Cheating on word-count
Thread poster: Kristian Madar

Kristian Madar  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 21:49
Member (2008)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Feb 13, 2012

I was assigned with a large assignment which said - 24 500 no match, and 10 000 repetitions (analysis done on trados 2009).

After a couple of days I made my own analysis on trados 2007 (nobody told me that I have to work using trados 2009) it said 30 000 no match and 7000 repetitions.

When asked, the client said that : “In trados 2009 to have the final net word count You must substract balises from Transposables and then substrcat the result to the Total number of words and this for each line"


is this true? How is it possible that the final word is still 2500 words more with my analysis?
I have a feeling this is a rip off.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:49
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My opinion Feb 13, 2012

Are you sure you are assuming good faith on the part of your customer? They are trying to explain why their wordcount is different than yours. Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong, but in any case good faith should be assumed in any business dealing.

If you have proof that this is not a reliable business partner, wouldn't it be better to reject the job instead of assuming bad faith in the transaction?


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:49
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Wordcounts Feb 13, 2012

Kristian Madar wrote:
When asked, the client said that : “In trados 2009 to have the final net word count You must substract balises from Transposables and then substrcat the result to the Total number of words and this for each line"


I am not sure what you mean by "Transposables"? Maybe you mean "Placeables"?

Anyway, the wordcount should be exactly what is shown in the "Total" row - other provisions have to be expressly stated. Subtracting anything is definitely not standard and should be specifically agreed upon.

On the other hand, the Trados 2007 result is rather irrelevant - different programs give different wordcounts. If you agreed on Trados 2009 analysis, that should be the basis for the calculation.


[Edited at 2012-02-13 12:25 GMT]


 

Cheng Peng  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:49
Member (2010)
English to Chinese
+ ...
it's hard to say Feb 13, 2012

different cat tools may give different word counts. try using some other tools to count words to see if it is the case.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No need to fiddle with the counts Feb 13, 2012

Jabberwock wrote:
Kristian Madar wrote:
When asked, the client said that : “In trados 2009 to have the final net word count You must substract balises from Transposables and then substrcat the result to the Total number of words and this for each line"

Anyway, the wordcount should be exactly what is shown in the "Total" row - other provisions have to be expressly stated. Subtracting anything is definitely not standard and should be specifically agreed upon.


I also don't know what "balises" and "transposables" are, but my opinion is that if a CAT tool like Trados is specified, and a word count is given, it should be the word count that the tool gives without having to further process the figures.

Is it possible that the client regards 100% matches and repeats as something that should both be treated as "repeats"?

After a couple of days I made my own analysis on trados 2007 (nobody told me that I have to work using trados 2009)...


The fact that you were able to do the translation in Trados 2007 tells me that the files that the client had sent you are not Trados 2009 files but source files. This means that your version of Trados extracted the text according to rules that may be different from the rules of Trados 2009. Perhaps the placeables also have something to do with it, since in Trados 2009 certain types of formatting is not marked up with tags but in WYSIWIG, whereas in Trados 2007 that formatting is coded as tags, which may affect the word count too.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There are always differences Feb 13, 2012

Hello Kristian,

I don't think I've ever counted a reasonably-sized text using two different methods and arrived at exactly the same answer. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if MS-Word gave me one result one day and another on another day (though I wouldn't be happy). And I doubt very much that counts from Word 95, 2007 etc would all be equal.

So, wordcount is something we have to get absolutely clear before starting work. With a direct client, it's simply a case of saying "I make the wordcount nnn words", but agencies often tell you their version. It's then up to you to see if you agree, and maybe negotiate, before accepting the job. You are never obliged simply to accept their count.

I don't personally insist on using my wordcount if there's a small difference - maybe the next text will show a difference in my favour. But if I think they are "doctoring" things to get more translation for less pay, then I will query the count, and if necessary I'll refuse the job. I don't work well in those circumstances. I don't know anything about Trados wordcounts, but I must say that this:
“In trados 2009 to have the final net word count You must substract balises from Transposables and then substrcat the result to the Total number of words and this for each line"
makes the alarm bells ring for me. Are they saying that they performed this calculation on every line of such a large source text?icon_rolleyes.gifI think not!!! However, it is really too late to expect them to change anything now. Only if more words are added do you have a right to increase the amount invoiced.

Sheila


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:49
French to German
+ ...
"Balises"... Feb 13, 2012

is French for "tags".

It has been said more than once that Studio deals with tags and "transposables" (placeables, I assume) vs. words in a rather curious way... and that the results are not in favour of translators.


 

Dr. Matthias Schauen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:49
Member
English to German
Placeables, tags, words Feb 13, 2012

My attempt to translate what the client tried to say:

To have the final net word count, one has to look at the Trados analysis and, for each line of the analysis [ i.e. for 100% matches, 99-95% matches, etc.], substract the number of tags from the number of placeables [to get the number of non-tag placeables, because these are counted as words, while tags are not] and substract this from the word count.

So the client is not only not willing to pay you for copying and placing the tags (which are not part of the 2009 word count anyway), but also does not want to pay you anything for copying, placing and correcting the placeables (numbers, dates, etc.).

In my opinion, if you agreed on using the analysis done on Trados 2009, you should be entitled to invoice the actual word counts from 2009, without any "corrections".

I found the following blog article that explains the way 2009 counts words, tags and other placeables quite clearly (it actually cites Paul from SDL, who explains it quite clearly).
http://www.translationtribulations.com/2011/08/understanding-sdl-trados-studio-text.html

[Edited at 2012-02-13 15:13 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Chisellers Feb 14, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

... in any case good faith should be assumed in any business dealing.


I totally agree, without trust and good faith there can be no solid footing for business of any kind. If I can afford it, I avoid this kind of ratty, grasping clients like the plague.

[Edited at 2012-02-14 11:43 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Thanks, Matthias Feb 14, 2012

Kristian Madar wrote:
When asked, the client said that: In Trados 2009, to have the final net word count, you must substract [Tags] from [Placeables], and then substract the result from the total number of words...


Thanks to the link sent by Matthias, I now understand the Trados 2009 word count (it is not that different from most other CAT tools) and I also understand what the client is trying to say.

In the Trados 2009 count, tags are a special type of placeables, and all placeables are counted as one word in the total word count. This client of yours does not want to pay for placeables but he is willing to pay for tags (which is a bit silly). In the normal Trados 2009 word count, placeables are counted as one word each, but your client wants them to count as no words.

Using Trados 2009's word count would only make sense if you use Trados 2009 for the translation, because what Trados 2009 might count as one word, another tool might count as several words. For example, a date like "Monday, January 1, 2001" is a single placeable in Trados, and will be counted in the total word count as 1 word, whereas in MS Word it would have been counted as 4 words. Trados 2009 can convert the date to the target text's correct format with a single keyboard shortcut, and typing that keyboard shortcut for the date takes only a second or two longer than than typing 1 word, hence it is counted as 1 word (I would feel better if it is counted as 2 words, though).

To answer the original query: what the client has done (creative reduction of the word count) is not standard practice.

The client should have told you of that deviation beforehand. You accepted the client's word count in good faith, assuming that it is the standard Trados word count generated by Trados, but it turns out that it isn't. The client has placed you under the impression that his word count is a standard word count but instead it is a creatively reduced word count.

I think you should insist on the standard Trados 2009 word count as this project's word count. It is not unlikely that the client honestly believes that his reduction is what should be done, but he is mistaken. If you want to, offer a discount to ease the client's mistake.


[Edited at 2012-02-14 12:27 GMT]


 

Dr. Matthias Schauen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:49
Member
English to German
Clarification Feb 15, 2012

This is the way I understood it:
Tags are a special kind of Placeables, but they are not counted as words. Only non-tag Placeables are counted as words. Like this:

Wordcount = non-Placeable words + non-tag Placeables

where
Non-Placeable words = Words not recognized as Placeables
Non-tag Placeables = Placeables that are not tags (Placeables minus tags)

The Studio analysis gives only the "Wordcount", the total number of Placeables, and the number of tags, i.e. a sub-group of the Placeables. That's why, in order to get the number of non-Placeable words, one has to first substract tags from Placeables and then substract the result from the Wordcount.

Non-Placeable words = Wordcount - non-tag Placeables
Non-Placeable words = Wordcount - (Placeables - tags)

[Edited at 2012-02-16 09:10 GMT]


 


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