100% matches
Thread poster: Anil Gidwani

Anil Gidwani  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:54
German to English
+ ...
May 11, 2009

I recently worked on a large annual report project which used a TM, and ran headlong into the 100% matches problem for the first time. I am aware this topic has been discussed umpteen times already, but it's one of those issues that simply begs a revisit...

Given the poor quality of some TMs, it is quite conceivable for a TM to throw up 100% matches that need to be reworked extensively. In such cases, "industry-standard" Trados matrix rates are insufficient to compensate for the effort of essentially re-translating such segments.

Based on what I've been able to gather from the large number of earlier posts on this topic, there are several approaches to dealing with the issue:

  1. Do not accept projects that involve a large number of 100% matches.

    • One can lose out on commercially attractive projects that include 100% matches.

  2. Accept projects with 100% matches that are based on your own TMs alone.

    • That would be ideal, but in the real world, we do have to work with TMs from unknown sources.

  3. Accept projects with 100% matches that are based on reliable TMs only.

    • How does one find out that a TM is reliable, short of going through every segment?

  4. Accept projects with 100% matches that are based on TMs from known colleagues.

    • Can one ask the client for the source of the TM?

  5. Charge a higher rate for 100% matches, say 40% or even 50%.

    • How many clients and agencies agree to such rates, especially since they vary so much from "industry-standard" rates?

  6. Charge by the hour for editing 100% matches.

    • How many clients and agencies agree to such a pricing strategy?

  7. Review 100% matches for semantic correctness

    • The translation may be semantically correct but idiomatically clumsy, and once you've submitted the translation, you essentially inherit the liability for a poor if semantically correct translation from a 100% match.

  8. Review 100% matches for semantic correctness and idiomatic suitability.

    • Takes more time than the rates allow for, necessitating a discussion with the client.

Most TMs I've worked with thus far have been of good to excellent quality, and option G has always worked best. It therefore came as a complete surprise that a TM, especially a TM for an annual report, was of such poor quality that strategy H would have been the preferred strategy.

From now on, I think I'll be going with option F for projects with a large number of 100% matches.

Would you have any other alternatives for dealing with 100% matches? And which alternative would you rate the best?


Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:24
Japanese to English
50% stink May 11, 2009

50% or more of 100% matches in TMs I receive stink. Most documents encoded in Trados in the J>E pair seem to carry a horrible legacy akin to a genetic disorder which is expressed in every generation of the document.

One option in this case is to ask the client to apply the 100% matches themselves before they give you the document, or to export the non-matching segments for you translate. This absolves you of direct complicity in the horror, and might save you time.

I should note that I've never taken this course, yet. Most of my clients wouldn't know how to do it, and probably wouldn't recognize the need. So in cases where matrix rates apply, I generally look at the job as a whole and make a rough calculation about how much 100% match remediation will set me back timewise. In most cases, these kind of jobs work out fairly profitable anyway, if not entirely satisfying.


Laerte da Silva  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:24
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Trados rates and 100% matches May 11, 2009

To settle the Trados rate matter for once and for all, I have raised my rates and give 10% discount for non-Trados jobs.

As to matches, if I am not paid to work on them, I will not, and supposedly they are client-approved translations. At best, I will advise the client and provide supporting examples, who will be free to hire me or go to someone else.

Additionally, I will accept Trados rates only if analysis memory is provided and is specific and valid for the job text or from the second job on on the same subject and for the same kind of text.



Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:24
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
B is the best May 11, 2009

Indeed many translation memories are appalling when we receive them. We work with them for some time and after we have spent a long while fixing others' errors we suggest the customer to use our own memory exclusively. This has produced good results with several customers and after some months it makes sense to switch to one's memory.


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