100% Match and Internal Repetition Rate. Part 2


April 1st, 2010, Roman Mironov

This is the 2nd part of the post. Part 1.

Reasons Not to Charge Full Rate

3. Translators who prefer full compensation also maintain that they invest a lot in translation memory software and related training to make it possible to process 100% matches and repetitions with less effort. Because of this personal investment, it is they who should reap the full benefit, not the client. As a translator myself, I think that they are correct to some degree, but the reality dictates otherwise:

  • This logic could apply when the TM tools were just introduced to the market. Now, they are an inherent part of the translation industry. A translator is often forced to buy them to work on the specific types of jobs, because otherwise they will not be able to accept such jobs at all. It is not therefore a genuine investment in the sense that you put your own money into optimising your own work, but simply a mandatory requisite just like a PC or phone. Trying to keep all benefits of this software to yourself by labeling it as your investment means resisting progress in the industry where many peers and clients use it routinely. It is now a common technology, and, as such, its benefits should be shared by all parties to the translation process. For example, many clients put additional effort into writing consistently and should share the resulting savings as a compensation of this effort. (I understand though that some translators do, and will continue to, charge full rate for individual and completely justified reasons.)
  • The clients become increasingly aware of both repetitions in their documents and the translation memory capabilities, therefore expecting discounts, as they do not see why they should pay the same price for identical text. And I find this fair, because it is a healthy consequence of the technological progress.

What if Client Prefers Not to Pay

  1. Generally, Velior requests that 100% matches and repetitions be compensated. When a client asks to automatically process them without checking, there is often a risk of mistranslations, and we do not want any flaws in our translation, even if they happen through no fault of ours. For this reason, such requests are honoured on an exception basis only.
  2. In these situations, we ask the client to extract the 100% matches and repetitions into a separate file, which includes only a single occurrence of each match/repetition. After the translation, the client can use this file to assemble a final translation. Again, there is always a high risk of mistranslations. Normally, such assembled translation should be proofread. Otherwise, the quality will likely decrease.
  3. Translation agencies also use the “Perfect Match” technology to insert 100% matches only when the current context is identical to the context, in which they were originally translated. While this technology indeed brings client-side efficiency and cost-effectiveness, it often has drawbacks from a translator’s perspective. The translator normally needs to have control over the entire text, while this technology lets them work just on parts of the text. They do not see a “big picture” and also cannot change the existing translation (either because it is blocked, or they have little motivation to do so, as this work is not compensated). This reduces the translator’s efficiency and quality.

Notes

  1. Generally, Velior does not provide discounts for any matches with the translation memory created by someone else, because we cannot be sure about the quality of those translations. They may contain errors that will reappear in the current translation and eventually become our responsibility. Such jobs are subject to negotiation on a case-by-case basis.
  2. The match and repetition discounts do not apply to editing or proofreading, because these services are designed to check the entire text, hence matches and repetitions give little or no time savings.
  3. Interestingly, our main language combination, English to Russian, yields much more repetitions than the Russian to English translation, which can be mainly attributed to more complex and diverse grammar and punctuation rules in the Russian language.

To save money with our great discounts, ask us to provide a free quote for English to Russian translation.

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