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Fuzzies and repetition discounts: What are your thoughts?
Thread poster: Oriol Vives

Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
Jan 7, 2020

Hello everyone,

I just delivered a few days ago a very interesting, technical project in which I had to review in 3-4 days (starting a Saturday, ending a Tuesday) about 60k words. It was a fast-paced, urgent job that I decided to take because I had nothing planned for my weekend. Anyway, I am finding that the client now is reducing this word count to 21k words due to... repetitions!

So, do the CAT tools' repetition and fuzzy match system save you time or effort in any
... See more
Hello everyone,

I just delivered a few days ago a very interesting, technical project in which I had to review in 3-4 days (starting a Saturday, ending a Tuesday) about 60k words. It was a fast-paced, urgent job that I decided to take because I had nothing planned for my weekend. Anyway, I am finding that the client now is reducing this word count to 21k words due to... repetitions!

So, do the CAT tools' repetition and fuzzy match system save you time or effort in any way when proofreading a document? Does a discount based on that regard make any sense to you? As I already let the agency know, discounts based on repetitions during translation make sense because the CAT tools really save time and effort while applying those (at least the 95-99 and 100%!), but when it comes to proofreading, where you have to read/check the whole document regardless of content being repeated, it does not make any sense.

I will appreciate your *positive* thoughts about this subject! Right now I am going to prepare some tea.

[Edited at 2020-01-07 11:29 GMT]
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Slama-Clauzel Traductions
Elizabeth Tamblin
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Oriol Jan 7, 2020

Oriol Vives wrote:
I am finding that the client now is reducing this word count to 21k words due to... repetitions!


One can only expect the translator to give discounts for repetitions if the system that the translator uses reduces his workload thanks to the repetitions. For example, if edited repetitions are automatically updated all through the file, or if repetitions are greyed or or locked or hidden so that you can't or don't need to edit any of them except the first instance, then it may be okay to expect discounts for repetitions. But if you have to proofread the work in a way that does not allow you to remove or hide or lock the repetitions or that does not automatically update edits to repetitions, and/or the repetitions are not marked in any way, then the client has to be prepared to pay for all the words. If the repetitions are clearly marked, but the translator still needs to update them manually, then it may warrant a small discount. The discount is, after all, supposed to reflect time saving.

Be honest: how much faster were you able to complete the job due to the repetitions?

Oriol Vives wrote:
So, do the CAT tools' repetition and fuzzy match system save you time or effort in any way when proofreading a document?


No. What's more, proofreading fuzzy matches can take *longer* than proofreading newly translated segments, especially if the CAT tool is unable to show the differences that the translator were able to see. If something is a 90% fuzzy match, and the tool shows the translator exactly what has changed, but does not show that to the proofreader, then the proofreader has to check the entire segment. In addition, even if the proofreader can see exactly what the translator had changed in a fuzzy match, the proofreader is responsible for checking the entire segment and not just the edit made by the translator.



[Edited at 2020-01-07 11:15 GMT]


BabelOn-line
 

Souleymane Ba  Identity Verified
Senegal
Local time: 10:25
Member
English to Fulah
+ ...
Discounts Jan 7, 2020

Well, to sum it up, any proofread word should be taken into account in the word count. Otherwise, you doing the job free.

[Edited at 2020-01-07 11:28 GMT]


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:25
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Price per hour Jan 7, 2020

Fuzzies (and quality issues) are the responsibility of the client, hence I charge my hourly rate. Time is money.

 

Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly Jan 7, 2020

Samuel Murray wrote:

Oriol Vives wrote:
So, do the CAT tools' repetition and fuzzy match system save you time or effort in any way when proofreading a document?


No. What's more, proofreading fuzzy matches can take *longer* than proofreading newly translated segments, especially if the CAT tool is unable to show the differences that the translator were able to see. If something is a 90% fuzzy match, and the tool shows the translator exactly what has changed, but does not show that to the proofreader, then the proofreader has to check the entire segment. In addition, even if the proofreader can see exactly what the translator had changed in a fuzzy match, the proofreader is responsible for checking the entire segment and not just the edit made by the translator.



[Edited at 2020-01-07 11:15 GMT]


This is a good point -maybe the repetitions/fuzzies should be charged more when proofreading, since they add more work, not less. So what works as a discount in translation, adds actually more work when proofreading.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No sense at all Jan 7, 2020

Oriol Vives wrote:
do the CAT tools' repetition and fuzzy match system save you time or effort in any way when proofreading a document? Does a discount based on that regard make any sense to you? As I already let the agency know, discounts based on repetitions during translation make sense because the CAT tools really save time and effort while applying those (at least the 95-99 and 100%!), but when it comes to proofreading, where you have to read/check the whole document regardless of content being repeated, it does not make any sense.

Apart from the circumstances Samuel has mentioned, it makes no sense at all to give discounts. In fact, IMHO, it makes no sense to use a per-word rate at all unless you only quote the rate after examining the text very carefully. If the translator has done a poor job, it might take you twice as long to do the job -- why should you work for less per hour so that the agency can use a cheaper translator who effectively runs the text through Google Translate and then tidies it up a bit? The only pricing that makes any sense to me is per hour of my time. I'll give clients a maximum spend if they insist. A new client may well do so but regular clients generally leave me to charge honestly. They know that if they use good translators then they'll pay me less; while I always get my target rate per hour.


Oriol Vives
Robert Rietvelt
Teresa Borges
Aleksandra Nikolic
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:25
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Review Jan 7, 2020

Should never be charged based on words or characters, but always by the hour.

If your client decides to deduct any fuzzy matches from your to-be-paid work, then you might advise them that any fuzzy matches will not be revised in the future.

I know that some customers try to reduce their costs by forcing reductions for fuzzy matches on the translator, but to be bold enough to reduce these matches from the revision cost after you delivere
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Should never be charged based on words or characters, but always by the hour.

If your client decides to deduct any fuzzy matches from your to-be-paid work, then you might advise them that any fuzzy matches will not be revised in the future.

I know that some customers try to reduce their costs by forcing reductions for fuzzy matches on the translator, but to be bold enough to reduce these matches from the revision cost after you delivered the job, is the cherry on the ice cream.

And whether or not you have any other projects or plans for a certain number of days is irrelevant. You should always apply a surcharge for urgent projects.
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Sheila Wilson
Teresa Borges
Vera Schoen
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The Adventures of an Editor Jan 7, 2020

I’ve been editing a 37,200 words e-course on XTM (charged by the hour) and I’ve just discovered that same segments considered 100% matches are wrong (based on previous work done by different translators), so now I have to unblock those segments and correct them. It will mean that I’ll have to negotiate a few extra hours with my client…

BabelOn-line
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:25
German to English
+ ...
A customer cannot decide that you will reduce your price after the fact Jan 8, 2020

This part
Oriol Vives wrote:

Anyway, I am finding that the client now is reducing this word count to 21k words due to... repetitions!

I supposed the word count should have been determined and put in writing before you had a mutual agreement to start the work. But I can't see a customer making such "decisions" unilaterally.


Wout Van den Broeck
Sheila Wilson
Michele Fauble
Oriol Vives
 

Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Actually I am using the word count they gave me. Jan 8, 2020

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

This part
Oriol Vives wrote:

Anyway, I am finding that the client now is reducing this word count to 21k words due to... repetitions!

I supposed the word count should have been determined and put in writing before you had a mutual agreement to start the work. But I can't see a customer making such "decisions" unilaterally.


I actually have the word count they send me at the start of the project... It wasn't after the job was completed that they told me "We at XXXX count repetitions as follows", and that is when I told them that repetitions apply to translations, not proofreading. Anyway, we are still arguing, but I really don't know why -it is crystal clear to me.


Sheila Wilson
 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Ruse abuse: What the contract reads Jan 8, 2020

Oriol, as you mentioned, it's just a sly 'traditional' dodge many middlemen use to trick the naive, the needy, and the inattentive into servile submission no-critical thinking. I hardly would be surprised to see 'internal/fuzzy letter discounts' jobs


If it's your business, then it's very you who decides--did you read the
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Oriol, as you mentioned, it's just a sly 'traditional' dodge many middlemen use to trick the naive, the needy, and the inattentive into servile submission no-critical thinking. I hardly would be surprised to see 'internal/fuzzy letter discounts' jobs


If it's your business, then it's very you who decides--did you read the contract, consulting a lawyer and amending the terms to your favor, if necessary; didn't you? It doesn't seem so.

And why should you offer 'discounts' at all--gaining what? As an independent businessperson, you can go straight and count words flat (without 'discounts') on your terms, adding services costs as extra (separately).

Price ≠ Value
Wordcount ≠ Translation


Shortly, the 'best rate' should be best for you, so many colleagues offering 'discounts' do it for a certain reason, not just as everyday public practice. Furthermore, smart businessmen can count well, so they reject unfavorable offers with overall rate lower than, say, $0.04/word flat with "freebies" by default.

One really needs to know the absolute bottom, when it's high time to say politely 'Have a nice day!' and just go away.
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Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh dear. Jan 9, 2020

DZiW wrote:

Oriol, as you mentioned, it's just a sly 'traditional' dodge many middlemen use to trick the naive, the needy, and the inattentive into servile submission no-critical thinking. I hardly would be surprised to see 'internal/fuzzy letter discounts' jobs


I didn't mention that. Your word choice is quite slushy, if I may say so.


If it's your business, then it's very you who decides--did you read the contract, consulting a lawyer and amending the terms to your favor, if necessary; didn't you? It doesn't seem so.


Obviously, I didn't consult a lawyer. Do you do that with every assignment and new client you might land, go to your lawyer and consult him/her? I guess I need to learn my lesson and stop trying to help the needy (to put it in your words) of a weekend rush job.


And why should you offer 'discounts' at all--gaining what? As an independent businessperson, you can go straight and count words flat (without 'discounts') on your terms, adding services costs as extra (separately).


I didn't offer any discount - we agreed to a number of words and a rate at the beginning. I am not offering any discount now neither -they are trying to get it now after the job was completed. It is them haggling, not me.

[Edited at 2020-01-09 16:05 GMT]


 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Businesswise: Oh poor! Jan 9, 2020

Oriol, you wrote
...about 60k words. It was a fast-paced, urgent job ... Anyway, I am finding that the client now is reducing this word count to 21k words due to... repetitions!
, which is no win-win deal for sure, putting it mildly.

So, you initially* agreed to ~30% of a rush (+150%-500% for all-out effort rush job), leaving them nicely 70+% pro bono. But why so much--ahem!--philanthropic generosity, I wonder? Such a poor business decision right from the start, alas. They call it exp though.

Obviously, I didn't.
Say what--you (1) didn't read, (2) didn't consult, (3) didn't negotiate/specify, (4) didn't sign a contract, or (5) everything above? ...

Finally, there're at least three (3) problems now:
A) it's all empty words without a signed contract;
B) the price of ANY service rapidly decreases after the delivery; and
C) you have already proved it that you are no equal business party.

Unfortunately, I can't see why exactly they should pay you more now.
Good luck.


As for me, now I work mostly as an interpreter with a few local direct clients only, yet a friend of mine, working as a lawyer, did check my draft, amending a couple of articles to my favor. Yes, I can't really complain for I charge them as decent agencies do--$0.25+/word flat in advance or by installments, why? That's fine with me.


 

Oriol Vives  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:25
Member (2009)
English to Catalan
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A-hem. Jan 9, 2020

DZiW wrote:

Unfortunately, I can't see why exactly they should pay you more now.
Good luck.



Who said anything about paying more. They are haggling with the agreed amount at the beginning of the project, after the project has been delivered. How is this my fault again?

[Edited at 2020-01-09 17:12 GMT]


 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
Don't review reps Jan 9, 2020

I always give discounts on fuzzies/reps in translations, same as I would expect if paying for any service.

In this case, did you review this on a CAT?
If you did, you can set it up to only view reps once, then you can ignore the rest.

If it was a Word document, then they should pay you the whole whack.


 
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