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Discounts for matches when not using CAT tool
Thread poster: EmilyYoung
EmilyYoung
United Kingdom
Italian to English
Sep 24, 2014

Hello,
I have recently started working with an agency who are sending me lots of steady work, however they have started asking for discounts for matches. I don't use a CAT tool so I'm not sure how even a 100% match would make my work quicker or easier.
I keep my own terminology resource to ensure consistency.
Does anyone have experience of agencies asking for discounts when you've already told them you're not using a CAT tool?
The difference in terms of total payments is not huge, but I'm worried about setting a precedent....

Thanks for any advice!
Emily


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
CAT tools Sep 24, 2014

EmilyYoung wrote:

I don't use a CAT tool so I'm not sure how even a 100% match would make my work quicker or easier.

Thanks for any advice!
Emily



Hi Emily,

you have already answered your own question.

You don't have/use a CAT tool, and this is what you need to inform your client of.

In case they insist that you buy a CAT tool, then there will be no discounts until your investment has been paid for.

Best,
Thayenga


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Isn't it just a racket, CAT tool or not? Sep 24, 2014

My personal opinion is that the request for discounts based on repeat words is simply a racket. Even if you had a CAT tool, you couldn't just let it mindlessly translate words without your verifying each and every translated word. You have to evaluate even repeat words in their individual contexts, and even if they look the same in the original, they may need different grammatical forms in the translation.

Until now, my policy has been a consistent no to such discount suggestions.

What if you go into a restaurant with three friends and ask for repeat discounts on three of the four steaks, provided you all order steaks? What do you think the reply will be?


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Misunderstanding about CAT tools Sep 24, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:

My personal opinion is that the request for discounts based on repeat words is simply a racket. Even if you had a CAT tool, you couldn't just let it mindlessly translate words without your verifying each and every translated word. You have to evaluate even repeat words in their individual contexts, and even if they look the same in the original, they may need different grammatical forms in the translation.


It looks like you're suffering from a common misconception about what a CAT tool does. Common amongst people who don't use them, that is.

I usually offer reductions for 100% repetitions within the text or from my own client specific TM. I don't consider this unreasonable.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Discounts Sep 24, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:

My personal opinion is that the request for discounts based on repeat words is simply a racket. Even if you had a CAT tool, you couldn't just let it mindlessly translate words without your verifying each and every translated word. You have to evaluate even repeat words in their individual contexts, and even if they look the same in the original, they may need different grammatical forms in the translation.

Until now, my policy has been a consistent no to such discount suggestions.

What if you go into a restaurant with three friends and ask for repeat discounts on three of the four steaks, provided you all order steaks? What do you think the reply will be?


Hi Thomas,

I love your "steak ordering" example.

Whenever I am asked (I don't like the idea that it's actually a demand) to give discounts, I always politely reply that, if at all, discounts are given at my sole discretion. After all, I was the one who paid for my CAT tool, and I am the one who pays for the renewal of the license.

Best,
Thayenga

[Edited at 2014-09-24 15:43 GMT]


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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So what DO CAT tools do to justify a reduction? Sep 24, 2014

Erik Freitag wrote:

It looks like you're suffering from a common misconception about what a CAT tool does. Common amongst people who don't use them, that is.



Maybe you are right, so what exactly does a CAT tool do to justify discounts?

I had Trados installed briefly some years ago and absolutely hated it. It suggested the next word to be translated, so instead of just typing, I had to move the cursor around to either approve or change it. I failed to see how that improved translation speed. I also found it immensely complicated to configure and use (I have worked 20 years as IT specialist with IBM systems). It also messed up Word's spell checking when used outside of Trados. I got pages full of error codes when I tried to run a simple spell check. So I sold it.

But yes, I know you can load lists of terms to assure consistency, and probably many other things. But do they really speed the translation up?

Maybe you can enlighten us CAT tool-less people.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2009)
English to German
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The easy(ier) way Sep 24, 2014

Erik Freitag wrote:

It looks like you're suffering from a common misconception about what a CAT tool does. Common amongst people who don't use them, that is.

I usually offer reductions for 100% repetitions within the text or from my own client specific TM. I don't consider this unreasonable.



Well, Eric, I've been using a CAT tool for a few years now, but sometimes the suggested words for < 100% matches make me laugh. Even the allegedly 100% matches don't always match due to gramatical inconsistency. But I suppose this also/mainly depends on the type of texts one translates.

Best,
Thayenga.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
The thing I've never understood Sep 24, 2014

Is why anyone should buy a piece of software to improve their productivity (though in my experience it often does the opposite) and then pass on that improvement in the form of lower charges to the customer.

Surely this goes against the laws of economics, which state that you invest in new technology to do less work for the same amount of money.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:11
English to German
+ ...
No to arbitrary discounts for projects based on CAT tool analyses Sep 24, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:

Erik Freitag wrote:

It looks like you're suffering from a common misconception about what a CAT tool does. Common amongst people who don't use them, that is.



Maybe you are right, so what exactly does a CAT tool do to justify discounts?

I had Trados installed briefly some years ago and absolutely hated it. It suggested the next word to be translated, so instead of just typing, I had to move the cursor around to either approve or change it. I failed to see how that improved translation speed. I also found it immensely complicated to configure and use (I have worked 20 years as IT specialist with IBM systems). It also messed up Word's spell checking when used outside of Trados. I got pages full of error codes when I tried to run a simple spell check. So I sold it.

But yes, I know you can load lists of terms to assure consistency, and probably many other things. But do they really speed the translation up?

Maybe you can enlighten us CAT tool-less people.


I am with Thomas - 100% repetitions or any other kind of repetitions of words as calculated by a CAT tool in the original text most often will tell you nothing about how they need to be translated and where they need to be put and what additional work is involved - especially if you're working with files that need additional editing or when you need to move your cursor to specific places in the text or in lists. I suggest to everyone to not let a CAT tool or an agency or whoever else tell you to give arbitrary discounts for 100% or any other fuzzy repetitions in any text, even in lists.

It sets a very bad precedent and you will be asked to do the same again and again.
If anyone should "offer" a discount, it must be the translator, and this should be based on a thorough evaluation of the text and work involved. You can take repetitions into account when suggesting a rate/price, but I refuse to play the "fuzzy" game. I always quote on a per-word basis for the whole text (total word count) or per hour and, based on that, suggest a total price, but I will not break up the words in various categories based on what a machine tells me in order to give or accept arbitrary discounts. I arrive at my rate by doing a thorough analysis of all factors involved in each separate project. The word count is just one factor.


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
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Matches Sep 24, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

Erik Freitag wrote:

It looks like you're suffering from a common misconception about what a CAT tool does. Common amongst people who don't use them, that is.

I usually offer reductions for 100% repetitions within the text or from my own client specific TM. I don't consider this unreasonable.



Well, Eric, I've been using a CAT tool for a few years now, but sometimes the suggested words for < 100% matches make me laugh.


Exactly. That's why I don't offer any discounts for these so-called fuzzy matches.

Thayenga wrote:
Even the allegedly 100% matches don't always match due to gramatical inconsistency.


Absolutely. That's why I may offer a discount for those, but I don't give them for free.

Regarding the OP's initial question: It really doesn't make much sense to offer reductions for 100% matches if you don't even use a CAT tool. I suggest that you quote a lump sum that commercially makes sense to you. The client can do their own maths.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:11
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then do! Sep 24, 2014

EmilyYoung wrote:
I don't use a CAT tool so I'm not sure how even a 100% match would make my work quicker or easier.

The answer it very simple actually: simply start using CAT tools. You will benefit from it in the long run and in due time will work very nicely with the many agencies using CAT tools.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:11
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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A matter of training Sep 24, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:
But yes, I know you can load lists of terms to assure consistency, and probably many other things. But do they really speed the translation up?

Absolutely they do! However, most powerful CAT tools are complex tools too, and they require training or previous experience with similar tools. I strongly encourage you to try again, but take a course about the tool you choose.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
CAT or not Sep 24, 2014

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

The answer it very simple actually: simply start using CAT tools. You will benefit from it in the long run and in due time will work very nicely with the many agencies using CAT tools.


Is it possible to stop them suggesting words unless you specifically want it? I find that word suggestions disrupt thinking up the best translations. The way I translate is that I look at the source text, absorb the concept, then think how I would express that concept in the target language. I don't work word by word, and having a CAT tool forcing me to do that would be awful. I would be paying hundreds of euros for something that just annoys me. What exactly are the perceived benefits?


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Ha ha Sep 24, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:

.... if you go into a restaurant with three friends and ask for repeat discounts on three of the four steaks, provided you all order steaks? What do you think the reply will be?


That's very well put, Thomas - thank you for making me laugh at the end of my working day!

I don't use any CAT tools and, as you say, even though every instance of a word may be identical in isolation, the context will alter its meaning.

The only exception would be in technical documents, repetitive lists, and the like, where the meaning is always exactly the same. I sometimes offer a percentage discount, or a slightly lower rate, in such cases, based on a rough calculation of how many repetitions there are, which I agree with the client on a friendly basis before starting work.

As for the need to spend money on CAT tools, the best response I've ever seen was made at the top of another thread by KateKaminski - it's here:

http://www.proz.com/forum/cat_tools_technical_help/260353-why_should_i_purchase_cat_software-page2.html



[Edited at 2014-09-24 16:58 GMT]


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
About CAT Sep 24, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

The answer it very simple actually: simply start using CAT tools. You will benefit from it in the long run and in due time will work very nicely with the many agencies using CAT tools.


Is it possible to stop them suggesting words unless you specifically want it? I find that word suggestions disrupt thinking up the best translations. The way I translate is that I look at the source text, absorb the concept, then think how I would express that concept in the target language. I don't work word by word, and having a CAT tool forcing me to do that would be awful. I would be paying hundreds of euros for something that just annoys me. What exactly are the perceived benefits?


Suggesting individual words is not a core function of CAT tools (though many offer something like that as an option).

Basically, CAT tools look whether you have translated a given full sentence before and shows you how you've translated it. The chance that you'll choose the same translation for this same sentence again is quite high, especially if you've translated the very same sentence earlier in the very same text.

I'm simplifying, and this is only the most basic functions of any CAT tool.



[Bearbeitet am 2014-09-24 20:10 GMT]

[Bearbeitet am 2014-09-24 20:33 GMT]


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