situation has happened to us many times in the past. We have been handed a memory in a terrible shape, with inconsistencies, wrong translations, etc. etc.

You can go many ways here, but to me the safest way is to tell the customer that you will charge them for instance 40% of the base rate, for the 100% matches, as the memory cannot be trusted. I'd accept the job only if the customer:

1. Agrees to pay you more for the review of the 100% matches

and 2. That for future jobs you will only use a memory containing YOUR translations, and not the old, bad translation memory once again.


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:44
German to Spanish
What? Jul 15, 2008

Igor Indruch wrote:


.. And I have no problem with 100% matches not being paid if they are really 100% matches...



Maybe you don't, but all other (should) take 30% and 100% for all under 75% match.

Here my calculation for clients (no agency):

Match Types Percentage
Repetitions 30%
100% 30%
95% - 99% 60%
85% - 94% 100%
75% - 84% 100%
50% - 74% 100%
No Match 100%



Regards

Fernando
www.lenguatik.com

[Edited at 2008-07-15 13:08]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
Move on II Jul 15, 2008

If all did the same, there would be no discussion possible. Trados invented the scheme and agencies jumped on it. Do they give reductions for the use of Trados to their end-clients. Probably not.
Agencies live of translators, but not vice-versa. Ever considered direct customers and being a freelancer in your specialisation? IT-services pay more than translation.
Otherwise leave out the words or part of the words you are paid less/not paid for.


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 11:44
German
+ ...
What's with this agency hate? Jul 15, 2008

Williamson wrote:

If all did the same, there would be no discussion possible. Trados invented the scheme and agencies jumped on it. Do they give reductions for the use of Trados to their end-clients. Probably not.

Yes they do, thank you very much.

Agencies live of translators, but not vice-versa. Ever considered direct customers and being a freelancer in your specialisation?

And deal with their clueless secretary when it comes to terminology problems, technical questions etc.? Accept that most of the files are badly formatted, preventing an efficient translation workflow? Chase payments from all your various direct clients sometimes for months on end?

A good agency will spare you from all of that and give you a steady stream of work so that you can concentrate on what you do best and get paid as agreed and on time, every time.

Williamson, if you have the nerve to deal with direct clients in your day-to-day business, fine. Whatever works for you. But don't berate people telling them all agencies are bad. PLEASE.

Back on topic: The analysis log that you can create by analyzing the files with the TM gives you detailed information over the level of work involved, breaking down the text to translate into repeated stuff (big discount), partially matching stuff (maybe small discount) and still-to-translate stuff (full price).

IMHO, the Trados logs are much easier to interpret than the Transit reports in this regard.

All the best,
Benjamin


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Alicia Casal  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Fernando: Jul 15, 2008

¿Trados discounts for direct clients?!

A.


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Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:44
English to Czech
TOPIC STARTER
rates Jul 15, 2008

Fernando Toledo wrote:

Here my calculation for clients (no agency):

Match Types Percentage
Repetitions 30%
100% 30%
95% - 99% 60%
85% - 94% 100%
75% - 84% 100%
50% - 74% 100%
No Match 100%



I have something similar, of course. I wrote "100 % not being paid" just to keep it simple... I was just confused with Trados system, because, as I already wrote, usually I work in Transit, which is more "transparent".

Thanks everybody for your opinions, now I know what I needed.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:44
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Adjust your rate... Jul 15, 2008

Calculate the total amount you would normally receive for the job, then divide it by the wordcount they provide - this will be your rate for this project. That way they can apply any count they want and you still make what's yours...

Remember that your rates are not set in stone, you can have different rates even with the same agency... What matters is the bottom line, no matter whether you count repetitions or not, get paid for word or per line, etc.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:44
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Imagine the following situation: Jul 15, 2008

Your end customer, no agency, having no clue about Trados or other CAT tools, has a tender for you to translate. In due course you also translate all this administratory stuff needed to place an offer to this tender (ie balance sheet, excerpt from commercial register and so on). All documents are actual in the date of this tender. Three months later you get another tender to translate, with all the same administratory stuff with slight changes. The commercial register has one position more, some other documents have only a different date, some different numbers within. The volume in total is both times several thousand words. But the second time you don't neeed to translate more than 50% of the stuff, but just replace dates and so on. Will you charge your customer in full for the second job? And if yes, will you do this with each tender? Quite certainly you will not keep this customer for a long time.

A calculation is always as good as you do it. It does not matter, if you give "discount" or use weighted word counts (IMHO much better than "discounts"), what counts for you is how much you earn per time unit (ie per hour). This and only this will determine how much money you earn in the months. A month has a defined number of working hours and you cannot exceed 24 hours work per day. On the other hand word count is only a statistical figure. Your task is now to put the word count in a relation to time necessary to translate them and then to calculate the amount you have to earn with this project. So eventualy it does not matter if you charge the rate x or the rate 10x for a word and give discount - what matters, is the hourly rate. When the customer refuses to pay for 100% matches, the calculation for the rest must be adapted accordingly. And this is not that very hard using this fine statistics you get from Trados.

Allow me also one remark about agencies: as with everything in the life there are agencies and agencies, as there also are freelancers and freelancers. I for one have no time (and maybe also not the necessary knowledge) for doing marketing and creating marketing strategies. This is what agencies do for me. So it is only understandable that they have to be paid for that. And this is always a mutual agreement - if you don't like it, leave it. But if you signed it and than complain, you are the first person to blame, not the agency.

Regards
Jerzy


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Igor Indruch  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:44
English to Czech
TOPIC STARTER
Jerzy Jul 15, 2008

Thank you for your lenthy post, but if it is a reply to my original question, you missed the point completely...

The point is, that final calculation (billable) should always be done AFTER the translation is complete. A PRELIMINARY analysis should be only informational. But this is, as it seems, not possible in TRADOS. Trados analysis is therefore unfair...

Tomas Cano Binder put it nicely - the problem is especially when customer suplies his own TM and does calculation according to it.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:44
French to English
+ ...
Words Jul 15, 2008

Williamson wrote:
Otherwise leave out the words or part of the words you are paid less/not paid for.


A Trados/Transit analysis is not about words, it is about translation units (usually sentences). If you have a tool which can reproduce previously translated units for you, you may decide (or not) to pass on this saving in the form of a small discount to your customer. This is entirely up to you, and if you choose not to use a CAT tool that is also entirely up to you and totally acceptable.

Telling everyone else what to do and how to run their businesses, however, strays over the boundaries of acceptability.

There are some very good agencies out there, some of whom use Trados or other CAT tools in collaboration with their freelancers, some of whom do not.


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