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A word of advice on word count
Thread poster: xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Feb 3, 2005

Today I received a job in two parts from an agency. Since I had done a few jobs for the agency in that particular field, I promptly accepted the job (part 1 for 8,827 words and part 2 for 4,466).

Then I did what I should have done before accepting the work, I counted the words, both with Trados and with SDLX Professional.

It turns out there are 12,624 words (no repetitions) in part 1 and 8,197 words in part 2 (with 204 words repetitions).

When I notified the agency, I gave as an example a file from each part where the word count was way off. They were literally the first files I had looked at.

Now the owner of the agency says except for those two files, her word-counting software never makes any mistakes and she can't correct the POs.

I won't be doing business with that agency anymore, but I would like to warn people to count the words, not take the agency's word for it. You see, one of her arguments is that she's given the same job in six languages and nobody mentioned anything about the word count. I can only assume there are some people out there translating around 8, 000 words for free.


[Edited at 2005-02-04 00:00]

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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2003)
German to English
Reject the work Feb 4, 2005

If the situation is as you describe, why are you continuing the work? As a general rule, the project must meet the specifications as laid out in the PO, within certain reasonable tolerances. Otherwise the PO is invalidated. That big of a discrepancy is certainly outside the tolerances.

Can't issue a new PO? What a lame excuse, shame on the agency!

[Edited at 2005-02-04 09:21]

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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
I had the same experience Feb 4, 2005

Way back, when I was still convinced that people would not try to cheat, a similar thing happened to me. I accepted a job based on a word count of an rtf file (approx. 12.000 words). But the customer asked me to translate the "same" file but in xml format. After working for 3 days like an idiot I started to wonder that I did not make real progress. I than started to check the files. The rtf was indeed 12.000 words, however the xml file contained 80.000 words (no tags counted, pure content). When I confronted the client, an agency, the response was. a.) but you accepted the job. b.) You received the file 4 days ago, what is your problem? I just told them t. f. o.

Since then, I check the files before I accept a job.

It is not just phishing and viruses and trojans, be careful, check the blue board and contribute to the blue board.

Anyway it is carnival, the fifth season in southern Germany.

Helau and Alaaf, Narri-Narro, Rabääh! Rabääh!


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
not too late Feb 4, 2005

You received the job TODAY and accepted it TODAY. TODAY you find out the agency is wrong. So TODAY you say, hey fellas, your count is off. Update the PO or I'm outa here.
You said you're not going to work for them again anyway, so what do you have to lose? They have plenty of time to find someone else to do 8000 words... for free.

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