Who invests in/benefits from translation software ?
Thread poster: Lia Fail (X)

Lia Fail (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 21, 2002

An agency I do occasional work for has recently updated its Pedido/Order to include the following information.


Los encargos realizados con TRADOS se facturan según el log de TRADOS del idioma de origen. Le rogamos nos entregue sus traducciones en versión “limpia” y “sin limpiar”. En los textos en formato rtf que contienen tags hay que usar la “protección de tag”.

Facturación (según log):

repetitions 50% del precio indicado arriba

100% match 30%

85-99% 80%

no match-84% 100%\"

As far as I am aware, it is the translator who invests - money and the time required for learning - in software. Therefore the translator should benefit from any advantages it brings. A freelance translator operating independently/alone, dependent on an irregular inflow of work that often has him/her working unsocial hours, is probably hard pushed (in Spain at least) to obtain sufficient turnover to ensure a decent living. Translation software is technically a good investment, since it increases a translator\'s output and productivity.

So why does it mean reduced prices for the translator\'s work?

What is the situation in other countries?


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:44
English to German
+ ...
These percentages are pretty good, actually... Mar 22, 2002

Hi Ailish,

You\'re right that you want (and need) to see a proper return on your investment. As such, don\'t be too fixed on the charge per word (per line) - what\'s missing in that equation is the time it takes you to achieve a certain output.

Looking at the percentages, I\'d say they\'re pretty good - in fact, when I outsource work, I use less generous ones (always provided I also supply a TM, of course)... so far, without complaints from the freelancers who I work with.

You can look at this from several angles (note that I work both as a translator and as an agency - also, I have been using Trados for 7+ years):

If you can afford not to accept any deductions/weightins, the better for you. That said, you might be missing out on a job just because someone else is using the efficiency to be more aggressive (and still make money). At the end of the day, it comes down to whether the percentages more or less accurately reflect your workload (IOW: they also need to include your margin...). As I said before, I think the rates you have shown are ok.

A large, high-quality translation memory represents a huge asset for an agency - the deduction is equivalent to the return on that asset. Nothing sinister, but plain business.

Finally, you can actually boost your income to a certain extent by selling a multiple translation of the same text , based on the fact that the client won\'t have to pay twice or three times the full text volume. This works well for projects where text production and translation go hand in hand (e.g. with annual reports). Have a look at the \"Dresdner Bank\" case study on the Trados website. (The catch is that the projects where this works profitably are usually too big for a single freelancer - the answer is in forming networks and cooperations.)

Best regards, Ralf


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Who invests in/benefits from translation software ?

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