Advice on rate and trados
Thread poster: charlotte drake-vibet

charlotte drake-vibet
Local time: 22:58
English to Swedish
+ ...
Jan 10, 2011

Hello,

just received a request for translating a web site with 30,000 words from French into Swedish at a rate of 0,1 euro/word.

I haven't got a deadline yet.

My usual rate is 0,18 euro/word as Swedish can be considered as a rare language.

They are also asking me if I use Trados. Actually I don't, I have never worked with this kind of software.

To me 0,1 euro/word is much too low, what do you think?

Many thanks for your reply,

Charlotte


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:58
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It is extremely low... Jan 10, 2011

... for Swedish! Do not accept it or try to negotiate another rate...

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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:58
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
never used Trados? Jan 10, 2011

well, it's not THAT complicated, but the customer will probably want additional discounts on matches (parts of the text which are repeated), and taking on a large project with software you never used before, is probably not a good idea anyway..

The other thing is your rate, if your regular clients want to pay 0,18, why should you take a job at 0,10??? this only means you have to work alsmost twice as hard for the same amount....

Unless the text is really really simple compared to what you normally do, I would not accept it... On the other hand if you are in need to money, I guess 0,10 is acceptable if the text is relatively simple.... (or if it is a text with lots of repetition and no match discount for using Trados)...

Ed


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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
German to English
Many people would be happy with it Jan 10, 2011

Well, there are lots of things we don't know, such as the difficulty/complexity of the text, whether the request is from an agency or a direct client, whether you are being expected to proofread as well as translate, and so on, so it's hard to comment on the price. If you have plenty of work at higher prices and would feel disgruntled accepting this job at this price, then clearly the price is too low for you - but other people might well find it acceptable, and in many language combinations an agency paying 10 cents per word would be considered to be paying quite well.

But I would have thought you need to sort out the Trados issue first - if they are asking whether you use Trados (it's not clear whether they require someone who uses Trados or whether they are "just asking") and you don't, then you need to tell them that you don't and continue the negotiations from there - they may drop you anyway if they are going to insist on a translator with Trados, so that issue needs to be sorted. (Obviously you could offer to buy/learn Trados, but having an urgent job that needs to be done with it is hardly a good starting point for learning, in my view.)


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Charlotte Jan 10, 2011

charlotte drake-vibet wrote:
just received a request for translating a web site with 30,000 words from French into Swedish at a rate of 0,10 euro/word. ... My usual rate is 0,18 euro/word. ... They are also asking me if I use Trados. Actually I don't, I have never worked with this kind of software.


I think it is too early to tell if EUR 0.10 per word (which is basically 50% of your current rate) is acceptable. It would depend on the number of repetitions in the source text. If the client requests no further discounts for fuzzy matching, and pays the full EUR 0.10 per word for all 30 000 words, and there is a fair degree of repetition, then EUR 0.10 may still be reasonable.

Of course, you'd have to buy Trados (EUR 800 -- it is likely that your job is too big for the EUR 100 "starter" edition of Trados). And you've have to learn how to use Trados (which needn't be hard).

If the only reason the client wants you to use Trados is so that they can get a TM, then you can tell them that you're going to use something like OmegaT (which is free, and can handle HTML files) and just send them the TMX TM (along with the translated files, of course) in the end. However, if the reason the client wants you to use Trados is because the client wants you to create TTX or SDLXLIFF files, then you're going to have to buy Trados.

Have you seen the source text yet? Perhaps one of us can run an analysis on it for you to tell you whether there are many repetitions.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:58
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Elaborating on some points made here Jan 10, 2011

Armorel has made some very good points, however depending on your experience (not as a translator in itself), I think a couple of additional inputs would help you in acting on them.

First, you said nothing about urgency, other than not knowing it. If they need it real quick, i.e. they want you to assign it first priority, such lower rate is risky, as it may force you to turn down better-paying jobs while you are doing this one. If there is no rush, ASAP is okay, you can use it as a 'filler', to take up all your available time between normal jobs, or even when you would otherwise be translationwise idling. That's how many books get translated at up to 40%-50% lower rates.

Next, there is the Trados issue. It's a pretty complex piece of software, not a magic wand. Btw, I've never seen the looks of it in my life, I use WordFast. Anyway, you can envision its learning curve by the quantity of courses and workshops available for using Trados, as well as the number of forum posts on Proz from people who are not getting what they need from it. Furthermore, it's pretty expensive, so on top of the discount, you'll be giving away up-front a considerable part of your expected income.

As it's a web site, depending if it fits the purpose, you could try using Cats Cradle for a small fraction of what Trados costs (free 30-day demo available). It's a html-specific CAT tool, pretty easy to learn.

HTH.



[Edited at 2011-01-10 10:58 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:58
French to German
+ ...
Comments Jan 10, 2011

charlotte drake-vibet wrote:

Hello,

just received a request for translating a web site with 30,000 words from French into Swedish at a rate of 0,1 euro/word.

I haven't got a deadline yet.

My usual rate is 0,18 euro/word as Swedish can be considered as a rare language.

This is indeed low, you need to know more about the particulars anyway.


They are also asking me if I use Trados. Actually I don't, I have never worked with this kind of software.

So be it! Just tell it that potential customer.
I won't elaborate further on what José wrote - pretty good points (I have some on my own, but that would be going too far into details.)


[Modifié le 2011-01-10 11:49 GMT]


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charlotte drake-vibet
Local time: 22:58
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jan 10, 2011

Dear everyone,

A huge thanks for all your advices, sorry for not answering sooner.

Good point of course concerning the deadline and whether it's urgent or not (although I have a feeling that it's always urgent nowadays...)

As for Trados, it's the agency that suggests that I should work with it, not a request from the client.
Actually I prefer not to work with this software or any other of the same kind. Since I'm translating books at the moment I have a more "precious" approach to the text.
Maybe I'm wrong?

However I do need this job. I was thinking of suggesting my rate of 0,18 euros and at the same time inform them that I am willing to negociate concerning the big volume.
Hence we might agree on, let's say 0,14?

I will have to check out the proofreading part as well...


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:58
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
If using CAT... Jan 10, 2011

charlotte drake-vibet wrote:
However I do need this job. I was thinking of suggesting my rate of 0,18 euros and at the same time inform them that I am willing to negociate concerning the big volume. Hence we might agree on, let's say 0,14?


Giving a 25% volume discount if the volume is a mere 30 000 words may be sending the wrong message. And if the client wants you to use CAT (e.g. Trados), he might be more inclined to consider a discount scheme based on the repetition analysis than on the volume.

As for your existing style of translation, if you have control over the CAT tool (i.e. if you and not your client is the one who creates the files), you can set it to paragraph segmentation instead of sentence segmentation (but make sure your client knows this before you start, because it is not usual).


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let it go... Jan 10, 2011

If you have never used Trados or a comparable CAT tool, it would be risky to take the job. I think you have to get training (or try to train yourself by practice and evaluation) about the tools before saying you are able to use them. Customer expectations about the use of these tools will be high and you don't want to get your fingers caught trying to look like you can use something you can't.

Good luck!


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:58
French to German
+ ...
Some more comments :) Jan 10, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

Giving a 25% volume discount if the volume is a mere 30 000 words may be sending the wrong message. And if the client wants you to use CAT (e.g. Trados), he might be more inclined to consider a discount scheme based on the repetition analysis than on the volume.

Charlotte,
I would suggest that offering -10% or 5,000 € instead of 5,400 € may be more than enough.

charlotte drake-vibet wrote:
Actually I prefer not to work with this software or any other of the same kind. Since I'm translating books at the moment I have a more "precious" approach to the text.
Maybe I'm wrong?


Samuel Murray wrote:
As for your existing style of translation, if you have control over the CAT tool (i.e. if you and not your client is the one who creates the files), you can set it to paragraph segmentation instead of sentence segmentation (but make sure your client knows this before you start, because it is not usual).


There is nothing wrong with your approach, it is simply different from the "standard CAT approach". I use the paragraph segmentation mentioned by Samuel on a regular basis, among others for legal, PR and marketing texts. The clients ordering such translations from me usually do not worry about CAT tools or the use thereof (yes, such clients still exist!)...

[Modifié le 2011-01-10 16:01 GMT]


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charlotte drake-vibet
Local time: 22:58
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh Trados.. Jan 10, 2011

Thanks again for important comments.
Well, I asked the agency if Trados is required and I'm still waiting for an answer...
Anyway, if course I will not accept if Trados is an obligation.
I guess I will have to learn it, but I must admit it's not included in my vision of the art of translation;) Brrr, I feel like a machine already...

Take care all,
Charlotte


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