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Rate for repetitions
Thread poster: VeroniqueBR
VeroniqueBR
Local time: 02:57
English to French
+ ...
Sep 27, 2004

Hi all,
Am only starting and have only worked for agencies so far. I use Trados for all my work, but not all my clients have it.

I believe the norm for agencies working with CAT tools is to scale rates down according to the match percentage. These pay a 1/3 or less of the full rate for repetitions.

However, when you work for agencies NOT using Trados, do you apply a similar policy for repetitions or actually charge a full rate?

Thanks in advance for any fair advice.


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Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 02:57
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Only give them a discount if they specifically ask for it Sep 27, 2004

Hi Verbon!

Only give them a discount if they specifically ask for it.

Not much else to say, really.

HTH

Alison


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Huub Stegeman  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
English to Dutch
+ ...
I use the full price, but keep te memory anyway Sep 27, 2004

Obviously, charge the full price if they don't ask for a special price, but be sure to maintain the TM anyway, even though you deliver a cleaned translation.

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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:57
French to Portuguese
+ ...
What do you mean by repetitions? Sep 27, 2004

I've got a potential client who asked me if I made a discount for repetitions. Are we referring to technical repetitions or all kinds of repetitions with words such as "and", "because", etc., which we often use when writing a text. I answered the client I did a discount because I know that many translators do, but I have this doubt.

I'm just a bit curious about it because I recently acquired Trados but I still haven't made an assignment with it.

Ivana


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VeroniqueBR
Local time: 02:57
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Sep 27, 2004

Ivana de Sousa Santos wrote:

Are we referring to technical repetitions or all kinds of repetitions with words such as "and", "because", etc., which we often use when writing a text. Ivana


Ivana,
By "repetition", I mean a duplicate segment/sentence, which is exactly repeated and so doesn't really need reworking, only proof-reading.

Thank you to the others for their answers! CAT and Non-CAT practices really seem worlds apart...


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
German to English
+ ...
The norm Sep 27, 2004

verbon wrote:

I believe the norm for agencies working with CAT tools is to scale rates down according to the match percentage. These pay a 1/3 or less of the full rate for repetitions.


The norm here in Europe is for service providers to set rates and discount schemes, not their customers.

Marc


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Stefan Keller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:57
English to German
Full rates for repetitions? Sep 27, 2004

Well,

First of all, I wouldn't consider lower rates for repetitions a *discount*.
And secondly, I believe that common sense and business ethics should suggest not to charge for work that hasn't been done!
Sorry, if that sounds all too idealistic, but I think that it's honesty what pays in the long run.

Regards,
Stefan


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Stefan Keller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:57
English to German
Couldn't disagree more Sep 27, 2004

Tayfun Torunoglu wrote:
It is a part of bread taken away from us and should be seen so. Not opposite.


No, I don't see it this way. At least when it comes to really repetitive stuff. Of course, I'm not talking about a novel of 500 pages with two sentences repeated three times. I'm talking about "Click Ok to continue" and alike in a software manual or online help.

If you use a CAT tool, you are faster, you save time, you get the job done more quickly, and you can start the next job earlier. I don't see where *bread is taken away from us*.

Why is there always that "the client wants to steal my money" attitude???


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VeroniqueBR
Local time: 02:57
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
CAT users vs non users Sep 27, 2004

I see we\'re back to the old debate that opposes CAT tool users and non users...

Maybe should I have described in more detail my project and resulting uncertainties:
My client introduced this project to me as being a 5,000 word Excel spreadsheet. When I analysed it, I realised there were 2,300 \"repetitions\" (a hell of a lot!) and the rest 2,700 \"no match\". This project is isolated, so no recoup from previous translations. Each worksheet contains a telesales call script for a given situation, hence the repetitions from one script/situation to the other.

Must say I\'ve struggled with format but that really isn\'t the issue.

The question I cannot ask to my client and which raises the ethical issue is: are they going to turn a blind eye on the repetitions and charge their own client full price? (If so, I have no qualms to do the same.) OR are they going somehow (without Trados anyway!) to differentiate \"initial/actual translation\" from \"copied/repeated translation\" and therefore grant a \"discount\" accordingly (which I\'d be more than happy to grant myself in this case)?

With or without Trados, the fact is there were many repeated cells. How would a translator not using Trados actually bill?... To draw a parallel, would such translators charge for headers and footers repeated over hundreds of pages?


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
No Trados, but some ethics. Sep 27, 2004

verbon wrote:


With or without Trados, the fact is there were many repeated cells. How would a translator not using Trados actually bill?... To draw a parallel, would such translators charge for headers and footers repeated over hundreds of pages?


Hi verbon,

I do not use Trados. I do use ethics, though. When I have a translation with lots of repetitions -for instance, one in which I just have to use the "Replace with" function of Word to get something like 25% of the words in the document translated AND that these are words which do not require a particular location in a sentence (most frequently surveys or web pages content)- I bill the repetitions at a discount to my client, even if he did not asked for it, I explain why, and I think they respect me for that. They know that I am not out to "get" them, and that I will tell them whenever I believe I can save them some money. In the same way, they will understand and accept when I explain that, even though their Power Point presentation had "only" 850 words, I spent much more time than usual on it due to the formatting requirements, and that I believe I should be compensated for such additional time.
It works both ways and, in my particular case, it is as subjective as my conscience. Also, I do not believe that the clients are generally trying to take advantage of us translators, but I just cannot stand agencies trying to force us to accept the repetition and fuzzy matches discounts, no matter what. This is one good reason to not use Trados, me thinks.


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vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 03:57
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Discount Sep 28, 2004

If the number of repetitions constitutes about half of the total number of words, as in the case at hand, I would definitely offer a discount. I'm not sure, though, if I would apply my standard Trados rate for repetitions (30%), but I would consider offering a discount of at least 50% for these repetitive segments. I would assume that a translation agency is able to assess the number of reps in a translation before sending it out. If they don't mind paying 100%, since they did not request a special rate for reps, they will be happy to have to pay only 75%.

Also, I have a regular (direct) client, who recently needed a couple of letters translated. These letters showed quite some similarities and repetitions. Instead of offering a special rate for repetitions and fuzzy matches, I offered a 10% discount for the entire text, which resulted more or less in the same price total.

So, I think offering a discount depends on a number of factors, such as the number of repetitions and your (potential) relationship with the client.

For Ivana: when we are talking about repetitions, we are referring to repetitions of translation segments (usu. complete sentences). These are stored in the TM the first time you translate them and this translation will pop up in your screen when you encounter the same sentence again. So, repetition is not about isolated words.

[Edited at 2004-09-28 09:27]


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 02:57
French to Dutch
+ ...
To discount or not to discount Sep 28, 2004

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:
When I have a translation with lots of repetitions -for instance, one in which I just have to use the "Replace with" function of Word to get something like 25% of the words in the document translated AND that these are words which do not require a particular location in a sentence (most frequently surveys or web pages content)- I bill the repetitions at a discount to my client, even if he did not asked for it, I explain why, and I think they respect me for that. ... In the same way, they will understand and accept when I explain that, even though their Power Point presentation had "only" 850 words, I spent much more time than usual on it due to the formatting requirements, and that I believe I should be compensated for such additional time.

I agree with this.
It works both ways and, in my particular case, it is as subjective as my conscience. Also, I do not believe that the clients are generally trying to take advantage of us translators, but I just cannot stand agencies trying to force us to accept the repetition and fuzzy matches discounts, no matter what.

Of course.
This is one good reason to not use Trados, me thinks.

But this is not the right conclusion. I've seen the difference between Search/Replace and a CAT-tool, Wordfast in my case. The CAT-tool has a better memory than you have: you can use it in two or 200 files; it also keeps sentences you translated a month or three years ago. A CAT-tool will generally speed up your work. If the client doesn't ask you for a discount for repetitions, it's up to you to decide whether you invoice them or not, sometimes you can invoice the full translation, especially in the case the client doesn't know that you are using a CAT. There are lots of reasons to use a CAT-tool (faster translation, context search, archives, communications with other translators, etc.), and I really don't see any for not using it. The argument "if I use a CAT-tool, my client wants me to give a discount" is not valid anymore. It makes me think of translators who, 20 years ago, didn't want to give their floppy disk to the translation agency because "if I do so, they will be able to re-use my translations". It also means that you are gradually limiting your work to the part that is non repetitive (literature, advertising).

[Edited at 2004-09-29 13:37]


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Stefan Keller  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:57
English to German
Sorry... Sep 28, 2004

Tayfun Torunoglu wrote:
That is because a word may be repeteated many times as "is" ,"are" or so many similar techincal words may be in a translation. It is not a subject of discount. Neither Pre-translations. Generally Pre-translations are insertions of some translations of single words of group of words from client glossaries which are not segments. Just glossaries. Therefore full payment for pretranslations!.


Are you being serious? Nobody in this thread was talking about "repeated words" in a sense that every repetition of any word in any context should be deducted from the word count!!!

I don't know what CAT tools you work with, and I don't know what types of pre-translations you are provided with by your clients, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm talking about *segments*, of course!

If a *segment* like "Click OK to continue" ist repeated 10 times,
it's 4 new words + 36 words repetitions. I'm not talking about every occurrence of "click" or "to" throughout the document. Was it really so confusing what I was trying to say above?

*Pre-translations* have got nothing to do with the process of populating files with single terms coming from a terminology list. I'm talking about sentence/segment-based TM.

I really wonder what CAT it is you're using, if it's actually slowing you down...


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
Nicolette, you've got a point! Sep 28, 2004

Nicolette_ wrote:

I really don't see any for not using it. The argument "if I use a CAT-tool, my client wants me to give a discount" is not valid anymore. It makes me think of translators who, 20 years ago, didn't want to give their floppy disk to the translation office because "if I do so, they will be able to re-use my translations". It also means that you are gradually limiting your work to the part that is non repetitive (literature, advertising).


I should have said its is a good reason not to use Trados for agencies! What I was trying to say is that if the translator invests in CAT tools, and/or any other devices that will make her/him more productive, it should be primarily for her/his benefit, and not for the benefit of the agencies!


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
German to English
+ ...
Rate for repetitions Sep 28, 2004

Stefan Keller wrote:

If you use a CAT tool, you are faster, you save time, you get the job done more quickly, and you can start the next job earlier.


Assuming the job is suitable for processing in a CAT tool, this is true. But there's no such thing as a free lunch.

* Repetitive segments still have to be handled, even if a CAT tool is used. In a worst-case scenario, the same segment may even have to be translated differently. At the very least, the whole text has to be read through, and there is no easy way of ensuring that the text is coherent without reading all of it, including repeated segments.

* Using CAT tools involves an investment on the part of the translator, both financial and in terms of time.

* If a text is not repetitive, using a CAT tool may actually make the translator slower. (This depends, of course, on the tool, the job, and the translator.) Personally, I still use a CAT tool in such cases in the hope of getting similar work in the future for which my memories may be useful. However, there is seldom a guarantee of such work, and I bear the risk. Why should I not then also reap the rewards?

* Repetitive texts did not appear with the advent of CAT tools. Repetitive texts have always existed and have always provided the translator with a small bonus. Where the translator has a fixed price for a particular customer, that bonus is factored into the price. It is quite fair to suggest that repetitive work should be charged at a lower rate; but then the basis upon which the baseline price was originally calculated has changed. So, whilst I agree that there is a case for charging less for repetitive work, it follows that this should be accompanied by an *increase* in rates for non-repetitive work. Have you noticed a trend towards higher prices for non-repetitive work among CAT tool users?

My policy is simple: if customers think that a text is repetitive, they are free to mark the repetitive parts, and I will ignore them. After all, they are the ones who have repeated themselves. Do customers take up my offer? Of course not! Finding and marking the repetitive parts is work, and they've got better things to do. That being the case, why should I do it for free? For a discount, perhaps; but since I'm the one doing the work, I decide what form the discount will take.

Marc

[Edited at 2004-09-29 07:19]


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