CAT tool discounts deducted from proofreading rates
Thread poster: Anna Haxen

Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Oct 22, 2009


Have any of you ever had discounts for fuzzy and 100 % matches deducted from proofreading rates on a PO?

How did you react?

How would you react?

Any thoughts are very welcome.



Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
Italian to English
+ ...
I wouldn't accept Oct 23, 2009

I've never been asked to apply a discount like this but no way would I accept a deduction for repetitions in revisions: if I change one segment, I'm going to have to change any repetitions of it as well. And even if I don't change any repeated segments, I'm still having to physically go through the whole document.


Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Strong preference for hourly rate Oct 23, 2009

In general, I have a very strong preference for charging editing tasks on an hourly basis. If you accept to charge an editing task on a per-word base, your earnings per hour depends sensitively on the quality of the translation. If the quality is known in detail -- e.g., the translation is done by a trusted colleague with whom you have worked for years -- then this option is acceptable. In that case, accepting a lower rate for repetitions and fuzzy matches may make sense -- as long as you can *really*edit these parts more quickly. For example: if you do the edit the bilingual file using a CAT tool, and the quality is good, your can probably proceed more quickly.

However, this is not always the case. If editing is not done in a CAT tool and quite a lot of corrections are needed then the requirement of self-consistency is also a burden: you need to check the exact wording of the previous similar sentence. In that case it does not make sense to charge less for repetitions and fuzzy matches.

If the quality of the translation is unknown (e.g., you can see only the source text when you are required to give a quote) then charging editing on a per-word base should be avoided.

So, there are special cases where charging on a per-word basis and giving fuzzy discounts may make sense -- but only if you have a strong guarantee of quality and an editing format that is particularly well adapted to this task. This situation is not typical but exists.



Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
English to French
Some agencies consider the reviewing cost as a percentage of the translation cost Oct 23, 2009

This practice may well be good for streamlining purposes, but it doesn't reflect the work involved.

When you rewrite a sentence, and then its fuzzy match, it is just like reworking another sentence from scratch. I doubt a lot of people leverage CAT in reviewing, ie commit the change to the TM, then reapply their changes as the review goes along. Just like they would do on a translation paid at translation rates.
I find this process much too bulky to make sense.
In both cases anyway, there is no time saving even though it is a fuzzy match.

The same applies for repeats, some CAT tools don't propagate changes when segments are all validated.

Not reviewing 100% matches can make sense if the customer is confident about their TM (risky though) and if there is a visual way not to review them (coloured or hidden). In other situations, there is no way to distinguish easily between 100% matches and other segments, so it doesn't make sense to accept reduced rates.

I was had once in a similar situation (I wasn't aware that reviewing rates were "CAT-discounted" beforehand), not twice.

You should try and get the full amount and explain why their method is flawed.

Have a good weekend,


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I've heard of it Oct 23, 2009

Anna Haxen wrote:
Have any of you ever had discounts for fuzzy and 100 % matches deducted from proofreading rates on a PO?

I've heard of it. It is based on a misunderstanding of what proofreading/editing is. I don't mind giving discounts for repetitions, if those repetitions are clearly indicated and there is a way to automatically update repetitions that were previously corrected, but it makes little sense to give discounts for proofreading elsewhere. You still need to check the entire segment, word for word, even if it is a 86% match with something else.


Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:00
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Exactly as I thought Oct 23, 2009

Thank you very much for taking the time to think about this. This PO came from an otherwise excellent and valued customer, so I just thought I'd check.

I had the same problem some months ago with a different PM (same company) who was adamant that this was a perfectly reasonable practice. After several weeks of emailing back and forth and finally going straight to the top of the agency, I received an amended PO.

Actually, this time I received a new PO almost immediately after pointing out that I still didn't find this practice fair for all the reasons that you've also given.

I hope other proofreaders who encounter this problem will find this thread and feel convinced that they should not accept terms like these.

Charging hourly rates is probably a better idea and, maybe, if you do accept word rates, you should make it clear from the start that the same word rate applies to every single word in the document.


Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:00
French to English
+ ...
Not on Oct 23, 2009

Sounds all wrong to me, though haven't been asked for it -yet!


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