Applying TM discounts to revision work
Thread poster: Adrian Grant

Adrian Grant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:43
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Aug 23

I've recently been involved in a large revision job in which the agency attempted to apply TM discounts (matches/repetitions) to the revision phase rather than just to the translation phase.
This approach was at first couched in some misleading terminology (new words, compensated words, total words). I would have effectively been receiving payment for just 45,000 words instead of in excess of 80,000 words.
Fortunately I only did the first shortish file before I inquired further about the word count tables sent me, and twigged what was going on.

I've refused to continue the project unless the agency accepts my full rate for all words revised (actually, I might even refuse this now).
I've asked for them to provide some justification for the rationale behind using something (the TM) that (in any normal text) is there solely to offer potential assistance to the translator, not to the reviewer, but unsurprisingly no explanation has been forthcoming.
To illustrate, how does the presence of a 50-74% TM match for possible use by the translator make the job of the reviewer any easier? It all still has to be read and checked as normal.

It's amazing the cheek some agencies have. They even told me it's the company's standard policy when it's clearly not, because I'm simultaneously doing another undiscounted revision for one of the agency's other branch offices.

Has anyone else come across this one?

The bounders!


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
One of my clients asks me to check partial matches extra thoroughly... Aug 23

They pay by the hour, and I don't do a lot of reviewing/editing/proofreading any more, but we are both conscious that although the partial matches may be useful to the translator, they are also a potential source of errors!

I don't know how many times I have accepted a 98 % match as is when translating, because the difference is insignificant. Just apart from the times when it isn't!

In any case, unless there are large chunks of repetitions and the Auto-propagate is working reliably in your CAT tool, you end up re-checking and re-correcting the repeats. (And then you have to check an extra time to make sure you really have done it consistently...)

Repeats do NOT necessarily mean less work for the reviser!


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:43
Member
English to French
80kwords to review are 80kwords to review Aug 24

Adrian Grant wrote:
...It all still has to be read and checked as normal...

Indeed. If you're paid by the word for review (not recommended*), all words should be included.
Do you save time when you reread a 100% match compared to a 0% match? Of course not.
And autopropagation doesn't save time either: a review is also meant to spot instances where autopropagated segments must be changed because of the surrounding text.
Therefore no discounts, ever.
Adrian Grant wrote:
Has anyone else come across this one?...

It's not new. When I didn't know better than complying with agencies' preferences and used to charge reviews by the word, I have experienced this kind of stunt.
It's very easy to explain why I won't do it (see above).

One or both of these reasons can be assumed:
1) They haven't got a clue about what CAT discounts are and where they come from: a 40% discount (ie 60% of full rate) may be justified if you save 40% (and hopefully more) of your time "processing" segments in that bracket (say 85-99% match).
You don't offer discounts only to be nice or because you're asked.

2) They want the review cost to be a fixed percentage of the translation cost, say 30%. Like in manufacturing: painting that sentence costs so much of its cost.
If the translation is CAT-discounted, the review must be CAT-discounted to meet this.

Now imagine the update of a manual with very little changes, where 100% matches are not paid during the translation phase because the customer is oh-so-confident that they're already perfect.
To the reviewer though, they will ask to review the whole manual, while paying them only - and partially - for reviewing the bits that have been changed.
Are we really that stupid?

Philippe

*Word rates for reviewing tasks promote sub-par translations, because a text poorly translated and significantly edited will cost less than a text well translated and left almost untouched at review time:
http://www.proz.com/forum/proofreading_editing_reviewing/316817-determining_rates_for_editing.html#2664646

[Edited at 2017-08-24 08:09 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not checking 100% matches can end up as a nightmare Aug 24

Philippe Etienne wrote:
...
Now imagine the update of a manual with very little changes, where 100% matches are not paid during the translation phase because the customer is oh-so-confident that they're already perfect.
To the reviewer though, they will ask to review the whole manual, while paying them only - and partially - for reviewing the bits that have been changed.
Are we really that stupid?

Philippe



Reminds me of a case many years ago now, when one of my good colleagues and I tried to gang up on the client and insist on checking the whole of the manual, around 60,000 words if I remember rightly. A colleague had translated it, but I had never seen the whole thing all at once. Another colleague had proofread the original text, but left the firm, I think.

The client had sent several revisions over a couple of years, and the translator was not happy about consistency. I was just the proofreader - I did my best, but did not really understand the terminology, especially when it was only served in fragments...

No, said the client, and would not pay for a thorough review, so the translator did her best with the fragments and I only proofread the pages that were paid for.

Until there was a near-accident with the machine that could have been serious... and the client's customer claimed it was due to the manual not being clear. A complaint was immediately sent to the translation agency, who referred it to us.

You can bet we were glad my colleague had tried to warn them! The client did then pay my colleague and a more technically minded proofreader to go through the entire manual after all. I'm glad I was not asked to do it, or I may have turned it down - it was not my ballpark. But I still shudder...


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