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Lower rates BECAUSE I use CAT tools????
Thread poster: HealthcarePro

HealthcarePro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
English to German
Nov 16, 2009

Hi,

your opinion please. I agreed rates with a provider when I was only working with MS Office, we agreed that repetitions (so identical translation segments) would be paid at 75% the normal rate.

Now I bought TRADOS, got certified and paid a good bit of money for all that, so that I can work more efficiently, precise and deliver quicker to my clients.

When I told my client about it they said that now they would only pay 25% or less for reps because it's less work for me now! So I get penalized for offering a better/faster/more preceise service? Here is my view: It is of no concern to them how I get to my results, i.e. which software I use, what should matter to them is the quality and timeliness of the work I do. AND also, the "easy" money on repetitive jobs is easily made up for with the complex, no reps, hours-of-research-on-a-single-term-jobs that no one pays extra for. What do you think? What are average discounts for reps? So far I haven't caved in to their demands, but I would like to know if I am being completely unreasonable?

Thanks for listenign to my ranticon_wink.gif


 

Aguas de Mar (X)
I believe your view is right and that, as a freelancer, YOU set your prices. Nov 16, 2009

Hi difool,

I would not lower my rate on the basis that I can now work faster because I bought some software; I'd rather lose the client, but that is ultimately a decision you will have to make.

The situation you describe has been a problem with Trados, since it was first introduced to the industry market (not to the freelancers); they were told they could ask and expect discounts for repetitions and fuzzy matches, and now it is difficult to make such idea go away.

Freelancers' opinions are divided on the issue; there are those like me who think that I will decide the discounts I want to give to my clients, and nothing is pre-established, and there are those who believe that offering or giving the average Trados discounts is fair and a way of creating a clients' base. Up to each of us to decide, I guess.

[Edited at 2009-11-16 17:25 GMT]


 

Aguas de Mar (X)
Similar thread (on Trados discounts) going on simultaneously Nov 16, 2009

I hope you are following this thread: http://www.proz.com/forum/sdl_trados_support/144982-standard_discounts_for_fuzzy_matches_100_matches_and_repetitions-page2.html

 

Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:25
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Prices already agreed Nov 16, 2009

Although technically each job is a new contract btw yourself and the agency, I would be very angry if they tried to enforce this.

You agreed a % discount for repetitions when you started working for this agency, and I would not agree to an alteration of this % discount for this reason.

IMO, the agency are trying to take advantage of you, their 'reasons' why they should get the discount are true, but basically they are trying to get you to work for less.

I would not agree to it.

If it looked like I would loose the client because of this, and the client was important enough to me so that I did not want to loose them, I *might* compromise and agree a bigger discount, but not to the extend they currently want.

Try and stand your ground if possible


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:25
Member (2008)
French to English
Increased costs to be covered Nov 16, 2009

If you've just made the investment, your costs have gone up. So why should prices go down?

 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:25
German to Spanish
I don't think so Nov 16, 2009

difool23 wrote:

So I get penalized for offering a better/faster/more preceise service?

Thanks for listenign to my ranticon_wink.gif


You can now offer a better workflow quality, you won time. You earn the same money (or more) each hour. And you have now time to do more jobs.

If you make handmade cheeses and sell each piece for 10 €.

And now you buy some machines and can do 2x more pieces in the same time and sell each piece for 6 €.

Are you losing or winning?

Why do you think that a company invests in expensive equipment?

Just to sell cheaper!!! it is a question of TIME not words to be count.


Regards



[Edited at 2009-11-16 15:43 GMT]


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:25
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Please, people, it's "lose the client"! Nov 16, 2009

And doing so wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Suggest splitting the difference if you want to compromise. Fernando's cheese comparison is quite valid, but in my experience at least, the time involved for careful reading of a text never justifies less than 1/3 of its translation cost, even if the quality is very good.


 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:25
French to English
+ ...
Why did you tell the client? Nov 16, 2009

When I told my client about it


Kevin's made the point I was itching to make about loose vs lose, so I'll just say this:

What was it that led you to tell your client about the tools you use? I do understand that often it's helpful to for the client to know what tools you're using, so you can line up your workflows, but as this client was happy with your work (and kept re-ordering from you) when you weren't using Trados, why would you tell them about your purchase?


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:25
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Increase your base rate, if they want a "Trados" scheme Nov 16, 2009

Another option is to say that if they want you to apply a "Trados discount scheme" or "discount table" instead of the previous rate agreement, that means you are renegotiating the rate structure, and give them what they ask for.
Except, your base rate will be a lot higher.
How much higher?
You can decide by flipping a coin, or, you can take a more scientific (and time consuming approach) and analyze a good few of the previous jobs you did for them. See, how much repetition is in them, and find out what base rate would give you approximately the same results as before, if you applied a bigger discount (25% as they asked, or 33% as others suggested, or whatever you feel comfortable with).
Keep in mind though, that the next thing they will come up is asking for fuzzy discounts, so adjust for that in advance, if you can.

Not only that you need to earn at least as much as before, but you also need to recover your expenses related to the price of the software, the certification (and the lovely ongoing yearly expenses of upgrading both your software and certification), so it justifies a higher base rate.

Katalin


 

HealthcarePro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:25
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
@ Angela - I told my client because... Nov 16, 2009

they had told me that they had a lot of TRADOS specific jobs for which they could only consider me if and when I used that software... so what i thought would be an advantage now comes back to me as the opposite!

Thanks everyone else for your comments, all interesting and food for thought.

I guess in the interest of not losing the client I will make them a "peace offer" and come a little bit their way, then we'll see. If they still insist on the full discount then I guess they'll have to find someone else for iticon_wink.gif


 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:25
German to Spanish
Time not words Nov 16, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

you can take a more scientific (and time consuming approach) and analyze a good few of the previous jobs you did for them. See, how much repetition is in them, and find out what base rate would give you approximately the same results as before,

Katalin


But how? you don't need the same time to do repts manually as with a CAT!


I think any way to consider our remuneration as a matter of words translated is wrong if you not involve the time as a sine cuanon condition.

What means 100 words if the job is a glossary list and you need 50 hours for research!

If you get a 10.000 words document with 95% repts, should the client pay 1.000 € for it?


The (only) question is how much I want/need to earn for my time=work.


Regards


 

Michiel Leeuwenburgh  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:25
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
What do you charge for pressing a key? Nov 16, 2009

In my view, it is perfectly reasonable for clients to demand a discount for repetitions. After all, it wouldn't be reasonable to get paid full rate if you can translate an entire sentence by pressing a key. And as Katalin sensibly pointed out, if you're unhappy with the Trados discount, then raise your base rate. If the client doesn't agree, then you have two options: lose the client or earn a bit less. It's entirely up to you.
Regarding the expenses made by acquiring Trados, I agree completely with Fernando's cheese comparison. This investment will probably pay itself back by the larger number of translations you can do in the same time - and the number of jobs for which Trados is required. Speaking for myself, I never found it worthwhile to invest a large sum of money into a CAT, so I use Wordfast (and I'm very happy with it).
Good luck with your choices!

Cheers,
Michiel

[Bijgewerkt op 2009-11-16 17:14 GMT]


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:25
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Yes, what you want is not to lower your earnings Nov 16, 2009

Fernando wrote:
But how? you don't need the same time to do repts manually as with a CAT!


The time needed to work on a text with or without CAT should be part of the analysis. That's why I said it is more time consuming to do it thoroughly.
You need to see whether using the given tool would make it possible to deal with the repetitions in less than 75% of the time needed to deal with a non-repeated unit.
It is something only the OP can decide, according to his working style and speed.

However, to make sure you don't come out of it short, the entire text has to be taken into consideration, as sometimes using a CAT tool makes it more painful (= time consuming) to finish the translation as a whole. Some argue that using a CAT tool makes the final proofreading longer, as viewing a text sentence by sentence can cause less smooth translations, and those issues sometimes can only be seen at the end, after cleaning the files and reading the translation as a whole.

Also, a lot depends on how the source files are prepared for CAT-jobs: poorly prepped stuff can increase the work the translator need to do.

So, there are many parameters to consider, but the bottom line is, investing into an expensive productivity tool just to lower your earnings does not make sense.

Katalin


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:25
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Raising your base rate to compensate for a CAT scheme Nov 16, 2009

Have a look on the "How To" tab on my profile. There is a spreadsheet to download there called the "target price defense tool" which specifically addresses this problem.

 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:25
English to French
+ ...
Of course not Nov 16, 2009

Fernando Toledo wrote:

you don't need the same time to do repts manually as with a CAT!

Of course not! But I would resume the client's request thus: you now offer better service, therefore you should charge less. Does this make any sense?

What makes you think that all of the benefits of using a CAT tool should be reaped by the client? Who paid for the software? Who paid for the training? Who paid for the certification? Who paid for the time taken to do all this? Whoever that is should reap the benefits. The client already gets benefits in kind (faster turnaround, better consistency, etc.). I think they should be content with the hand and not moan to get the arm with it, too.

What if difool23 bought Trados precisely to make more money over a shorter period of time? How is that the client's concern?


 
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