the new, the fuzzy, and the other (word count) - how much does it really cost?
Thread poster: Bernhard Sulzer

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
English to German
+ ...
Jul 6, 2009

One of my translation agency clients sent me an email announcing that
in order to streamline translations projects, maintain consistency in production,
optimize resources and remain competitive in the industry, they are
shifting to employing CAT tools starting very soon. They also told me that by mentioning them as my LSP partner, I will get a 30% discount on Trados.

So I am being asked:
If you currently own and use CAT tools when translating, please provide us with your
current rate information using the following break down;
- New words and 74% - [100% full rate]
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate]
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate]

Please help me understand the following issues:

1. The new (new old) rate?

If my current rate (without a CAT tool) was, let's say USD .10/source word, what would be the new price breakdown I should suggest? Am I supposed to simply suggest it as the percentage of my previous rate or dare ask for more, say, work with USD .12/source word for all new words during this economic crisis that everybody will mention for years to come?


2. The new, the fuzzy, and the other (word count)
Could somebody also clarify/explain and possibly comment (on) these three magic lines (I want to make sure I understand the secret behind those lines):

- New words and 74% - [100% full rate] = 100% rate for what? - new words and less than 74% repetitons ???? (will my CAT Tool help me determine/check this - Trados, Wordfast Pro??)
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate] = 80% of my full rate for a text which contains 75-99% new words???????
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate] - 100% of what?? and how many repetitions are we talking about here???


3.
And what is the answer to the following question (keeping in mind the use of a CAT tool?):
"If you provide editing and proofreading services please send us your hourly/per
word/MINIMUM* rates for said services." *I capitalized minimum, not my client.

Should I charge more now, the same, or even less???


4.
And -- how many CAT tools should I have available these days - it seems the "latest" (am I correct?!) versions of SDLX Trados and Word Fast Pro? Which one should I buy first?
I am going to buy Trados first I suppose and then Wordfast Pro (Wordfast Suite).
I have used Wordfast and Wordfast Pro trial versions. My trial version of Wordfast has expired.

5.
Somehow I feel a lot hotter, almost comparable with suffering from the effects of drastic global warming. Is something melting away here?
In a nutshell, am I going to make less money per project (so it seems) - and because all other translation partners are going to have to use a CAT tool too, will I be making less money overall because the number of projects will probably not change significantly?
Or, in other words, what must I do to earn at least the same amount of money?


Thank you very much for your input regarding any of these issues.
Bernhard

[Edited at 2009-07-06 06:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-07-06 07:19 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
add on to my post Jul 6, 2009

So I am being asked:
If you currently own and use CAT tools when translating, please provide us with your
current rate information using the following break down;
- New words and


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
add on 2 Jul 6, 2009

Can't seem to post more than a few words.
Will contact site staff and repost later.
Thank you.
Bernhard


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:24
English to German
+ ...
Don't use pointed brackets in the forum Jul 6, 2009

Hi Bernhard,
The problem is that you used pointed brackets in the forum. If you wish to use the "<:" character, you will need to use the HTML entity code.

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

One of my translation agency clients sent me an email announcing that
in order to streamline translations projects, maintain consistency in production,
optimize resources and remain competitive in the industry, they are
shifting to employing CAT tools starting very soon. They also told me that by mentioning them as my LSP partner, I will get a 30% discount on Trados.

So I am being asked:
If you currently own and use CAT tools when translating, please provide us with your
current rate information using the following break down;
- New words and <::74% - [100% full rate]
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate]
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate]

Please help me understand the following issues:

1. The new (new old) rate?

If my current rate (without a CAT tool) was, let's say USD .10/source word, what would be the new price breakdown I should suggest? Am I supposed to simply suggest it as the percentage of my previous rate or dare ask for more, say, work with USD .12/source word for all new words during this economic crisis that everybody will mention for years to come?


2. The new, the fuzzy, and the other (word count)
Could somebody also clarify/explain and possibly comment (on) these three magic lines (I want to make sure I understand the secret behind those lines):

- New words and <:74% - [100% full rate] = 100% rate for what? - new words and less than 74% repetitons ???? (will my CAT Tool help me determine/check this - Trados, Wordfast Pro??)
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate] = 80% of my full rate for a text which contains 75-99% new words???????
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate] - 100% of what?? and how many repetitions are we talking about here???


3.
And what is the answer to the following question (keeping in mind the use of a CAT tool?):
"If you provide editing and proofreading services please send us your hourly/per
word/MINIMUM* rates for said services." *I capitalized minimum, not my client.

Should I charge more now, the same, or even less???


4.
And -- how many CAT tools should I have available these days - it seems the "latest" (am I correct?!) versions of SDLX Trados and Word Fast Pro? Which one should I buy first?
I am going to buy Trados first I suppose and then Wordfast Pro (Wordfast Suite).
I have used Wordfast and Wordfast Pro trial versions. My trial version of Wordfast has expired.

5.
Somehow I feel a lot hotter, almost comparable with suffering from the effects of drastic global warming. Is something melting away here?
In a nutshell, am I going to make less money per project (so it seems) - and because all other translation partners are going to have to use a CAT tool too, will I be making less money overall because the number of projects will probably not change significantly?
Or, in other words, what must I do to earn at least the same amount of money?


Thank you very much for your input regarding any of these issues.
Bernhard


[Edited at 2009-07-06 07:28 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 01:24
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Try the Wordfast Classic demo version free Jul 6, 2009

One of my clients offers 100% of their normal rate for new text (which is just that),
75% for fuzzy matches,
20% for 100% matches, which I believe is quite generous, but I get comparatively few of them in the texts I work with.

DO NOT lower your normal rate, and keep it as high as possible for fuzzy matches, which still have to be processed carefully and proofread.


100% matches may be anything from

Yours sincerely

Page -- of --

and fixed formulae like that, or company mottos, names and addresses etc. collected from previous jobs in the Translation Memory (TM), to sentences that are repeated within a text.

* * * * * * *

Fuzzy matches are the ones where the CAT has found a certain amount of similar elements earier on, in the same text or previous ones.

For example,
If I am asked to translate the text for packs of cookies in three different flavours, there will be a mixture of text types.

The remarks that are the same on all the packs, like the name and address of the manufacturer, blurb about delicious crisp cookies that everyobody loves, etc. will be new text the first time, and 100% matches the second and third times.

In the declarations of ingredients for the various flavours, there will be things like wheat flour, animal fat, vegetable fat, sugar, salt and raising agent with E-numbers in all of them.

In the vanilla cookies there will also be vanilla
In the chocolate ones there will be cocoa
And in the peanut ones there will be peanuts and a warning that they contain nuts.

If the text is correctly set up, the declarations will show up in yellow as fuzzy matches, where you have to check what is identical and what is different. Trados marks this in the source text, but it is still quite a job to sort out on occasions.
(E.g. relative quantities, extra raising agent in the chocolate cookies, less animal fat in the ones with nuts... emulsifiers, whatever) The CAT might manage the changes in the numbers if any, but don't bank on it, CHECK them!

The warning about the nuts may show up as a 100% match, because product declarations with nuts are already in the TM, or it may be new text, because this is the first time a text of that type has been translated using that TM.

My personal feeling is that fuzzy matches are not always much help, but they do sometimes save looking up terms in dictionaries, or a certain amount of repetitive typing.

* * * * *
TRY A FREE DEMO VERSION

I suggest trying out the free demo version of a CAT. Wordfast Classic allows you to work on a fully functional version for quite a long time, so you really get the feel of it. It is also very similar to the Trados versions everyone has been using up to now. I have no problems changing over from one to the other and back, and the results are compatible with Trados.

It has the very useful concordance feature and the glossary feature is simpler to set up than Multiterm with Trados.

Wordfast Pro is a different setup, not a replacement for the Classic version, and I have not tried it, but some people seem to be very pleased with it.

Trying with a free demo will only cost you time, most of which you will have to spend anyway, on learning what a CAT tool is all about.

If possible, get someone who has used Trados or Wordfast before to help you set it up. I am no IT geek, but I found Wordfast very easy after using Trados for several years, although it would not be so obvious to a complete newcomer.

When you are familiar with the basics, you can look into Trados, which is quite an investment, but probably worth it. Many agencies seem to prefer it, but I wonder if they have tried the alternatives or just succumbed to the very aggressive marketing. It is very smart when it works, and it certainly helps to improve consistency and quality. However, although I save a lot of time on translating, and can deliver jobs faster, I lose some too on updating the system and tidying up formatting that has somehow got 'lost in translation'.

Once you are used to using a CAT tool you will miss it when you have to go back to the 'old' methods for any reason.
But Trados is expensive, and updates etc. continue to be expensive. Make sure you really will benefit from it before committing yourself to it.

* * * * *

As far as PROOF READING is concerned, a CAT is not a lot of help, so be very careful about changing your rates.

I print out the text or hide the codes (which you are warned not to do, but it is necessary to get a proper view of the translation if you can't print out). You can always show the codes again when you start changing the text.

I mark large areas of 100% matches and proof read each once, but of course make sure I add corrections consistently to all of them, if they are repeated within current text. You can use 'Search and Replace' in Word where appropriate.
If the matches come from earlier texts in the TM, I am VERY cautious about changing anything already approved by the client - it depends on the situation.

Everything else - new or fuzzy - has to be checked carefully as you would anyway, with or without the CAT.
Fuzzy matches may be sentences with only one word different, or the differences may be so subtle that it is almost easier for a human to delete them and translate the sentence from scratch.

Even 100% matches cannot always be left. It depends what they are and whether they turn up in different contexts.

Short options in multiple choice questionnaires can be a trap.
There are others...

You get to appreciate why machine translation is so difficult when you use a CAT. It shows up some of the pitfalls, but it lets you avoid them as long as you keep awake.

Ideally, a CAT keeps the best solutions, including those added by experienced colleagues if you share a TM, and allows you to make improvements where you can. But it also keeps all the mistakes, which you have to weed out actively.

The combination of human and machine is brilliant when it works, but it is not just a soft option...

Best of luck!

Sorry, I'm telling you a lot you already know if you have already tried Wordfast.
Try one of the webinars on Trados - there are introductory ones, but sooner or later you do have to pay!





[Edited at 2009-07-06 10:14 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:24
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some answers Jul 6, 2009

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
The client suggests:
- New words and < 74% - [100% full rate]
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate]
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate]


If my current rate (without a CAT tool) was, let's say USD .10/source word, what would be the new price breakdown I should suggest?


The assumption would be that you keep charging .10 per word for the first category, .08 for the second and .035 for the third. That said, I do find the client's suggested discount scheme quite reasonable. I don't think the idea is that you raise your rate to cover the discounts.

- New words and < 74% - [100% full rate] = 100% rate for what? - new words and less than 74% repetitons ???? (will my CAT Tool help me determine/check this - Trados, Wordfast Pro??)
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate] = 80% of my full rate for a text which contains 75-99% new words???????
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate] - 100% of what?? and how many repetitions are we talking about here???


I think what you need is a basic introduction to CAT and TM. Let me explain briefly: Say your normal rate is .10 per word, then in terms of the above breakdown your client will pay you .10 per word for sentences that are less than 75% similar to sentences that you had delivered previously, .08 per word for sentences that are between 75% and 99% similar to sentences that you had delivered previously, and .035 per word for sentences that are exactly the same as sentences that you had delivered previously or that are repeated (as whole sentences) in the source text.

And what is the answer to the following question (keeping in mind the use of a CAT tool?):
"If you provide editing and proofreading services please send us your hourly/per
word/MINIMUM* rates for said services."


The minimum rate is the rate that you charge when the amount of work is so small that you can't quote for it in the usual way (eg per minute or per word). An hour's work is a reasonable "minimum rate". It means that if the work takes less than an hour to complete, you will charge the client for an hour's work (it is the minimum that you charge per job).

I have used Wordfast and Wordfast Pro trial versions. My trial version of Wordfast has expired.


Wordfast's trial version doesn't expire. Read the manual on how to keep using it.

In a nutshell, am I going to make less money per project (so it seems) - and because all other translation partners are going to have to use a CAT tool too, will I be making less money overall because the number of projects will probably not change significantly?


You will make less money per project but you'll have more time for more projects, so ultimately you can make more money.



[Edited at 2009-07-06 14:37 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
the new, the fuzzy, and the other word count - does it pay off? Jul 6, 2009

Thank you so much for your insight and detailed reply, Christine.
Maybe I should have asked - CAT Tools - do they pay off / what is the pay-off?

It seems there are quite a few good reasons for using CAT Tools and they definitely make work easier for translators in many subject fields.
Although I am still new to the pricing/charging part when using CAT Tools, I know it makes a difference whether you work for a translation agency which will try to be as "competitive" as possible or for direct clients for whom you can determine your price.
The more direct clients you can get, the better.

Thanks again,

Bernhard


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it's worth using CAT Tools Jul 6, 2009

Hi Samuel,

Thank you very much for quite a few good pointers!
Regarding Wordfast - what it wouldn't let me do anymore was update my TM without buying a license.
I also used Wordfast Pro once (the trial version), for a large Excel file. Worked great.
However, would you recommend Trados because job posters are mostly requiring that particular software? I know that the TMs you create in Wordfast or Wordfast Pro are compatible with Trados. Of course, for direct clients, I can mostly use whatever I like and I would prefer Wordfast/Wordfast Pro.

Bernhard



[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:


You will make less money per project but you'll have more time for more projects, so ultimately you can make more money.


[Edited at 2009-07-06 15:01 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:24
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
clarification of new, fuzzy, and other word count Jul 6, 2009

Thank you very much for clarifying the word count using CAT Tools. Is it easy for you to double-check/come up with the word count using your CAT Tool?


[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:
The client suggests:
- New words and < 74% - [100% full rate]
- Fuzzy (75-99%) -[80% of full rate]
- 100% + Reps - [35% of full rate]


If my current rate (without a CAT tool) was, let's say USD .10/source word, what would be the new price breakdown I should suggest?


The assumption would be that you keep charging .10 per word for the first category, .08 for the second and .035 for the third. That said, I do find the client's suggested discount scheme quite reasonable. I don't think the idea is that you raise your rate to cover the discounts.


I think what you need is a basic introduction to CAT and TM. Let me explain briefly: Say your normal rate is .10 per word, then in terms of the above breakdown your client will pay you .10 per word for sentences that are less than 75% similar to sentences that you had delivered previously, .08 per word for sentences that are between 75% and 99% similar to sentences that you had delivered previously, and .035 per word for sentences that are exactly the same as sentences that you had delivered previously or that are repeated (as whole sentences) in the source text.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

the new, the fuzzy, and the other (word count) - how much does it really cost?

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



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