Word count file unlike translation file
Thread poster: Peter Sass

Peter Sass
Germany
Local time: 13:52
Member
English to German
+ ...
Jun 10, 2013

Hi colleagues,

After finishing a translation project, I noticed that the word count of the translation file differed substantially from the word count in the PO. Upon my query I was told that the PM had erased a large number of segments consisting of URLs considered as 'non-translatables' and used this file for the word count, while sending (only) the original file for translation.

Since I was given neither the amended file for translation nor any instruction about not touching any 'non-translatables', I processed the URL segments in Trados Studio as usual, i.e. by copying + confirming them.
Hence I take it that the segments erased from the word count file ought to be included in the word count like any other target-same-as-source segments (e.g. numbers, names).
In general, I'd think the file used for a word count should also be the one used for translation - or is there another view on this?

Many thanks in advance for your feedback on this,

Peter



[Bearbeitet am 2013-06-10 15:47 GMT]


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:52
English to Polish
+ ...
It depends Jun 10, 2013

Peter, it depends. I have a low regard of CAT discounts. This is because some years ago there was a per-page rate that was basically the equivalent of weight units for some goods and time units for some services. Its goal was to assess the quantity and price accordingly.

These days, CAT analyses are used to fish out and deduct even the natural level of self-repetition or internal similarities within a text. Which is basically like telling an interpreter that he should be paid less for the moments of silence required by punctuation or by silence of the speaker. Or the time when the interpreter made use of his cup of water.

Totally unjustified? Perhaps not. Cheap? Heck yeah.

In the light of current perceptions in the 'industry', there are enough grounds to argue for the justice of the agency's request. On the other hand, POs should be adhered to. This is not only a matter of should you be paid for something or not, it's also a matter of reliance. For example, you might have accepted a lower-than-normal base rate in reliance on the knowledge that there would be no discounts for repetitions etc., so that you would come out even. Unilaterally adjusting your PO disturbs that balance. It also disturbs the contractual balance of the parties because it allows the agency not only to reduce the scope of your already confirmed job order unilaterally but also to reduce your payment by way of a unilateral correction.

Also, as between grown men: who cares what the PM deleted and didn't tell you about?

I'd think long and hard about co-operating with such an agency due to potential risks in the future. That unilateral mentality of my interests come before everything else including contracts already made does not bode too well for future co-operation, especially when real problems arise and more subjective issues become potentially contentious.


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njweatherdon
Canada
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
I would ... Jun 10, 2013

.. send an invoice on the basis of the original PO and remind the PM that people who arbitrarily change agreed upon terms will have a difficult time accessing decent translators through this site.

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Peter Sass
Germany
Local time: 13:52
Member
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot Jun 10, 2013

...for both your comments, especially your elaborate one Łukasz.
Just to clarify, the PO I was sent was based on the file with the 'reduced' word count, so it is me actually who strives to adjust the PO to the correct word count of the translation file.

Technically, the PO may constitute the contract agreed upon, but this is based on the assumption that the word count stated therein - unless any further information/instruction is given - relates to the actual translation file and not some other 'version' of it. Would you agree?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:52
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It is your job to check the word count before starting the work Jun 10, 2013

Peter,
Do I understand correctly that you were given a file for translation, and at the same time you were given a PO that stated the word count for the job?
If yes, you should have checked the actual word count of the actual file against what was stated on the PO, BEFORE you started translating the file.
You would have seen the discrepancy then, and could have clarified the issue in time.
It is normal practice to check the wordcount, even if it is a long-term client with no previous problems.

(If you received the PO after you finished the translation, then it is a different story.)

While I completely disagree with the practice of the PM (and I could list a few adjectives describing it), you should have checked the PO and the file beforehand.
As it stands now, you accepted the PO, and after that, nobody cares what process you used to complete the job. You could try talking to the agency (the PM first, then his/her boss), but I would not count on an adjustment, given the situation.

Next time, please check everything that pertains to the job, do not trust what the other party says - they could simply be making a mistake. Discuss anything that is unclear or questionable right away. Do not assume that vague points will be understood the same way by all parties.

I am sorry that this happened to you, but you could have prevented it.
Katalin


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:52
English to Polish
+ ...
I would but... Jun 11, 2013

Peter Sass wrote:

...for both your comments, especially your elaborate one Łukasz.
Just to clarify, the PO I was sent was based on the file with the 'reduced' word count, so it is me actually who strives to adjust the PO to the correct word count of the translation file.

Technically, the PO may constitute the contract agreed upon, but this is based on the assumption that the word count stated therein - unless any further information/instruction is given - relates to the actual translation file and not some other 'version' of it. Would you agree?


I would, but I'm not sure the court would as well. Might as well say you checked it, confirmed it, sealed the deal.

What I do in such situations is unfailingly point out any such discrepancies until they stop creating any. Whether I actually get paid for the right word count (or character count) is a secondary concern, I just want them to know that I know. After two or three such situations anybody should be concerned for his image.


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Word count file unlike translation file

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