Discounts for Repetitions in Translations

As we saw in a previous post, there is a series of factors that determines the possibility for applying discounts to translation services. In this case, I would like to focus a little more on the reductions that result from the use of assisted translation tools.

Adequately managing the volume of work is essential to determine the time that will be necessary for completing a specific translation. In many cases, the time invested in the translation work is proportional to the number of words to be translated. This provides us, in general terms with four classes of words.

Types of Words

  • New: words that are part of sentences that have to be translated for the first time.
  • Fuzzy matches: words that are part of sentences that have already been translated in the translation memory.
  • Full matches: words that are already translated in the memory and, therefore, do not need to be translated again. These are similar to repetitions, see below, but instead of being located in the document(s) of the current translation project, they are located in the pre-existing translation memory.
  • Repetitions: words that are part of sentences that are repeated in the text.

Working with assisted translation tools means that the effort and time that translators must invest in their work is directly related to the level of coincidence with the content of the TM (translation memory): the more the text to be translated is similar to the text in the memory, the effort will “supposedly” be smaller and the translation work will be easier.

This concept is directly reflects in the application of rates that correspond to the different types of words, i.e. the greater the level of coincidence (e.g. a high number of partial repetitions or fuzzy matches), the less the client will pay for the translation. Since, in theory, the translator’s work is less if there are a high percentage of sentences with a high content of repetitions in the TM, the final time involved shall also be less, thus optimizing the time used on the work and creating space for a reduction of the costs for translations.

Though the percentage of the discount according to the type of word can vary from one company to another, the following is a common pricing scheme:

  • Fuzzy matches: discount of 50 – 66% of the price for new words
  • Repetitions and full matches: discount of 25 – 33% of the price for new words

This ability to rely on translation tools to make the job quicker, easier, and more accurate allows agencies to also offer quicker turnaround times, unity of terminology, and prices that are more appealing for clients.