Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
How much can I charge for very similar texts?
Thread poster: Dora Murgu
Dora Murgu
Local time: 11:39
Spanish to Romanian
+ ...
Aug 6, 2008

Hi!

I have to translate six documents, each consisting of almost the same text (they appear to be invoices for a range of products, so the only thing that varies is the list of products).

I usually charge per word, but now I don't know what to do -should I charge less, since a great deal of the text is identical?

Thanks!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-08-07 01:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:39
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Different weighting for repetitions Aug 7, 2008

Hi,

I'd count all the new words, charge my full rate only for the new ones (repeated words only once) and a discounted rate for the repetitions - not too low a weighting, as you have to insert the repetitions manually... (I presume you have no CAT tool doing that for you? None is reported in your profile)

You might want to consider buying a CAT, a good investment and a time saver.

Giuliana


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:39
English to German
+ ...
Charge by the word. All of them. Aug 7, 2008

Even if you own a CAT-tool. Such tools are supposed to benefit the translator, not the outsourcer. After all, it's you who paid for this software in the first place. Giving rebates has become a really bad habit in our industry.

Think of it: You don't own a CAT-tool. Now you have to do a word count (extra work, your own time). Then give a rebate on top? Why?

Addendum:
It's like paying less money to a roofer because he happens to own a power tool to put in nails.

[Edited at 2008-08-07 03:14]


More addendum:
Before CAT-tools became popular, nobody ever dreamed of giving rebates for copy-and-paste.



[Edited at 2008-08-07 03:16]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 11:39
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Of course, the more the better Aug 7, 2008

Dear Nicole,

of course, the more you can get the better.

If you manage to have with a CAT all words paid full high rate for large and very large projects with repetitions and 100% matches & fuzzy, even for regular updates, chapeau Go for it.

A CAT is nothing more than an investment in equipment a professional can amortize pretty quickly, one's own rate ought to cover that cost as much as other costs are covered by it.

After that any time saving practically boosts one's own rates. In my little experience, most clients are aware of CATs or at least tend to save money where they can, especially in these times, so different weightings are asked upfront, it's a matter of taking or leaving. Doing some maths, an appropriate initial rate for no match added to the time saved (and the extra work one can do in that time) more than compensate the granted "discount".

Copying and pasting is a time-consuming activity, but even when there was no Internet and no CAT some clients used to ask for a discount for repeated words. Once again a personal business decision whether to grant it, have the work and earn money or refuse and earn no money in the hope of covering the same time with a better paid job. Of course, when I am offered two jobs at the same time, I go for the better paid, that goes without saying;-)

Giuliana


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:39
Finnish to English
Bring it to the attention of the client/agency Aug 7, 2008

They will probably agree some deal. If not charge for the lot


s


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Not my approach Aug 7, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:

It's like paying less money to a roofer because he happens to own a power tool to put in nails.


Actually, I can't say I agree with this approach. It is not a matter of the tools used (as many people constantly point out) but a) whether there is an actual benefit, and b) whether this can or should be passed on to the client.

I think a more fitting analogy would be a contractor providing an estimate based on 8 hours of their time, then doing the job in 4 hours. Should I be charged for 8 hours if the contractor was in and out in 4?

I believe different factors need to be considered - is this a client that pays relatively well or relatively poorly? Is this a regular client, one that you have good relations with? Would you like to demonstrate your appreciation for a positive working relationship with this client?

I was just in this situation the other day. I do have a CAT tool, although in most cases for the repetitions involved, I simply used the cut-and-paste function. In the final analysis, however, I knew I saved time, both in comparison to re-translating and typing everything out.

So I communicated the general idea, telling the PM I was adding the "actual" word count to my invoice, followed by a "deduction" (which in this particular case came to about 40% of the words that were repeated).

The client seemed happy, my conscience was clear, and I felt that I still earned a fair amount for the time I put in.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Dora Murgu
Local time: 11:39
Spanish to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Deduction is the best option Aug 7, 2008

well thanks a lot - I don't have a CAT tool since I don't normally translate. But the new Word has an option that compares texts and gives you the matching words, so that will do.

I'll go for the deduction for repetitions that Janet mentions.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:39
English to German
+ ...
It is not clear if the client is a direct client or an agency Aug 7, 2008

I assume that it is a direct client. An agency would probably have provided a word count / repetitions beforehand.

I like CAT-tools, they ease my work. Why so many fellow translators feel compelled to give rebates for the mere privilege of owning and using such things will remain a mystery to me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:39
English to German
+ ...
Did the client actually ask for a discount? Aug 7, 2008

If you are offering price deductions voluntarily without being asked for, you are not helping our industry.

Such things are undermining our pricing practices.

Hm.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Dora Murgu
Local time: 11:39
Spanish to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Discount -own decision Aug 7, 2008

No, he did not ask for a discount, but made it quite clear that the documents were very similar. It is a very good potential (direct) client, and after reading all the posts, I have decided this is the best way to deal with it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A paradigm Aug 7, 2008

Envision identical twins, triplets, whatever.

Would a photographer charge less for a snapshot of each?

Would a doctor charge less if both or all of them had the same disease?

Would a governmental agency reduce the fees for issuing whatever documents for them?


Well, there ARE some cases, but if you check them out, most are based on increased volume. So, you'd probably give a client bringing you 100 pages to translate a better rate than to another who brought you only one page (of similar stuff). By the same token, if the latter brought you 100 one-pagers instead of one, you might apply the same idea.

Nicole's power tool and CAT tool analogy is perfect. Let's take it one step closer. If the end-client wants an intricately formatted translation, should I charge less if I use PageMaker instead of MS Word? That's my problem, not the client's. Work volume is another issue.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
I understand your viewpoint, but... Aug 7, 2008

Nicole Schnell wrote:

If you are offering price deductions voluntarily without being asked for, you are not helping our industry.

Such things are undermining our pricing practices.


I just wanted to say I do understand what you're saying, and agree - to some extent.

But the fact of the matter is clients sometimes realize their "mistake" later on their own, and can become upset about a project (for example) where they are billed for eight pages of work and find out that the last four pages are identical (or near enough) to the first four.

And what's more, they can and do "blame" the translator for not pointing this out (it may sound illogical and unprofessional, but that's how it is sometimes).

So in some respects, it comes down to a risk of losing trust within the business relationship.

For myself, I don't have a blanket rule that applies to all situations. I look at the factors (size of job, amount of time spent, amount of repetitions, whether formatting is involved, extra research, rate of pay, frequency of jobs from the client) etc.

I especially don't believe in charging less *just* because I may use a CAT tool - as you and others have pointed out, I had to pay for it, it's my tool to use as I choose. And I believe I add much more in consistency checks than I gain in time.

But by the same token, I know that I feel better about working with someone who is completely honest about the work being done, and I think my clients (in most cases) deserve the same.

So no, I don't condone "reducing" my pricing. But I also see "word count" as a method for determining that pricing over time: "I translate x words per hour" -> I would like to earn x amount per hour -> I must charge x per word".

If I free up a significant amount of time, I am prompted by my own personal code of ethics to offer at least a token discount.

But I can understand others' reluctance to do the same.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Professional courtesy - a personal choice Aug 7, 2008

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Would a photographer charge less for a snapshot of each?

Would a doctor charge less if both or all of them had the same disease?

Would a governmental agency reduce the fees for issuing whatever documents for them?


I don't exactly agree with these analogies, but instead of arguing the details, I will just say that I have indeed received reductions in bills from professionals - including doctors, lawyers, and accountants - when we had assumed the appointment was for one purpose (i.e. a transaction that would involve x amount of time and y amount of effort) and only realized after the consultation that there was actually less service needed (and provided). I saw this as a professional courtesy, and I'm sure they saw this as a simple way to keep a client satisfied and coming back for more.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:39
English to German
+ ...
Here is the gap that I encounter so often. Aug 7, 2008

We are not part-time laborers who charge by the hour. We are neither temps nor rentals.

We are business partners who sell a finished product.

How we get from point A to point B is our problem.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Most certainly Aug 7, 2008

Janet Rubin wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Would a photographer charge less for a snapshot of each?

Would a doctor charge less if both or all of them had the same disease?

Would a governmental agency reduce the fees for issuing whatever documents for them?


I don't exactly agree with these analogies, but instead of arguing the details, I will just say that I have indeed received reductions in bills from professionals - including doctors, lawyers, and accountants - when we had assumed the appointment was for one purpose (i.e. a transaction that would involve x amount of time and y amount of effort) and only realized after the consultation that there was actually less service needed (and provided). I saw this as a professional courtesy, and I'm sure they saw this as a simple way to keep a client satisfied and coming back for more.



As my key specialty is training courseware, I often find repeated chunks or whole pages duplicated, e.g. from the participant's workbook in the instructor's guide. When this is the case, unless such factors have already been considered upon making the original cost estimate, I only charge for the eventual time and effort of finding, resizing/reformatting if necessary, and placing them, if really significant, and give an unexpected discount.

Bear in mind that this involves NO "tools" I might have, as the client could easily find and cross out the repetitions on the original, using a copy of the part repeated elsewhere.

Sometimes I find necessary things to do that were not noticed or considered by the client at the outset, I do them at no charge if I can (otherwise I ask if they really want it done). And adding as many "freebie" items as possible that add value at no substantial extra cost/work is a certain way to ensure a client's preference.

An interesting case occurs with video for dubbing, when there are recap flashbacks from the main video. Unless these are overwhelming - as compared to short snippets - most dubbing studios prefer to redub the snippets than to find, duplicate, and sync them. The latter process at times may involve some very delicate editing, if the dubber - even slightly - overspoke his/her line (like overstaying the microphone's welcome), which is more expensive than just redubbing on the fly. Dubbing studios usually advise me beforehand (they'll know it from their estimating process) which way they prefer.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How much can I charge for very similar texts?

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search