Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
What are "gross words" and "net words"?
Thread poster: Diego Achío

Diego Achío  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:02
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 17, 2015

So I have an issue with a client, a translation agency. They hired me becuase needed to proofread a file that according to my MemoQ has 18,000 words. Yet, they want to apply their word count, which ends up comparing "Gross words" against "Net words".

In their word count it says the file has 18,000 Gross Words but only 15,000 are Net Words.

What are "Gross Words" and "Net Words" in translation?

It is the first time I've ever heard of words being gross or net. I can only assume that these software are taking aside connectors such as "for", "as", etc and taking into account only complete words such as "software" or "medical".


 

Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:02
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
From the Hodja Nasreddin stories: Jul 17, 2015

The Smell of Soup and the Sound of Money

A beggar was given a piece of bread, but nothing to put on it. Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a nearby inn and asked for a handout. The innkeeper turned him away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor. Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of stealing soup.

"I took no soup," said the beggar. "I was only smelling the vapor."
"Then you must pay for the smell," answered the innkeeper.
The poor beggar had no money, so the angry innkeeper dragged him before the qadi. Now Nasreddin Hodja was at that time serving as qadi, and he heard the innkeeper's complaint and the beggar's explanation.

"So you demand payment for the smell of your soup?" summarized the Hodja after the hearing.
"Yes!" insisted the innkeeper.
"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja, "and I will pay for the smell of your soup with the sound of money."

Thus saying, the Hodja drew two coins from his pocket, rang them together loudly, put them back into his pocket, and sent the beggar and the innkeeper each on his own way.

~~~


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 20:02
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Medical translation Jul 17, 2015

Diego Achío wrote:

What are "Gross Words" and "Net Words" in translation?

It is the first time I've ever heard of words being gross or net. I can only assume that these software are taking aside connectors such as "for", "as", etc and taking into account only complete words such as "software" or "medical".


While I cannot reply to your question, the link below gives knowledgebases for the issue in question.

http://blog.fxtrans.com/2009/01/what-is-word.html

Regards,

Soonthon L.icon_biggrin.gif


 

Diego Achío  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:02
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I still don't get it... Jul 17, 2015

Thank you but I'm still looking for a proper explanation. While your website presents the topic with a philosophical approach it still doesn't provides an asnwer. It just kind of tells you "Sorry, get over it".

I really want to understand how these word counters arrive to the conclusion of "Net words" and "gross words" so I can understand and decide whether I am getting paid what I should or I am being a victim of some technique to pay less to LSP and charge more to the client.

What assures me that this agency is not charging the client for the 18,000 gross words and paying me for 15,000 net words?

[Editado a las 2015-07-17 04:25 GMT]


 

Radian Yazynin  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:02
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Ask your client Jul 17, 2015

what they mean by that. The only idea that immediately comes to my mind is that they either have texts with tags that are in the gross amount and *shoudn't* be taken into account or similar "rubbish".
The question is whether they are an obstacle for you to proofread the "net texts", i.e. what appears in between them. So you'd better review the docs first to decide. Maybe you will wish to charge extra for the extra time spent due to such complexity.
Otherwise, for the unpaid 3,000 words "ring the coins {your added value your client wants to receive for free} loudly and put them back into his pocket". If seriously, ask them to exclude those 3,000 words physically to not disturb you.
Indeed, it wouldn't be a reason for haggling if the difference is insignificant, but it is, isn't it?

[Edited at 2015-07-17 05:33 GMT]


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:02
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
100% repetitions within your text. Jul 17, 2015

Diego Achío wrote:

according to my MemoQ has 18,000 words. Yet, they want to apply their word count, which ends up comparing "Gross words" against "Net words".


I've never heard of gross and net words, but if you are proofreading in memoQ, it could be reasonable not to pay for autopropagated segments, i.e., segments that are identical within the same text.
With a difference of 3,000 words, these could be whole sentences, but also numbers in tables, lists, etc.

But I agree with the others, you need to clarify what this means with your client.
Please let us know when you discover.


 

Domenico Torre  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:02
Member (2015)
Arabic to Italian
+ ...
repetitions? Jul 17, 2015

The only answer I can think of is that the text you've been asked to proofread has a certain amount of repetitions, recurring words/expression that your agency is not willing to pay more than once...what do you think?

 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:02
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Net words aka. Weighted word count Jul 17, 2015

Most likely, this is the result of discounting word counts in particular Trados discount categories.
For example if you charge 30% for reps., and there are 100 reps, then that = 30 net/weighted words. Do that for every category in the Trados grid and you get the total "net" words.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:02
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Easy answer Jul 17, 2015

Diego Achío wrote:

What are "Gross Words" and "Net Words" in translation?



"Gross Words" = all the words
"Net Words" = the words for which we're willing to pay you.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:02
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The trouble is that repetitions are hard to skip when proofreading. Jul 17, 2015

Unless the repetitions come in well-defined chunks, they are almost impossible to skip when proofreading.

If you get two letters that are identical, apart from minor details like the names and addresses of the recipients, perhaps the time of an appointment, or some detail llike that...
-- then obviously you would proofread the first carefully, then run the second through MemoQ or the CAT of your choice, and it would only be necessary to check the individual details.

Whole sections are often repeated, and can be skipped or only lightly proofread for continiuty with the rest of the text, but scattered sentences here and there have to be checked every time they crop up.

Even with 100% matches, it is necessary to check whether they are 100% appropriate in a new context. Do the little words fit?

In addition, Nevertheless, In contrast, Furthermore...

Do pronouns still make sense in the new context, or is it necessary to repeat the name/pronoun?
It can be ambiguous who or what is referred to by it/they/he/she etc.
Or the text may flow better if a pronoun is used - when you have just mentioned the company name three times, 'we' or 'the company' may be quite sufficient.

In some languages it is neccessary to check whether endings and inflections still fit...

And so on.

So even if it was quite fair for the translator to give a decduction for the repetitions, it is not always fair to pay the proofreader for the 'net' word count - the repetitions still have to be checked.


 

cranium
French to English
+ ...
Hourly rate Jul 17, 2015

Diego Achío wrote: I really want to understand how these word counters arrive to the conclusion of "Net words" and "gross words"


Please ask them and let us know.

I agree with Rudolph - but how can that apply to proofreading? How are you supposed to know a sentence is a repetition before reading it? Does the agency remove 100% matches and give you "net word" file? In that case, if you do make a correction in one sentence, then the perfect and fuzzy matches will also have to be changed, so I don't get it.

FWIW many of us charge by the hour for proofreading, so the question of word count is moot, except to give a rough estimate.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:02
Member
English to French
Likely Jul 17, 2015

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:
Most likely, this is the result of discounting word counts in particular Trados discount categories.
For example if you charge 30% for reps., and there are 100 reps, then that = 30 net/weighted words. Do that for every category in the Trados grid and you get the total "net" words.


The beauty of it is since you don't have a clue about their "Trados grid"/"discount matrix", net words mean absolutely nothing:

Gross words: 18000, of which 12000 new words and 6000 fuzzies weighted by a "discount" of 50% (ie fuzzies paid 50% of full rate, which is already bad enough)
Net words: 12000 + 6000*50% = 15000

Gross words: 18000, of which 14000 new words and 4000 100% matches weighted by a "discount" of 75% (ie 100% matches paid 25% of full rate)
Net words: 14000 + 4000*25% = 15000

Anyway, paying editing/reviewing/proofreading by the weighted word means that the agency doesn't have a clue about what this task entails (how do I proofread 50% of a sentence or proofread it twice faster) and/or about what a CAT analysis is.

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
...but if you are proofreading in memoQ, it could be reasonable not to pay for autopropagated segments, i.e., segments that are identical within the same text.

Hmmm, reasonable? It can be justified for a series of unrelated sentences (user interface, maybe), but otherwise I find this ridiculous.
Try rereading texts where random sentences are hidden/to be skipped: you lose the thread, can't figure out where that comes from, can't articulate the subject, can't link the reasoning...
Machine dismantling instructions immediately spring to mind. This cover is removed you don't know when, that bolt is secured on a bit you never heard of...
And this is beside the context risk.

In my view, for people who accept to be paid by the word, proofreading.editing/reviewing, should be paid by "gross" word, not "weighted" or "net" word.

Diego Achio wrote:
What assures me that this agency is not charging the client for the 18,000 gross words and paying me for 15,000 net words?

Nothing.
Would you charge more if you knew the company resold your work 10 times the price you sold it? As providers, we should rather focus on charging proper amounts for the time we spend on your own work.

Philippe


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The bottom line Jul 17, 2015

SBlack wrote:
FWIW many of us charge by the hour for proofreading, so the question of word count is moot, except to give a rough estimate.

Philippe Etienne wrote:
As providers, we should rather focus on charging proper amounts for the time we spend on your own work.

A translator can certainly save some time on repetitions and matches; even fuzzy matches occasionally save time. But a proofreader's job is to read every word, whether or not it's been used before, and even if the entire sentence has been used before. And as time taken depends so much on the quality of the writing, it's only sensible to quote on the basis of time taken. The time taken to proofread a well-crafted translation that's been re-read and spell-checked will be vastly less than for one that's been dashed out by someone with a less than perfect grasp of the language/subject and then delivered as is. Why on earth should YOU, the proofreader, earn less (per hour) because the agency has commissioned an incompetent (but probably cheaper) translator? That's totally daft!

Personally, I refuse to quote per word for anything other than translating. I quote clients a maximum amount of time I'll invoice them for. If it takes less, I'll invoice them less - rounded to the next quarter hour - and I'll have a very happy clienticon_smile.gif. If it takes longer, the client is still satisfied as the job cost no more than they'd agreed to pay, although I'm very sad at working for less per houricon_frown.gif. But I accept it as a learning cost - and quote higher next time for a similar job!


 

matt robinson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:02
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Raise your price Jul 17, 2015

I don't see how they could have hired you to proofread the document, without the terms and conditions being clear in advance.
If they asked you to proofread 18,000 words, then 18,000 words it is. As they have changed their request, you can adjust your price accordingly to cover the words you will have to proofread, but they don't want to pay for.
You could ask them to remove the text they don't want you to look at, and perhaps then they will realise what they are asking. If this is a direct client, then they may simply be unaware that translating and proofreading are entirely different tasks.
If it's an agency, then IMO they are just trying it on.

[Edited at 2015-07-17 11:24 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Or... Jul 17, 2015

matt robinson wrote:
If this is a direct client, then they may simply be unaware that translating and proofreading are entirely different tasks.
If it's an agency, then IMO they are just trying it on.

maybe it's an agency that doesn't know what a proofreader's job entails. I've heard so much about agencies that don't know what they're doing that I'll believe anything is possible nowadays. All I know is that I don't work with them.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What are "gross words" and "net words"?

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search