CAT tools terminology - What is a Fuzzy match?
Thread poster: Tamara Zahran

Tamara Zahran  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
English to Arabic
May 10, 2004

What is a Fuzzy match?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-05-11 03:49]


Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
Italian to English
It's a "nearly" match May 10, 2004

When you are translating, the CAT tool searches your translation memory to find strings that are similar to the one you are working on.

It may find a string that is identical (this is called an "exact match"). If the string recovered is not quite the same, it is a "fuzzy match".

Here are the definitions from the Trados and Deja Vu manuals, which you can download from the appropriate websites:

Fuzzy Match
A similar, but not identical, match to the
source segment is found in the translation

Deja Vu
A fuzzy match is a source sentence that only partially matches the sentence being sought.



[Edited at 2004-05-10 14:36]

[Edited at 2004-05-10 14:37]


Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
German to English
+ ...
just an inexact match May 10, 2004

An exact match is an identitcal match, which in the CAT context means that an exact (letter for letter, word for word) match to the sentence or phrase to be translated is found in the transltion memory.

A fuzzy match means that something is found in the translation memory that is similar to the phrase or sentence to be translated, but not identical (the idea being that you can change the parts that are different in the translation and still be better off than translating the whole sentence or phrase anew.


Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
English to German
+ ...
It is a business secret Feb 1, 2005

The exact definition of fuzzy match (i.e. how the percentage of similarity between two sentences is calculated) is a business secret of each CAT vendor.
They agree only in the definition of 100%-matches and repetitions.


Luiz Barucke
Local time: 14:39
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
For example Jul 5, 2018

A fuzzy match happens when a segment in source copy is almost like another segment either in translation memory (TM), in the same source copy or in another document of a same project (when project has more than a document).

For example:

Segment 1:
CAT tools terminology - What is a Fuzzy match?

Segment 2:
CAT tools terminology / What is a Fuzzy match?

Except for "-" and "/", these segments repeat same terms.

To calculate fuzzy matches, CAT tool generally applies a 75% rate of repetition, but some CAT tools allow you to set another % rate. Personally, I like to set 60% to leverage more content from my local TM.

[Editada em 2018-07-05 12:34 GMT]


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Tamara Jul 5, 2018

Luiz Barucke wrote:
A fuzzy match happens when...

I wonder if Tamara is still wondering what a fuzzy match is, after all these years (her question is from 2004).

[Edited at 2018-07-05 15:57 GMT]

John Fossey

English to Russian
+ ...
a likelihood "know-how" Jul 6, 2018

Opposite to what overly protective CAT vendors say, not-exact "fuzzy" matching is not the secret life of computer-aided translation, but a relatively simple hashing at a phrase level, coupled with a many-to-one database. Nowadays in a simplified framework it's a feasible project under some $15, yet may require tweaking for better speed-to-quality ratio.


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CAT tools terminology - What is a Fuzzy match?

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