Trados Word Count - How do you charge?
Thread poster: Dahsom Hamilton, Ph.D.

Dahsom Hamilton, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:57
Member (2006)
English to Korean
+ ...
Sep 19, 2007

I'm new to Trados. When your rate is $.17 per word, how much do you charge for repetition? .05 per word?

Below is my log file after analyzing the original file (in English) in Trados. Does the count of unique words 785 with total count 796? So, repeatd word count is 11?

Please help. Thanks!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
It's up to you Sep 19, 2007

How you charge for your work is nobody else's business. You must decide how much work you have with these repetitions. It's the final sum that's important.
Regards
Heinrich


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Heinrich Sep 19, 2007

It's up to you. There are no hard and fast rules, although some agencies will try and convince you otherwise and produce all types of weird and wonderful sliding scales.

Conversely some translators will argue till they are blue in the face there is no scope ever for discounts and try and make you feel like a traitor for "crossing the picket line" and giving them.

Business isn't that black and white.

I personally wouldn't be wasting time with discounts for 11 words repeated in a document of 796 words and would simply charge my full rate. If someone wanted to split hairs over 11 words, I'd send them packing.

However, by way of illustration, I did a job in excess of 450,000 words with over 90% repetitions (can't remember the exact number) earlier this year. Obviously there was room for negotiation. I worked out a deal that paid me handsomely for my time - simple as that.

Bottom line: make the tool work for YOU.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2007-09-19 17:51]


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Word count is word count! Sep 19, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

Bottom line: make the tool work for YOU.



Personally, I am completely against charging less for repetitions.

In my opinion, being asked for a discount for repeated words in Trados is just like being asked for a discount for "short" words such as "a, the, he, etc."

Likewise: Do you charge more for terminology or words and phrases it takes you a while to research?

Also, if the client is not asking for a discount, why give it?

I believe that this idea of charging less for repetitions was originated by contractors who are looking for ways to earn more while paying the translator less. This is clear, as they are the ones who know about Trados and how it works. Has a direct client ever asked you if you used Trados?

Trados is a tool to make the translator more efficient, and it is a tool FOR the translator.

Did translators start charging less when they began using electric typewriters, word processors or a computer?


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 03:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
Actually, yes Sep 19, 2007

Heidi C wrote:

Likewise: Do you charge more for terminology or words and phrases it takes you a while to research?



As a lawyer, most of my time translating is logically taken up with translating legal texts. But I have a rate for what I classify, according to my own criteria, as general, semi-specialised and specialised legal texts.

Those requiring a lot of research obviously fall into the last category and are priced accordingly.

I judge a job on its particular merits, not with blinkers on about word counts, because everything boils down to what I effectively earn per hour - whether that's translating, revising or mainstream legal work.


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Value of work done Sep 20, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

I judge a job on its particular merits, not with blinkers on about word counts, because everything boils down to what I effectively earn per hour - whether that's translating, revising or mainstream legal work.


Exactly, that makes perfect sense: if you are translating a highly specialized text, your rate will be higher. Not only because it will take you more time to do; even if it takes you the same time, you are providing a service that not many people can do.

That is the thing with translating and maybe why translators feel "guilty" or bad when it comes to charging for their work:
You are doing something you love or highly enjoy, you are good at it, and it may be easy for you. Does that make it worth less?? Should someone who doesn't enjoy it, for whom the work is difficult and takes more time doing it be entitled to charge more?


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Stevo Perisic
Local time: 22:57
English to Bosnian
+ ...
That's a forbidden question :) Oct 8, 2007

Hey, man I have asked a similar question here, and people got all mad at me, so I suggest to charge whatever You feel like.
Just as long as you're making some money at the end.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:57
English to German
+ ...
Not at all Oct 8, 2007

Not a "forbidden question" at all - but one that only the asker can really answer.


Just as long as you're making some money at the end.

That's it, in a nutshell - the weighting you apply to a word count in a given match range depends on how much time you save, compared to a new translation. Obviously, this isn't a static value (which is why I refuse to quote weightings as a general value), but depends on the type of text, file type, and particularly on the quality of the reference material provided.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Charge for complete word count, market value Oct 8, 2007

Find out what the market value for a translation is (I think THAT is the forbidden question)

Economics 101, Chapter 1: Supply and demand.

What are agencies charging end clients? (I'm sure the agency isn't giving the end client a discount for using Trados: I'm sure the client doesn't even know what Trados is).

You can charge the end client this amount (and if you are really good, you can actually charge more by making the fact that you are not an agency a selling point: personalized deals, your credentials, direct contact, and they know who did the work)

If you work for an agency: figure out how much the difference between what they are paying you and the direct client would pay you is worth to you. What amount or percentage do you consider worth your time in exchange for the service the agency is providing YOU?

Charge whatever you can get away with.

If a certain type of text will take you a shorter time to do than another, GOOD FOR YOU!! You shouldn't charge less, charge what the client accepts. And get more of these texts!!!


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Caroline Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:57
Chinese to English
+ ...
Precisely! Oct 9, 2007

It's like I saw on someone's website once when explaining to potential clients why they don't give discounts for using a CAT tool, " Did you pay for my software?"

Of course not! So, why should the client get a return on your investment?

Tools like TRADOS help us work smarter not harder. If we can find ways to do the job faster, good for us!


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