Trados to be used for the sole purpose of calculating the discount
Thread poster: Birthe Omark

Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:26
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
Jul 10, 2009

Here's a true story illustrating just how much we are in 'seller's market', and how little understanding some agencies have for the work of those, who feed their mouths.

I have got a curious case in which I feel well and truly 'cheesed off'.

A customer requests translations to be done in Trados. Not for any reasons of enhancing the quality of the translation, not because the translation is part of a bigger picture, and it is relevant to build up a TM for use with up-grading.

No, for jobs with format, characterics and size entirely unsuitable for setting up a TM converting, translation, converting etc...

For the sole reason for the agency to analyse the translation & apply the Trados discounts they impose (in themselves extraordinary in my opinion). Remember: No TM is made available.

100% & reps: nil
95 - 99%: 20% / 85 - 94%: 30% / 75 - 84%: 40% / 50 - 75%: 50%

An analysis is supplied with the PO - so you can take out yor calculator and see the full price, the agency is prepared to pay for the job.
The PO states number of words (total). Price per word (tarif). And 'préstation' /to be paid. i.e. total number of words x price per word.

When the job is done, the translator delivers the job as you would normally do, in the required format. PLUS your export memory, so that they can calculate the actual price, they will allow the translator to charge.

This was even the procedure of the translation of a PPT, with a word count of 293 repetitions / 361 no match. Plus an excel grid which was uneditable. Most of the repetitions were addresses, repeated on all 4 slides.

Il faut être bête et content!
.. so folks. Lets put a smile to the day anyway while enduring the hardship.
Birthe







[Edited at 2009-07-10 16:28 GMT]


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:26
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why work with them? Jul 10, 2009

This does not sound like a translation agency this sounds like a blood sucking agency, why do you work with them?

The "fairness" of the Trados discount system has been talked about ad infinitum, so I wont get into that, but I have to say unless I was desperate for the job I would tell them to go find some other "vein" to latch on to.

The only way to stop blood suckers like these is for as many translators as possible to refuse to work for them (I know I can ask for "all" translators, it will never happen, but one can wish).

(More wishful thinking) They should educate their clients on the value of translation and not try and pass all the economic burden on to the translator, who lets face it, IS THE ONE PART OF THE SYSTEM THEY CANT DO WITHOUT, it is like having a hospital without doctors, all the other staff are supefluous without the doctor, the doctor needs the other staff but could get by without them (OK not much of a hospital then, but it is only a metaphor).


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:26
Flemish to English
+ ...
Stuff it Jul 10, 2009

The plural of "mouth" is "mouths", not "mouthes". "
Mouthe" is a French "canton";

Tell them to stuff it. If no discounts for Trados means no job, so be it.


[Bijgewerkt op 2009-07-10 15:25 GMT]


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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:26
Member
English to Spanish
Could be worse Jul 10, 2009

Birthe Omark wrote:

A customer requests translations to be done in Trados. Not for any reasons of enhancing the quality of the translation, not because the translation is part of a bigger picture, and it is relevant to build up a TM for use with up-grading.

..................
For the sole reason for the agency to analyse the translation & apply the Trados discounts they impose (in themselves extraordinary in my opinion).



A few years back I was asked to do a translation from PDF files and we agreed a per word fee with no mention of discounts whatsoever. I delivered my translation in Word, sent my invoice, got paid and forgot about it. Then the agency wrote saying their client had done a Trados analysis on my translation and wanted us to pay back the amount belonging to repetitions, which they found indeed a reasonable request... I refused and was called mean and immoral.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:26
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
What's the problem? Jul 10, 2009

Assuming I have understood your situation, I do not understand your concern. The agency is making a perfectly reasonable opening bid in the negotiations. They feel that with 293 repetitions, mostly as you say identical addresses, there is less work for you, and they want to get some of the benefit.

You use some strange and rather emotional language -- you talk about the Trados discounts they "impose", the "price they are prepared to pay", the "price they will allow the translator to charge". Yet from your description they are merely putting forward some business terms for you to accept, reject or negotiate. They cannot impose anything on you, or force you to accept their terms.

I am not saying this is the world's best deal, but I cannot see that it is anything but a hard-nosed commercial offer that you are free to accept or reject. I am not saying either that I would accept this deal, in fact I would probably take Alex Lago's advice - Why work with them?

[Edited at 2009-07-10 15:27 GMT]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 08:26
Dutch to English
+ ...
Precisely Jul 10, 2009

Peter Linton wrote:

I am not saying this is the world's best deal, but I cannot see that it is anything but a hard-nosed commercial offer that you are free to accept or reject.


It's clear what is being offered. Either accept it, make a counter offer, or if you are the 'starving artist' type (as one of our colleagues so eloquently puts it) and genuinely feel 'insulted', decline the offer and say why.


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Cheng Peng  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 15:26
Member (2010)
English to Chinese
+ ...
the normal rate Jul 10, 2009

the normal and reasonable rate should be:

100% & reps: 25%
95 - 99%: 30%
85 - 94%: 50%
75 - 84%: 100%
50 - 75%: 100%


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Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:26
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Focus on the issue, please. Jul 10, 2009

I am taken aback at the replies so far to my post.

Your focus is on the background to my submission of the thead. And not on the subject matter. I would have expected particularly of the moderator to be able to identify the problem (which is even in the header), address the issue, and cerntainly to refrain from attacking the poster's style and 'emotional writing'.

But let's make this clear:
I am not a 'starving artist'
I am not complaining of the big, bad agencies usurping poor innocent translators.
I have made a bad deal. For 300 words. So what?
That in itself is not worth whining about. And if I feel that I have been 'had', then this is something to discuss with the outsourcer - or simply not to work with them any more.

The circumstances that had made me take on the job are irrelvant for the issue:

PLEASE KEEP THE FOCUS ON THIS:

Is it OK to make it a condition for the translator to do a translation in Trados and to supply export TM, only for after-calculation purposes, even if the job is not adequate for Trados, and that supplying these elements require far more administration than not working like that.

Is it OK to issue a PO with the gross number of words, and the value of the job based on he gross number of words, even if their standard agreement is only to pay for no matches. Other agences have a similar rule, but they don't hide.

Birthe
PS .. if I have made spelling errors, then bear with me. Don't use them to take the attention off the issue.


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:26
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I though I had focused on the issue Jul 10, 2009

Sorry I thought I had mentioned the issue, albeit in a runaround way. Obviously if I say they are blood suckers and why work with them I am saying no it is not right for them to do this.

What they do is wrong? YES
Will they stop doing it? VERY VERY UNLIKELY
What can we do about it? NOT MUCH, you can refuse to work for them and hope other translators do the same, but that is also very very unlikely.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 09:26
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Unsuitable? Jul 10, 2009

Is it OK to make it a condition for the translator to do a translation in Trados and to supply export TM, only for after-calculation purposes, even if the job is not adequate for Trados, and that supplying these elements require far more administration than not working like that.

Calculations can be done beforehand. Trados does its analysis with the empty TM and that's that - Trados discounts are not some kind of sneaky after the fact trickery.

I don't see how the project is not adequate for Trados. Do you have scanned documents in there? PPT and XLS can be processed with Tageditor - in my very limited experience, quite well. I have no idea what you mean by uneditable xls. If it's password protected, get the password and get on with the job. People didn't react to this aspect because you hadn't made a coherent argument about the project not being suitable for CATs.

If it is impossible or absurdly inconvenient to process the files with a CAT, then let the agency know about that problem and ask them to do the processing or just pay 100%.

As to the actual conditions, they seem pretty bad to me: 20% for 95-99% seems low and the rest isn't too delightful, either... But that is not a threadworthy issue.

Edit: also, it is only natural for an agency to ask for the use of Trados for the sole purpose of discounts. It improves efficiency, it speeds up delivery, it reduces costs. That's what it's for, mostly. If it doesn't improve efficiency in this project, then discuss that with the agency.

[Edited at 2009-07-10 19:30 GMT]


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:26
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Empty memory analysis Jul 10, 2009

The agency should do the analysis with the empty memory, not using the exported TXT file provided by you. I believe the problem lies there.

Kind regards

Clarisa


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 09:26
English to Hungarian
+ ...
no difference Jul 10, 2009

Clarisa Moraña wrote:

The agency should do the analysis with the empty memory, not using the exported TXT file provided by you. I believe the problem lies there.

Kind regards

Clarisa


Analysis shows repetitions within the text when you use an empty TM, so you do get the number of repeated segments during pre-translation analyisis.
If you did an analysis on the translated project, with its own, just populated TM, you'd just get all 100% TM matches, obviously (unless the translator expanded or shrinked segments, but that's a minor point). I don't see how any post-translation analysis would be useful in any way.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:26
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Empty memory analysis revisited Jul 11, 2009

Birthe Omark wrote: PLEASE KEEP THE FOCUS ON THIS:
Is it OK to make it a condition for the translator to do a translation in Trados and to supply export TM, only for after-calculation purposes, even if the job is not adequate for Trados, and that supplying these elements require far more administration than not working like that.

I am knot sure I understand the issue, partly because, like FarkasAndras, I do not see how any project is not adequate for Trados. In my experience, it is quite normal for agencies to do an analysis using an empty memory, and to propose a price based on that. It is then up to you to decide whether to accept or reject their offer. I would say therefore it sounds OK.

Is it OK to issue a PO with the gross number of words, and the value of the job based on he gross number of words, even if their standard agreement is only to pay for no matches. Other agences have a similar rule, but they don't hide.

I am not sure I understand this. In my experience, the PO is the key document. Are you saying that they change the terms of the PO after it has been agreed? If so, that is clearly not OK.

PS .. if I have made spelling errors, then bear with me.

Your spelling is OK too.


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