Corinnie shared insightful observations on TM discounts. I’d like to follow up a bit on the same issue as well. Computer assisted translation tools (CAT) usually takes quite a while to learn. Trados, the most popular CAT software, for example, really has a deep learning curve. I can still remember printing out book length manuals, just to get started. Corinnie pointed out that since us translators spend and invest a lot on computers, CAT software, and the time spent learning, upgrading and maintaining them, but when it comes to the benefits of all these hard work, it’s a bit unfair to provide discounts on them. Otherwise, what’s the incentive for translators to use such tools in the first place. I know there are very good English to Chinese translators who are very anti-CAT.
I have two reason not to provide discounts on TM. First of all, if the quality of TM is not very high, even 100% matches still needs to be read carefully, and often times 80% matches requires not 20% of time, but could be as difficult, if not more difficult, to translate as no match. In addition, if translation agencies do not offer TM discounts to their end clients, why should they ask for discounts from translators?