Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
The benefit of translation software
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Nov 12, 2013

I was curious and put up an Excel-sheet about one of my customers. It is a manufacturer of machinery and I get the jobs through two agencies. Those translations go into at least 13 languages. At least these are the languages they have on their web-site.

The cooperation started in 2007. In those days they sent updates of their technical documents in pdf-format, where the changes were marked in red. I sent back Word-files with the translations and markers for page number and column etc. Sometimes I scanned the files in Abbyy Finereader and translated these outputs in WFC.

Last year, 2012, they decided they had enough of this and would use SDL Studio software. Somebody most have told them they could save lots of money on dtp.

Here is my result (my invoices to this customers in EUR:

2007- 1074
2008- 390
2009- 1272
2010 2862
2011- 3149
2012- 4251
2013- 8075 (up to now)

So I'm happy I got SDL Studio 2009/2011. I hope the customer is happy too.


 

Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:59
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Interesting Nov 12, 2013

Heinrich, this overview is quite interesting, thank you for sharing it.

I started a couple of years ago and struggled with the typical problems of a new freelancer, until I was able to build a solid client base. Thus I was not willing to buy a translation software initially, but I can confirm that every software that I bought paid itself off within a relatively short time.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Sorry, but that tells me next to nothing Nov 12, 2013

Mind you, I must start by saying that I'm the world's worst dunce when it comes to number: I'm a words person!icon_smile.gif

But does 8000€ of income from a single client in a single year really represent an improvement over 1000€? Not necessarily, would be my answer. 1000€ from 8 clients would be safer for 2 reasons: (1) you will probably lose a lot of money if the single client goes under, and (2) if for any reason that client stops sending work it will be a real blow to future income for some considerable time. Secondly, these figures totally ignore an incredibly important point: what is your per-hour income? If your per-hour income (in real terms) has fallen even a small amount then it isn't good at all. Lastly, are you still getting as much job satisfaction? You may be, but not necessarily so. One of my clients sends horribly repetitive work that's simple and pays reasonably well, so it's very welcome as a filler, but I'd hate to spend every day of the year on it.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That was not my point Nov 12, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Mind you, I must start by saying that I'm the world's worst dunce when it comes to number: I'm a words person!icon_smile.gif

But does 8000€ of income from a single client in a single year really represent an improvement over 1000€? Not necessarily, would be my answer. 1000€ from 8 clients would be safer for 2 reasons: (1) you will probably lose a lot of money if the single client goes under, and (2) if for any reason that client stops sending work it will be a real blow to future income for some considerable time. Secondly, these figures totally ignore an incredibly important point: what is your per-hour income? If your per-hour income (in real terms) has fallen even a small amount then it isn't good at all. Lastly, are you still getting as much job satisfaction? You may be, but not necessarily so. One of my clients sends horribly repetitive work that's simple and pays reasonably well, so it's very welcome as a filler, but I'd hate to spend every day of the year on it.


My observation was that the client had to spend much more money on translation after they started to use translation software instead of marked pdf.


 

Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:59
Member (2004)
German to Polish
+ ...
Something went wrong Nov 12, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Mind you, I must start by saying that I'm the world's worst dunce when it comes to number: I'm a words person!icon_smile.gif


when reading Heinrich's funny message and t really seems that you completely misunderstood iticon_wink.gif

Regards

A.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
@ Heinrich Nov 12, 2013

Andrzej Lejman wrote:
Sheila Wilson wrote:
Mind you, I must start by saying that I'm the world's worst dunce when it comes to number: I'm a words person!icon_smile.gif

when reading Heinrich's funny message and t really seems that you completely misunderstood iticon_wink.gif

Right! Maybe I'm not a words person either!icon_smile.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 04:59
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Heinrich Nov 12, 2013

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
My observation was that the client had to spend much more money on translation after they started to use translation software instead of marked pdf.


I thought your observation was that the client now has much more work in that field, after they started to use translation software instead of marked PDF.


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The truth Nov 12, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

I thought your observation was that the client now has much more work in that field, after they started to use translation software instead of marked PDF.



In fact they have to pay me now for all the less than 100% matches that are caused by changes in formatting. Maybe finally they will collect a perfect TM and then get where they originally were when they only paid for really new stuff. But I guess it will take a while still.


 

Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Misunderstood as well Nov 12, 2013

Hi Heinrich,

Strangely I misunderstood your post as well, somehow I didn't really understand what did you want to highlight. I thought your point wasn't at all cynical, but maybe that you are saying that it was a good choice for the client to get a CAT tool, having now more work in their field. Somehow I didn't get the cynical tone and definitely I did not understand that they pay you a bigger sum for **the same amount of work** - I assumed it is for a higher workload. NOW I understand your point...Bad luck for your client, for sure they will see it is not the right way in this case and change their mind again - at least as long as you are around, and guarantee them the desired output and solution.

Maybe I did not understand you because I am new to CAT tools, just purchased MemoQ (don't even know if it was the right choice, but hope so). I agree - until now I always worked "the old fashioned way" (many pdf docs as well), and I usually bill according to the text type, etc., not guided by some numbers given to me by a CAT-tool, and it reflects the real value from my point of view. Anyhow, for the moment I enjoy learning how to use my first tool, I see it's usefulness for some type of work, as well as proofreading/quality aspects.


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 02:59
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Is this necessarily the case? Nov 13, 2013

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

My observation was that the client had to spend much more money on translation after they started to use translation software instead of marked pdf.

I don't think you can conclude that, necessarily. The only thing you can say is that they spend more money on your services, but it could be for any number of reasons. For example, maybe they were using other translators in your language pair in 2007 and dropped them all in recent years to focus on you. So they may have been spending 10,000€ back then for all you know. Another possible reason: business just took off and they have much more to translate, i.e. they would have been spending 8,000€ on you anyway, whether they switched to CAT tools or not. And so on and so forth.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:59
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My ideal CAT tool Nov 13, 2013

I need a CAT tool into which I can feed all my hundreds and hundreds of previous translations (source text and translated text) and which will immediately memorise all of them and use them as its memory.

Is there such a thing?

[Edited at 2013-11-13 13:32 GMT]


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 09:59
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Youalign and LF Aligner Nov 13, 2013

Tom in London wrote:
Is there such a thing?

[Edited at 2013-11-13 13:32 GMT]

Yes. In fact, most CAT tools can do it. I wrote about it here (under the entry header "Aligning"). My conclusion was, that you shouldn't do it yourself, and use youalign instead. It's an excellent service, with two disadvantages: Even though they guarantee privacy, your files will be exposed to the Internet. And the file size is limited. The next best thing is András Farkas' LF Aligner. Even if you're afraid of the Terminal (like me), I think it's the preferred DIY aligner. Or a CAT tool. And my daughter would probably like to do it for you - for a (negotiable) fee. She's in the PDF-to-CAT tool ready document-business, but a bit of aligning won't hurt her.

Cheers,

Hans

[Edited at 2013-11-13 14:38 GMT]


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not the case though Nov 13, 2013

TransAfrique wrote:


I don't think you can conclude that, necessarily. The only thing you can say is that they spend more money on your services, but it could be for any number of reasons. For example, maybe they were using other translators in your language pair in 2007 and dropped them all in recent years to focus on you. So they may have been spending 10,000€ back then for all you know. Another possible reason: business just took off and they have much more to translate, i.e. they would have been spending 8,000€ on you anyway, whether they switched to CAT tools or not. And so on and so forth.


Now they are paying for all 99% matches which turn up because they have changed formatting or icons or bullets over the years. They have done aligning the old documents. There are thousands of units where there was "- text" and now there should be a tab instead of the space: 99% match and full word rate.

Well, at the same time I have a chance to make corrections to my old translations, put in newer terminology etc. So they are not throwing money out of the window after all.


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 02:59
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
If I understand correctly Nov 13, 2013

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Now they are paying for all 99% matches which turn up because they have changed formatting or icons or bullets over the years. They have done aligning the old documents. There are thousands of units where there was "- text" and now there should be a tab instead of the space: 99% match and full word rate.

Well, at the same time I have a chance to make corrections to my old translations, put in newer terminology etc. So they are not throwing money out of the window after all.


So they're paying you to re-translate (or copy-and-paste) lines you already translated years ago? And they're paying full price for this? That's their prerogative, and it's a great position for the translator to be in, but I'm surprised the client hasn't noticed what's going on.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:59
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Thanks Hans but.... Nov 14, 2013

Meta Arkadia wrote:

I wrote about it here (under the entry header "Aligning"). My conclusion was, that you shouldn't do it yourself, and use youalign instead. It's an excellent service, with two disadvantages.....



Thanks, Hans but any task that requires me to commission third parties or any software that requires the use of a manual is not for me. The last software I bought that required a manual was Minicad, about 10 years ago. These days, software should be intuitive to use. I'm waiting for someone to corner the CAT tool market with a CAT application that comes without a manual, doesn't slow me down by putting me through a learning process, and that begins by memorising all the work I've done in past years - and does so in a way that I can do myself without hiring someone in.

[Edited at 2013-11-14 08:37 GMT]


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

The benefit of translation software

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search