Discounts for repetitions
Thread poster: Toby Wakely

Toby Wakely  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 27, 2012

Hi, I´m just starting out with Trados 2011 and I´ve noticed that a lot of clients/translation agencies require that I give them a discount for repetitions. I´ve had a look at the Wiki answers section which is pretty informative suggesting that moderate discounts can be given for fuzzy matches and big discounts for 100% matches, but what is a moderate discount. 5%, 10%, 15%? and a big discount is it 20%, 40%....I don´t know.

Wiki answwers that giving too large a discount could negate the actual investment in CAT tools or are the translation agencies companies just tying to depress the rates they pay as much as possible?

I´d really appreciate your input about a reasonable discount to apply in the above cases.


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Sandra Peters-Schöbel
Germany
Local time: 14:12
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
do not offer to much discounts Jan 27, 2012

Hi,

a lot of agencies have their own discounts which you are free to accept or cannot work for them...

Nevertheless, I personally do not offer discounts automatically. If a client/agency ask for it I sometimes offer a discount for repetitions. If you have a large document with a lot of repetitive text it is somehow fair if we do not charge all repetitions as pieces of new work. I offer 50% in these cases.

For fuzzies I do not offer discounts. The reason is very simple: fuzzies all have to be checked carefully: do they match the context? is the grammar correct for you particular sentence? Are all tags included?
This takes quite some time.
I had a large translation with lots of 99% matches and thought it would be easy going, but actually the 1% missing was a tag which I had to set/adapt for every single sentence. It took me hours...

So be careful with too generous discounts.

Good luck
Sandra


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Way too low Jan 27, 2012

I've just looked at your prices on your CV Toby, and I am horrified.

As for discounts for repetitions, I personally don't agree with them and there has been repeated extensive discussion on forum threads here. My attitude, if you were going to give them, however, would be that the discount should bring you down to a normal rate, with all the rest being slightly above!

And state your prices, don't accept them being forced on you, meekly. At worst, bargain, but remember the principle of bargaining, which is to start far higher than you expect to get.


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:12
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Create your own log Jan 27, 2012

I agree with aceavila, your rates are way too low. There is a lot of debate on whether or not to offer discounts and if you browse through this forum you should pick up on all the pros and cons and then perhaps establish your own discounts (after you've increased your rates). What I do recommend is that you always present the client with your own analysis log before you start the job. Clients often send in their own logs but these might have been created using a different CAT tool or different settings and they nearly always seem to be in their favour. Generate your own analysis and ensure that the PO is based on that.

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Toby Wakely  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 27, 2012

I had been thinking of raising my rates to compensate for any discount I would have to apply. As for my rates, they´ve really been so I can compete with translators who may be more experienced and faster than I am.
Yes, I agree discounts shouldn´t be automatically offered,hence there is no mention of them in my cv.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:12
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No discounts for fuzzies, and don't start too low! Jan 27, 2012

As mentioned above, fuzzy translations have to be checked, and in some cases this takes longer than translating from scratch!

The elements in a segment may be the same, but in a different order, and Trados gives a high match percent. Nevertheless, because the computer is a machine and I am human, I sometimes delete those segments and begin afresh anyway.

Apart from that, beginners should not underestimate themselves!

A translator fresh from university who can apply the theories, or an expert in a subject field who knows the terminology in both languages can produce an excellent translation from day one. If the translation is good enough to deliver, then it is good enough for the client to pay the full price for it.

When you are freelancing, every job is a one-off deal with the client. A good translation by a beginner is worth just as much to the client as an equally good translation done by any translator the client can persuade to do it.

Those who have been in the business for years can only earn more by working faster, not by pushing prices up.
A CAT will sometimes, but not always, help you to work faster from the time you receive the source file to the time you deliver the translation.

Don't forget the time you spend on your CAT when you are not translating, which you are not directly paid for. You have to maintain the glossaries, tidy up the TMs and update, as well as learning how to use the features.

A CAT helps you to deliver a more consistent quality and manage terminology, to produce a better translation, for which logically, you should charge a higher rate, not less...

A CAT may enable you to translate a text that is full of repetitions faster than you could without it, but in practice not much - I find the time saved is negligible when I am sent scanned files that a CAT cannot work with, typically medical records where half pages at a time can be cut and pasted in Word.

I miss the terminology function and concordance, but can work just as fast with no CAT on documents like that.

So only give very small discounts for repetitions and matches!
Happy translating!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:12
Flemish to English
+ ...
Consistency. Jan 27, 2012

Agencies don't offer discounts to their end-customers. They offer consistency and they don't charge peanut rates. You could try to sell consistency.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:12
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Bravo, Christine Jan 27, 2012

Christine Andersen wrote:

No discounts for fuzzies, and don't start too low!

As mentioned above, fuzzy translations have to be checked, and in some cases this takes longer than translating from scratch!
...

So only give very small discounts for repetitions and matches!


However I do offer repeated segments at no charge for jobs involving more than 5,000 words. A couple of years ago I took a series of large parts-list-type translation jobs where truly no-brainer repeated segments were in excess of 75%. Of course, I had to translate these for the first time ever, at my full rate, however I didn't charge anything when they came up again. As the first translation was done at my full rate, and the client was a quick payer, they were quite profitable.

On the other hand, I never give any discount on fuzzy matches for the very reason you mentioned above.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:12
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
I disagree! Jan 31, 2012

Discounts are a fine thing. Customers deserve discounts from translators; these should be an integral part of all our motivational marketing efforts. I myself now offer my clients a wide range of discounts, possibly more than any of my competitors. It's how I stay competitive in the face of global developments. You can do this too. For details, see: http://goo.gl/qvItE

Of course each translator must determine the best discount schemes for their particular situations, but I see no problem in principle with offering a discount for fuzzies or anything else. It's all a matter of *how* you do it.


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:12
English to German
+ ...
No discounts. Jan 31, 2012

Usually I do not grant any discounts.

There are other marketing tools: quality, reliability, consistency, flexibility etc.


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Terejimenez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
why granting discounts Apr 27, 2012

Do you think the agencies grant discounts for repetitions to their clients?

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:12
French to German
+ ...
Nothing to add! Apr 28, 2012

Noni Gilbert wrote:

I've just looked at your prices on your CV Toby, and I am horrified.

As for discounts for repetitions, I personally don't agree with them and there has been repeated extensive discussion on forum threads here. My attitude, if you were going to give them, however, would be that the discount should bring you down to a normal rate, with all the rest being slightly above!

And state your prices, don't accept them being forced on you, meekly. At worst, bargain, but remember the principle of bargaining, which is to start far higher than you expect to get.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:12
French to German
+ ...
Contradictory as it may seem... Apr 28, 2012

KSL Berlin wrote:

(.../...)

Of course each translator must determine the best discount schemes for their particular situations, but I see no problem in principle with offering a discount for fuzzies or anything else. It's all a matter of *how* you do it.


I'll go with you, Kevin, as per this statement - I am a major nitpicker when it comes to *hows*.


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Texte Style
Local time: 14:12
French to English
some do actually! Apr 28, 2012

Terejimenez wrote:

Do you think the agencies grant discounts for repetitions to their clients?


In the agency I used to work at, potential clients would ask whether we had a CAT tool and would also demand to see the analysis. This was of course on the understanding that we would then apply a sliding rate.

One particularly annoying client would actually then dispute the analysis, saying that he had not made that many changes.

In fact he had spent considerable time playing with tags which messed everything up including the analysis.

Or sometimes he made corrections to his French to bring it in line with the translation into English (our translator being a better technical writer than him and taking the trouble to point out errors!). So actually we would keep the same translation even though he had changed the source. He then didn't want to pay for that, but we said that in that case we would no longer pass on the translator's comments on errors which after all was not part of his or our remit....

Believe me, agencies get as much hassle as free-lancers when the client knows about CAT tools!

And even those who don't know about them will ask for discounts when they know there is a lot of repetition. The boss used to give them a small discount, but offered not to charge at all for repetitions if the client highlighted all parts that were exactly the same (ie did what the CAT tool would do). Only one client ever did that (and made several huge mistakes in the process of course)


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Denise Phelps  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Impossible to generalise Apr 28, 2012

It depends on the kind of text you usually translate.

I started with Studio 2011 in December 2011. I get a lot of fuzzy matches now, but because the kind of work I do is so varied, they all need extensive reworking so a discount wouldn't work for me. On the other hand, no client has ever sent me a tailor-made TM. That would certainly make a difference, as would having the kind of highly repetitive texts that you see in the Trados demonstration videos.

Personally, I've found that Trados hasn't increased my productivity as such, but it has increased the quality of the work I do because I have more time to think and research rather than spending my time typing in the nuts and bolts, and it makes maintaining terminological consistency easier. In fact, in my situation, having Trados should mean that I up my rates (because of better quality assurance) rather than lower them...


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