CAT tool match discount rates
Thread poster: Carole Biselele

Carole Biselele
France
Local time: 17:35
English to French
Nov 3

Hello everyone,

I have been looking for anwsers on the other posts but I have not found them. Therefore, I am sorry if my question seems redundant to some of you.
I have been contacted by a translation agency which offered me to sign a contract but, in this contract, they give their CAT tool match discount rates which are the following:

100 % Matches and Context matches* = 90 % discount
Repetitions = 90 % discount
85 % - 99 % = 50 % discount
75
... See more
Hello everyone,

I have been looking for anwsers on the other posts but I have not found them. Therefore, I am sorry if my question seems redundant to some of you.
I have been contacted by a translation agency which offered me to sign a contract but, in this contract, they give their CAT tool match discount rates which are the following:

100 % Matches and Context matches* = 90 % discount
Repetitions = 90 % discount
85 % - 99 % = 50 % discount
75 % - 84 % = 25 % discount

It is first time I see this and, up to this point, I have never worked with clients working with these. I am getting established and there are some aspects of the translation industry that I am not aware of. Do they seem fair to you?

Thank you for your help in advance,


C.B.
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Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 18:35
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
It is just a smart way to pay you less. Nov 3

Decide right from the start that you don't apply any discounts like that. It is a one-way ticket. Time will come when someone asks you for a free translation.

[Edited at 2019-11-03 17:53 GMT]


writeaway
Stepan Konev
Thayenga
Slobodan Kozarčić
Andriy Yasharov
philgoddard
Christel Zipfel
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:35
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Carole Nov 3

Carole Biselele wrote:
100% matches and context matches = 90% discount (i.e. 0.10 x normal rate)
Repetitions = 90% discount (i.e. 0.10 x normal rate)
85% - 99% = 50% discount (i.e. 0.50 x normal rate)
75% - 84% = 25% discount (i.e. 0.25 x normal rate)
00% - 74% = 00% discount (i.e. 1.00 x normal rate)


Short answer: yes, this is fair.

Long answer:

The fact that they consider all matches below 75% to be "new", is a good sign. Note: the fact that they pay for repetitions, 100% matches and context matches means that they expect you to proofread repetitions, 100% matches and context matches. But the fact that they pay for repetitions is also a good sign.

However, in future, you might want to think about the rate that they offer for proofreading 100% matches and context matches. What if you get a job with lots and lots of 100% matches, and it turns out that those 100% matches are full of errors? Then you'd be doing a normal proofreading for the equivalent of 10% your translation rate. What some people do, is they accept the grid, but then, when they receive files where the 100% matches are going to need a lot of work, they try to renegotiate the rate for 100% matches for that particular job, but that is unlikely to work, since the agency would have already quoted the client, based on the assumption that 100% matches cost 10% of the new rate. In addition, you get agencies that require you to explain your edit every time you edit a 100% match. My suggestion is: accept the deal now, but don't be shy to tell them after a year or so that you want a different deal, if you discover that their TMs are typically bad.

Of course, none of this makes sense if you don't use a CAT tool.

And even if you do use a CAT tool, but they don't give you a TM that contains the segments that became fuzzy matches, the fuzzy matching may not save you time, so it would not make sense to offer discounts for it. Remember, fuzzy match discounts exist because the fuzzy matches save you time. They may not save you time when you first start translating (because you're still learning the knack of things), but once you're a reasonably fast translator, fuzzy matches should save you time. If they don't, then you should stop giving discounts for them.


[Edited at 2019-11-03 11:29 GMT]


Angela Rimmer
Thomas Pfann
Enrique Bjarne Strand Ferrer
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:35
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Who is paying for the CAT tool? Nov 3

Customers believe that they are entitled to free discounts and translators confirm this assumption. It seems to be common practice that one party not only pays for the tool, but also accepts the "punishment" of making less money due to unsolicited discounts for matches.

My apologies if this might sound a little pessimistic, but the truth is that we, the translators, support these "discounts".


writeaway
Stepan Konev
Robert Rietvelt
philgoddard
Christel Zipfel
Jocelin Meunier
pauliine27
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:35
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not really relevant here Nov 3

Thayenga wrote:
1. Customers believe that they are entitled to free discounts and translators confirm this assumption.
2. It seems to be common practice that one party not only pays for the tool, but also accepts the "punishment" of making less money due to unsolicited discounts for matches.


In this case, the client isn't asking for a free discount -- she is asking for a discount based on time-savings. The client is asking the translator "do you believe that you will be making a satisfactory amount of money if we agree on the following scheme of discounts for time-savings?". The fact that some translators are unable to say "yes" to such a proposal doesn't mean there is something wrong with the proposal.

I'm sure most clients would be happy with unsolicited discounts, but in this case the discount is solicited. "solicit" means to ask for something. If the client asks for a discount, then it is not unsolicited. Do you perhaps mean "unwelcome"?


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:35
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Unsolicited Nov 3

Samuel Murray wrote:

I'm sure most clients would be happy with unsolicited discounts, but in this case the discount is solicited. "solicit" means to ask for something. If the client asks for a discount, then it is not unsolicited. Do you perhaps mean "unwelcome"?


Unsolicited by the translator - the translator does not want/appreciate being asked for discounts.

Anything other than 100% matches - that is a complete sentence - requires work, especially in German.


philgoddard
Bernhard Sulzer
pauliine27
 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 19:35
English to Russian
What is fair about it? Nov 3

With CAT tool:
You pay money for your CAT tool + you spend time to learn how to use it, fix bugs, find workarounds + you work faster and more efficient to great benefit of yours and your client => you owe them a discount.
Without CAT tool:
You do what you always did, neither faster/better nor slower/worse => You get your full rate.
Is it fair? No. Ridiculous.

CAT discounts...
MTPE at a much lower rate with not much less work in comparison with transl
... See more
With CAT tool:
You pay money for your CAT tool + you spend time to learn how to use it, fix bugs, find workarounds + you work faster and more efficient to great benefit of yours and your client => you owe them a discount.
Without CAT tool:
You do what you always did, neither faster/better nor slower/worse => You get your full rate.
Is it fair? No. Ridiculous.

CAT discounts...
MTPE at a much lower rate with not much less work in comparison with translation...
A major LSP takes money for using their proprietary CAT tool. Their tool is mandatory for their translation assignments. Nobody else, except them, uses their CAT tool. Joking aside, they believe you must pay for work...
(It was discussed here: https://www.proz.com/forum/cat_tools_technical_help/336205-translation_workspace_are_we_forced_to_pay_the_14_month_to_geoworkz_as_lb_vendors.html)
Whatever next...

Translators back down by saying yes to such proposals. CAT tools are the greatest invention in the history of translations, but they are not for ripping translators off. CAT discounts should work as charity: if you want, you give, if you don't want, you don't give. It is translator's own free will, not an obligation (though obligation is exactly how it is understood by LSPs and accepted by translators).

[Edited at 2019-11-04 14:22 GMT]
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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 13:35
English to Spanish
I'm on Samuel's camp Nov 6

I agree with @Samuel; this particular discount matrix is fair and standard in the industry.

What you should do (with all projects mind, but particularly with these) is *time* yourself over a couple of projects, divide the total sum earned by the hours they took, and see if the resulting price per hour makes sense on your end regardless of the original breakdown. As a plus, you now know how long it actually takes you to proof reps/100%s/CMs for these projects.

What if th
... See more
I agree with @Samuel; this particular discount matrix is fair and standard in the industry.

What you should do (with all projects mind, but particularly with these) is *time* yourself over a couple of projects, divide the total sum earned by the hours they took, and see if the resulting price per hour makes sense on your end regardless of the original breakdown. As a plus, you now know how long it actually takes you to proof reps/100%s/CMs for these projects.

What if the TM is garbage? You can always alert as to serious quality problems in existing content right away and let them handle how to proceed (filter the content and do a cursory check before starting to work). Perhaps there's an additional reviewer that will tidy everything up, perhaps they want you to edit everything more in-depth and will recalculate additional hours or a different rate to cover this, but in general if the matrix is fair there's a good chance the agency will be reasonable if you stumble upon something like this.

In my experience, having a blanket matrix with an agency that sends the same type of projects over and over is definitely a win for everyone.
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Carole Biselele
France
Local time: 17:35
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
To everyone Nov 10

Hello everyone,

I have not answered much to your reply but thank you for exposing your viewpoints and giving me advice, which I have taken into account. I will choose to which "school" I belong.


Carole B.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
IM0 Nov 10

Carole, to my mind, the "repetition grid/statistics" is but another ploy like "ever free tests", "best rates", "favors-freebies", "after 45-90 days", blame-shifting, and other gimmicks to sponge on translators--at your expense.

* First, you're (1) a businessperson (2) offering a custom service--a unique biz product to help the client troubleshoot or improve their business--making money. So, as an equal business party, you can add/delete/amend any contract terms. Have you ne
... See more
Carole, to my mind, the "repetition grid/statistics" is but another ploy like "ever free tests", "best rates", "favors-freebies", "after 45-90 days", blame-shifting, and other gimmicks to sponge on translators--at your expense.

* First, you're (1) a businessperson (2) offering a custom service--a unique biz product to help the client troubleshoot or improve their business--making money. So, as an equal business party, you can add/delete/amend any contract terms. Have you negotiated and changed the terms to your liking or just sheepishly signed the papers?
If you consider yourself a business lady, you should know the answer:
WHY it's allegedly ok for agencies to charge their clients some $0.30-$0.50+/word in advance while offering their translators no more than some $0.03/word minus "discounts" after a couple of months? (Which often may result in under $0.01/w flat with unwanted overhead expenses.)


* Second, all the "fuzzy/internal" matches are but a rough estimation of letters/words order, what often has nothing to do with the meaning or still requires a paraphrase/synonym. What really means a 98% fuzzy match of "Oracle", "Coaler", or "Recoal" to "Carole", let alone fuzzified word order? Moreover, the translator is still expected to re/read-re/check-re/edit such a propagation.

Let's take an ideally hypothetical example:
1) Your CAT + your TM/glossary.
2) The wow-rate is $0.10/word for "effective words" and $0.01 for fuzzy/internal matches.
3) A 40,000-word project appears with 98% all "fuzzy matches".
4) It takes some three (3) hours to CAT.

Total: [800 new words x $0.10] + [39,200 words x $0.01] = $80.00 + $392.00 = $472.00 ($157/hour)

Does it really sound fair or you still can see that discount not counted $3528 (over 88%) ? Would a provided PEMT/MT (which requires 'slightly edit') really make it any better for the very translator?

* Third, real end clients are businessmen who just want to have their job done (A) properly, (B) timely, and (C) as agreed, because they run their biz. And most of real businessowners legally never offer any of such agency /middlemen /intermediary /third-party tricks, fairly paying for the good work $0.15-$0.20-$0.35--or $0.50+/word.

You decide
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