Same price for all texts
Thread poster: Helena Diaz del Real

Helena Diaz del Real  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:55
German to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 15, 2010

Hi colleagues,

There is an agency, for which I have worked already and that seems to have real interest in working with me. They want me to work with trados, which is not a problem for me either, as I have it.

My problem is that this agency wants me to fill in an excel-sheet with my prices and discounts for repetitions, 100% matches, etc... while working with Trados. In fact this is not a big problem either. The point on it is, that they want me to fill in the excel sheet and the prices I mention should be valid for ALL translations I do for them in the future.

What do you think about this?
How would you handle with it?

It seems to be useless to tell them that I work with a settled price per word and the results of the trados analysis at each translation only helps me to calculate the discounts I make in order to get my settled price. I.e. if I work for 0.1 €/word, it makes no difference how many repetitions or 50% there are, as I always take the end result of given words and multiplicate for my price. And if the agency wants me to make discounts, I calculate them so, that I get my final price of 0.1 € anyway. (I hope it is a little clear what I mean)

I thank you for your thoughts and comments on this!

My best wishes,
Helena


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Pascale Pluton  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:55
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
it is your practice that puzzles me... :-) Jun 15, 2010

Dear Helena,

I have been in business for a bit more than 10 years now and the practice you mention seem very ordinary to me. It is your practice that I do not quite grasp.

In my opinion, the price per word should provide a (in your opinion) decent money for the time spent on a translation. So I see nothing wrong in establishing a discount rate based on the source wordrate that you can apply in a systematic way if the fact that some text repeats allows you to be quicker why not let the client benefit from it?

As a real example, lets take a huge technical manual I received for translation as being the prefered translator for that client of the translation agency

Total source language is 56.065 words, of which 82% are repetitions and only 1500 w to be actually translated. I applied the usual discount and went even further, selling the repetitions for a 'symbolic' 1 cent per word. Even though I did this, I managed to make a very decent earning because the projet was completed in no time. I was happy because I got a decently paid job and the client was happy because he did not have to pay a fortune for such a huge project.

Another upcoming project is the update of a website I already translated. Again, I do not mind granting a discount on something I already did and of which I know it is OK.

If having established a rate per word and a discount rate with the agency, the latter comes to you with a projet that you feel needs to be paid more, you can always try to negociate a higher rate (as long as your arguments are concrete).

Also, as life becomes more expensive, you can always increase your rates once eveny ear while maintaining the discount principle.

I even met direct clients who are aware that there were repetitions in the text and asked for that reason for a discount.

I think the key is to find a rate whith which you are comfortable and which you can use to negociate. It oftens pay off to be pragmatic while trying to preserve your own interests.

Make it feel like it is a collaboration instead of 'who will fuck the other first' (excuse my french but sometimes the general atmosphere can be summed up by this expression), make sure your collaboration is clear from the start, and everybody will win.

Hope this comment will help.
Good luck

[Edited at 2010-06-15 14:40 GMT]


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Rifraf
Local time: 08:55
different prices for different texts Jun 15, 2010

Helena Diaz del Real wrote:
The point on it is, that they want me to fill in the excel sheet and the prices I mention should be valid for ALL translations I do for them in the future.


I would never provide ONE price per word for ALL translations, as texts can differ greatly.
Translating a simple letter takes less time than translating a difficult technical manual and I would therefore use different word prices.


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Mette Melchior  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 08:55
English to Danish
+ ...
Standard rate and higher rate for more specialised assignments Jun 15, 2010

I have also agreed a standard rate with many of the regular clients I work with to avoid having to negotiate the price each time.

However, when settling the standard rate to apply I always stress that higher rates might apply to texts containing a high degree of specialised terminology or which in some other way would be more time-consuming than usual.

I would only agree to always apply the same rate if the rate was at a level which would also compensate for the time spent for more demanding assignments. But that would be an expensive solution for the client if they also get assignments of a more general nature.

Of course it makes most sense to work with a standard rate if the projects you receive from this particular client are more or less similar in terms of difficulty, subject area, etc. but I also know that some people refuse to operate with such framework agreements altogether.

[Edited at 2010-06-15 15:04 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You're not giving discounts, that's what Jun 15, 2010

Helena Diaz del Real wrote:
And if the agency wants me to make discounts, I calculate them so, that I get my final price of 0.1 € anyway.


What this means in practice is that you're not giving any discounts. A discount is not a discount if the overall price is still the same. What you're essentially doing is giving clients a discount but then raising the price on the non-discounted portion of the price, in effect cancelling the discount. If you don't want to give discounts, just say so.


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:55
English to Czech
+ ...
Seconded Jun 15, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Helena Diaz del Real wrote:
And if the agency wants me to make discounts, I calculate them so, that I get my final price of 0.1 € anyway.


What this means in practice is that you're not giving any discounts. A discount is not a discount if the overall price is still the same. What you're essentially doing is giving clients a discount but then raising the price on the non-discounted portion of the price, in effect cancelling the discount. If you don't want to give discounts, just say so.


Exactly my thoughts. Do you think you will really get 25% off for a winter jacket you buy in summer? No. They will sell the jacket at the usual price in summer and add 25% to this price in winter. The only difference is that they call it a SALE in summer.

That's basically what you do, Helena.


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:55
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
IMHO same price for all texts is not such a bad idea. Jun 15, 2010

While it may be advisable to have two prices - one for general and another for specialized translations, I believe in simple solutions and keep one fixed rate for my regular clients. Of course in result some jobs bring me more money per hour and others less but I believe that I don't have to win every time. It is enough if I win often enough.

Look at this issue from your clients perspective - from the point of view of a PM relationship with a translator must be reliable and predictable. Negotiating a new price for each assignment is too time consuming and makes work difficult.

From my experience in the long run it makes sense to earn from time to time less per hour but maintain good relationship with a client and steady flow or work rather than each time haggle over price.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:55
English to Czech
+ ...
Agree Jun 16, 2010

Stanislaw Czech wrote:
Look at this issue from your clients perspective - from the point of view of a PM relationship with a translator must be reliable and predictable. Negotiating a new price for each assignment is too time consuming and makes work difficult.

From my experience in the long run it makes sense to earn from time to time less per hour but maintain good relationship with a client and steady flow or work rather than each time haggle over price.

Best Regards
Stanislaw



Hi Stanislav,
yes, from the outsourcer's point of view, this is definitely true and I couldn't agree more. I believe Helena's problem is a bit different though: she is not talking about rates for general or specialised texts, but rather about how NOT giving discounts for repetitions and fuzzy matches. The agency she's talking about will probably have a little problem with that.


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Helena Diaz del Real  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:55
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much for your help! Jun 17, 2010

Hi colleagues,

first of all, thank you very, very much for your thoughts. You have, indeed, helped me a lot.

I understand what you are trying to say and I also quite agree. I think it's very nice to see how trados opens and closes a bulk amount of already translated segments in a "Ferrari"-like-speed and you just have pressed a key ;o))

The problem is, that the only price I had/have is an average one for all this. Then when it happens what I described before, I earn a lot of money. But almost always, the same outsourcer gives me a job for which I really have to sweat blood to get a good result, with no repetitions at all. And the price is still the same.

And yes, when I put the question I had not in mind that I can now and then arise my prices (once a year or so...). This is something I have already done in the past. And also depending on the difficulty of the text.

At any case, I thank you all very, very much, indeed. You all were a big help.

My best wishes,
Helena

PS. Sorry for the late answer!



[Edited at 2010-06-17 11:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-06-17 11:06 GMT]


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:55
English to Czech
+ ...
Set rates Jun 17, 2010

Hi Helena,
this is what I've done:
1. I've set my basic rate, say at €0.10 per source word no-match
2. I've created a discount matrix for fully and fuzzy matches, say:

- Context Match: 15% my basic rate
- 100% matches and repetitions: 30% my basic rate
- 95 - 99% matches: 40% my basic rate
-
-
- 74% and lower matches: full rate

Then I use the CAT analysis to calculate the entire project price. This is fully transparent and acceptable for all parties involved.

I hope this helps.

[Upraveno: 2010-06-17 11:13 GMT]


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Helena Diaz del Real  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:55
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This is what I thought to do as I read all your comments and thoughts Jun 17, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

this is what I've done:
1. I've set my basic rate, say at €0.10 per source word no-match
2. I've created a discount matrix for fully and fuzzy matches, say:

- Context Match: 15% my basic rate
- 100% matches and repetitions: 30% my basic rate
- 95 - 99% matches: 40% my basic rate
-
-
- 74% and lower matches: full rate


Hi Stanislav,
thank you very much, again, for your very quick answer!
However: What do you mean with "context match"?



Then I use the CAT analysis to calculate the entire project price. This is fully transparent and acceptable for all parties involved.



Yes this is the way I would go: Trados-Analysis is clear for everyone.

And yes, you have helped me a lot. Thank you!

Cheers,
Helena


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:55
English to Czech
+ ...
Context Match Jun 17, 2010

Hi Helena,
the term "Context Match" has been introduced by SDL with the introduction of SDL Trados Studio. Other CAT tools may use other terms: MemoQ, to give an example, uses "101% match".

Basically, this means that the match found in the translation memory is not only a 100% match for the current segment, but that it also fits into the context, i.e. the preceding and the following segments are the same as well.

Theoretically, you wouldn't even need to check this type of match at all (I always do though).


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Helena Diaz del Real  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:55
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Now is clear, thus... Jun 17, 2010

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

Hi Helena,
the term "Context Match" has been introduced by SDL with the introduction of SDL Trados Studio. Other CAT tools may use other terms: MemoQ, to give an example, uses "101% match".

Basically, this means that the match found in the translation memory is not only a 100% match for the current segment, but that it also fits into the context, i.e. the preceding and the following segments are the same as well.

Theoretically, you wouldn't even need to check this type of match at all (I always do though).


Hi again, Stanislav
Now it is clear what is meant. Thank you very much!
However for me it is of not much use, as I don't have this trados-version. But it is always good to know.

My very best wishes for you,
Helena


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