Hidden, not agreed to "Trados discounts" applied
Thread poster: PCovs

Local time: 01:30
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Aug 27, 2010

I know this may not seem like a scam in the ordinary sense, and perhaps this post should be relocated, I don't know, but this whole thing has nonetheless left a foul taste in my mouth.

The other day I responded to at job posting here at ProZ stating solely my per word rate, nothing else.
I was awarded the job quite fast, actually so fast that I got this stingy feeling, like I should be forewarned. I immediately took to the Blue Board to tripple check this company. Very good ratings indeed - no worries.

I am then sent the documents for translation, reference documents, a PO and log files. There are many files.
I check out the PO - it states about the same number of words as originally discussed, and it states my per word rate and the total. All's well.

I start working...and working...and working, and I realise that there must be something wrong with the word count, because - although there are many 100% matches, the documents seem to add up to much more than the originally discussed word count (one can tell after 10 years).

I check the PO again - nothing suspicious.
I then find some log files - and then I see what this is all about. The log files are not merely analyses of the documents - they show the exact Trados breakdown used to size down the actual number of words to the number of words appearing on my PO!

This, I never agreed to, it wasn't even discussed! The client never mentioned this nor asked for discounts or the likes. The PO says nothing whatsoever to this effect! I am baffled to say the least.

Immediately I write the client about this matter (politely, naturally) asking for a revised PO.
No answer.
A couple of hours later, I write a reminder - no answer.

Later yet, I write to advise that a postponed deadline will now be needed, as I have had to stop working on this project until this matter is cleared up - nothing!

In my fourth email I demand an answer before midnight, or else the whole deal is off without further notice.

This must be just about the weirdest thing I have ever encountered.
Since this company has excellent ratings, I am left thinking, that this company uses these tactics all the time, but nobody notices?

I only noticed because the job in itself was rather large, but the number of words left out by this company's calculation was about the same.

Worst thing is that I cannot leave a BB rating, since I cannot really say I worked for this company, can I?

This is so sad and annoying, but it should remind all of us not simply to take the client's word for it when it comes to price and word calculations.

Happy translating out there!


Ricardo Horta  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You have the PO... Aug 27, 2010

...you have the files, you have the e-mails, you have some of the work done... I'd say you have the right to make a BB entry, but you should ask that to the site admins.



Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:30
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Happy Trados counting Aug 27, 2010

It must have taken professional word counters about a week to find out that you can pretranslate a batch of documents with a TM and translate them once again to get more 'internal fuzzy matches'. Is that the counting method you're referring to?

It took the professional word counters some years to come up with a method to propagate source to target and reapply the resulting TM to get fuzzy matches for segments that had never been translated. Are you referring to that practice?

I've never used Trados for an actual translation but I've received Trados word counts where XTranslation had been used. XTranslate is not a 'scam', it's a legitimate Trados tool to make professional word counters happy. I've never bothered to find out why. Are you complaining about Xtranslate logs?

My advice:
Always analyse the files again yourself.
Always base your throughput on the total amount of words you count yourself; do not distract any time because of other people's matches and fuzzies.

Given the fact that you didn't timely check the logs you received and presuming the PO refers to them, your case is not as strong as you might think.

I wrote this message because you're sad and annoyed about something that shouldn't have happened. I once had to work until early daylight because I hadn't double checked the client's log files.



Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:30
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Translation agencies have sophisticated ways of business Aug 28, 2010

"Translation agencies have sophisticated ways of business." I learned of this fact when dealt with a big translation agency. Its knowledge on CAT tools is far more deep than I had ever expected. I ignored special remarks of log files since it was not clear what it was about. And I got struct. The invoice to the agency was discounted badly. I learned that an agency has more potential, resources and systems to run a stable business a freelancer never has since it has been "organized". Dear PCovs, your experience should be a very bitter, but valuable basis for you in the long run.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


Romeo Mlinar  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:30
English to Serbian
+ ...
I don't quite understand Aug 28, 2010

PCovs wrote:
I then find some log files - and then I see what this is all about. The log files are not merely analyses of the documents - they show the exact Trados breakdown used to size down the actual number of words to the number of words appearing on my PO!

Could somebody explain this into more details? How can an agency "size down" the number of words in a document? I am aware of percentage discounts due to TM repetitions, but I'm confused now. Thanks.


Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Dutch to English
+ ...
Use your tools to YOUR advantage Aug 28, 2010

I would simple take the unknown segments out of the document, translate those and return a memory containing just those segments. Then I would invoice based on the PO. That is what they want, that is what they get. Finished. Issues such as layout and whether the 'old' TM is any good is their problem if they are not willing to pay.


Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
Romanian to English
+ ...
I disagree, Gerard Aug 28, 2010

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Given the fact that you didn't timely check the logs you received and presuming the PO refers to them, your case is not as strong as you might think.


Considering that the PO indicated a word count and a price for that word count, without specifying how that word count was generated, it is quite fair for the asker to translate that exact amount (she'd be in full compliance with the PO, wouldn't she?), or proceed as she did: warn the agency that something is wrong with the PO. Giving Trados discounts is not or should not be a self-evident "obligation" of the translator.

Indeed she should have checked the documents herself, but let's say she discovered the different word count before starting to translate, and asked the client about the issue when she realized the difference. It is her right to receive an answer in due time. If the client didn't bother answering her inquiries, it is absolutely logical for her to proceed as she *thinks* she should, based on the PO. "Oh sorry, I thought you only wanted the new segments, as the PO only states those".

Besides, there is NO excuse for not replying to her e-mails.


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