Friday, September 2, 2011

7 Volume and repetition discounts

Click image to enlarge

Based on an idea by Mykhailo Voloshko. Mykhailo is an English - Russian and English - Ukranian translator, engineer, who has already submitted several great ideas for strips.

Do not forget to check his website, which features a compilation of translation humor and books for teaching English to children.


  1. My similar experience is a client that calls in to ask for a budget for a sworn translation. I tell them my price and two days later I received this message:

    "Blah, blah, blah, our approved budget is 50 % of your price. We think the wordcount is correct, but if in the end there are "more letters", we won't be able to pay for them. If you are interested, please issue an invoice with your price with the appropriate discount to match our price."

    My reply:

    "Blah, blah, blah, that's fine. If your budget is 50 % of my price, then I will translate 50 % of your text. If in the end there are more words, I won't be able to translate them."

    I wonder how clients calculate their budgets and why on earth they ask for a quote?

  2. Very good comic and great reply!

    I'll keep it in mind to use it with one of those clients.

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  4. Too funny! We don't get asked for volume discounts very frequently, but when we do, we usually say that after three months of XYZ words per month, we would be able to grant a small discount. We also tell them that translation differs from say, making a widget in the sense that there are no economies of scale. However, it is nice that large projects on the same topic eliminate new research like you'd have to do with newer, smaller projects. :)

  5. Let me tell you this one...
    NOTE: In Italy instead of words we usually count in "cartelle" (pages), 1500 characters each, so the client often simply divide MS Word's count by 1500 (or whatever, sometimes 1350 or 1800)
    A friend of mine's client:
    "12 pages, of course we used the without spaces count"
    My friend:
    "Of course I will not put spaces in the translation"

  6. No volume discounts, no repetition discounts, no Trados. Never ever. As simple as that.

  7. I actually DID once get a 100k word translation, received the associated TM, and found out that the words to be translated were... around 300.
    Luckily I did not cancel any job for that...


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