Rates for translating Word docs without CAT tools
Thread poster: barrymurphy

barrymurphy
Local time: 09:32
German to English
May 2, 2009

Hi all,

I've recently translated a lot of Microsoft Word documents from German into English without the help of CAT tools. The rate I charge is Euro 0.06 per source word. Within some of the texts there is a fair bit of repetition of words, sometimes even of whole paragraphs. How should I approach this? Should I simply charge per word in the document regardless of repetitions or should I offer some kind of discount. If anyone has any ideas what the standard procedure is in a case like this, I'd be grateful. Thanks.


 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:32
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Repetition of individual words does not count May 3, 2009

Only repetition of whole sentences or paragraphs comes into the picture. I do not charge for repeated "chunks" of text, whether it is an agency or an end client.

Since you are at liberty to charge what you like afterwards, and apparently did not agree a price in advance, I assume you are dealing with an end client. Yes, discount anything that you only had to cut and paste. However, please do not undercut the market by this extreme extent!

Agencies will already tell you in advance how much they are prepared to pay you, taking into account any repetitions.


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:32
English to Japanese
+ ...
Charge the whole rate May 3, 2009

I would charge a full rate regardless of repetitions or not, since no CAT tool was used (Unless there was an agreement of discount for repetitions beforehand). In this way, the bad practice of discount of repetitions without CAT tools would be minimized. I think you are fully entitled to receive what you deserve, since I assume this translation was done from scratch, where you had to translate each and every word by yourself.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You will give a discount if... May 3, 2009

barrymurphy wrote:
Within some of the texts there is a fair bit of repetition of words, sometimes even of whole paragraphs.


Normally a CAT tool would tell you which sentences are duplicated, but without a CAT tool you can't be 100% sure that an apparent repetition is really a 100% repetition, so you spend a lot more time "proofreading" the text you're translating.

In the light of the above: Say to the client that if he can tell you in advance which paragraphs (not sentences) are repetitions, give a discount (if that is what you normally do for repetitions); otherwise, give no discount.

If anyone has any ideas what the standard procedure is in a case like this, I'd be grateful.


The standard procedure is to offer a discount when you are squeezed. The standard principle is: No squeal, no discount. If the client doesn't ask for a discount, and you are not pressed by the presence of competition, don't mention discounts.


 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:32
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Why? May 4, 2009

barrymurphy wrote:

Hi all,

I've recently translated a lot of Microsoft Word documents from German into English without the help of CAT tools. The rate I charge is Euro 0.06 per source word. Within some of the texts there is a fair bit of repetition of words, sometimes even of whole paragraphs. How should I approach this? Should I simply charge per word in the document regardless of repetitions or should I offer some kind of discount. If anyone has any ideas what the standard procedure is in a case like this, I'd be grateful. Thanks.


1) You are already charging a low rate (for your language pair)

2) Since you are not using CAT tools, you cannot really be much faster, even if some of the text is repeated (you have to at least copy and paste manually)

Hence, no reason for a discount that I can see.

[Edited at 2009-05-04 04:05 GMT]


 

Zuzka Benesova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:32
Member (2012)
English to Czech
discount only for very similar documents May 4, 2009

Hello,
if I work without CAT, I only charge proofreading rates in case I get 2 or more very similar documents in one order (or if I do several similar documents for the same customer over a period of time) - e.g. powers of attorney - and I only have to change names, addresses etc. That seems fair, otherwise I agree with Riccardo: I see no reason to charge lessicon_smile.gif


 

Ann Krol  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2008)
Polish to English
+ ...
Full rate May 4, 2009

barrymurphy wrote:

Hi all,

I've recently translated a lot of Microsoft Word documents from German into English without the help of CAT tools. The rate I charge is Euro 0.06 per source word. Within some of the texts there is a fair bit of repetition of words, sometimes even of whole paragraphs. How should I approach this? Should I simply charge per word in the document regardless of repetitions or should I offer some kind of discount. If anyone has any ideas what the standard procedure is in a case like this, I'd be grateful. Thanks.


Without CATs I charge the standard rate and I don't consider repetitions. I think this is the best way. Can you imagine after translation you account all repetitions (??) it takes too much time...

With best wishes,
Ann


 

Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:32
English to Spanish
+ ...
Totally agree with Riccardo May 4, 2009

Riccardo Schiaffino wrote:

1) You are already charging a low rate (for your language pair)

2) Since you are not using CAT tools, you cannot really be much faster, even if some of the text is repeated (you have to at least copy and paste manually)

Hence, no reason for a discount that I can see.




Totally agree on both points. Charge your full-rate.


[Edited at 2009-05-04 09:05 GMT]


 

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Dutch to German
+ ...
Does it really take that much time? May 4, 2009

AnKrol wrote:

Without CATs I charge the standard rate and I don't consider repetitions. I think this is the best way. Can you imagine after translation you account all repetitions (??) it takes too much time...


You would not believe how "creative" some clients (fortunately none of mine) are when it comes to this. They just demand you analyse the TARGET text in your CAT tool and want their discount on the repetitions.

By the way, Barry... 0,06 EUR is a bit on the low side, don't you think? If the text is really that repetitive and you really have to stick to that rate, sell it to the client as your "special offer" because of the repetition and count EACH AND EVERY word and number!

[Edited at 2009-05-04 09:07 GMT]


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:32
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Discount? What discount? May 4, 2009

Your discount is already built in with a rate that is half the point at which one should even begin to take a rate seriously and a third or less of what one should strive for routinely. Charging a rate like that for German to English is... no comment. Next time I want to light a tea candle (I don't smoke cigars), I think I'll do it with a 100 euro note.

As others have pointed out, working in Word, no time is saved, hence talk of a discount is foolish. Without CAT tools it is also more difficult to determine differences in very similar texts. That was one of the reasons I adopted such tools so gladly, because it cut down my error rate for texts that looked the same but were in fact not.


 

Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:32
Dutch to English
+ ...
My thoughts exactly ... May 4, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:

Charging a rate like that for German to English is... no comment.


Barry, what you charge is your business, obviously, but since you've mentioned it on a public forum, I can only add to the chorus that your current rate is extremely low for this language pair. Perhaps you're not aware of this fact.

Whilst I realise you only have one year of experience, do yourself a favour and start charging decent rates. You can always use the difference, if you feel you are still finding your feet, to pay a mentor/revisor. However, it will be very difficult -- if not impossible -- to raise your rate later if your clients get used to this rate.

As for any further discounting, I would not consider it in this case.

Good luck
Debs


 

barrymurphy
Local time: 09:32
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 8, 2009

Hi all,

Thanks for your comments. I've decided to charge the client for every word, regardless of repetitions. Your comments on my low rate were interesting too so thanks for that. As it happens, I'm now working full-time on a salaried basis from home for this company (only since Monday!) so rates won't be an issue from now on. But if I do decide to go freelance in future, I'll charge more than 6 cent per word! The client actually set that rate themselves and, not having much translating experience, being out of work and knowing that there was a chance of a full-time job later with the company, I accepted. Thanks again for the replies.


 


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