cost of fuzzy matches
Thread poster: Ilham Ahmadov

Ilham Ahmadov  Identity Verified
Azerbaijan
Local time: 09:18
Member
English to Azerbaijani
+ ...
Nov 15, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

I would be interested to know how much you charge for fuzzy matches. I currently face a situation where client unilaterally imposes rates for fuzzy matches and I am wondering if the rate for them can be half the rate for new words?

I appreciate your answers.

Kind Regards,

Ilham Ahmadov


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Define a fuzzy match, please Nov 15, 2013

I can't help much as I don't offer discounts for such things. Of course, if whole chunks are repeated within a text, or if it's a rewrite of a text I've already translated, then I will offer a reduction, but it won't be imposed by any particular structure.

But I do wonder what exactly you mean by "fuzzy match". There are 99% fuzzies, and there are 75% fuzzies, and some people even count 50% matches as fuzzies. Whereas 50% might be appropriate for a 99% match (although I'm not saying it is), it certainly wouldn't be appropriate in the case of a 50% match.


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Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.)  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 07:18
Member (2013)
English to Czech
+ ...
Discounts applied to fuzzy matches Nov 15, 2013

Hi Ilham,
personally, I apply 50% discount ony any level of fuzzy matches, including 99% fuzzy matches where only punctuation difference may cause the difference between a 100% match and a fuzzy match and 50% matches where you often have to rewrite the whole sentence. However, this works for me well, I think. Usually the 99% matches compensate for the work done on the 50% matches.
However, some clients want to use severe policies on fuzzy matches rates. In that case we either come to terms - usually a kind of compromise, or I refuse to work on the project.
If you get only few percent of your rate on fuzzy matches and end up with a project where more than half actually consists of fuzzy matches, you might spend a lot of time working for virtually no money...
Good Luck
Jitka


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:18
Member
English to French
A recent exemple Nov 16, 2013

First of all, I am sure that the effort required to adapt a given fuzzy match varies depending on the language. Agencies and their one-size-fits-all discount policies certainly disavantage some combinations compared to others (declinations, weird plurals/singulars...).
Just like uniform word rates (expansion rates given between languages).

Recently, I was offered the following discount grid for EN>FR:

Repetitions 20
Fuzzy 100% 20
Fuzzy 95%-99% 30
Fuzzy 85%-94% 60
Fuzzy 75%-84% 80
Fuzzy 50%-74% 100
No match - Basic 100

I turned down the offer, but more because of the base rate offered (0.05 euro/source word, European agency. One of those opportunities not to be missed!) than because I felt ripped off with the discount grid.

There are worse examples and better ones. But all this hair-splitting on the part of agencies seems a bit vain and pointless to me. The first thing is to negociate a decent word rate. After all, most agencies require you to translate "new" words, and the "No match" line is where you usually earn your money. In the end, it is easier to negociate a higher word rate than discounts on fuzzies.

Even then, you may find out after a while that TMs provided by the agency are awful and you need to work harder than expected on fuzzy matches.

To prospective agencies with a real job to be assigned, I usually work out a lump sum based on the following:
100%-reps: 20-25% of full rate
99%-85%: 60% of full rate
85%-0%: 100% of full rate

AND homogeneity/internal match option TURNED OFF.

I don't detail what kind of soup and rates I used to come up with a fee, and if they're happy with it, then fine. After we've tested each other, we can set some fixed rates and grids, and embark on a mutually fruitful journey to spreading source texts to foreign masses.

Bottom line: we sell our TIME, not buckets of words.
If you're happy with your hourly income, then all this discount gymnastic is secondary.

Philippe


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Dragomanltd
Local time: 08:18
Let's be fair not fuzzy Nov 16, 2013

Hi,

I am a translation agency owner.
In our practise, we do not offer discounts below 75% fuzzy match, because it makes no sense. Below 75% it is often like re-translating the whole thing.

We also do not apply fuzzy matches if the project is new or rush (i.e. working over the weekend)

I also do not recommend discussing fuzzy matches if the total fuzzy / repetition amount is below 10%. Motivation is the key in our industry; translators are already underpaid and negotiating for 10% is very irritating.

I believe for long term projects with establiehed translation memories, terminology lists, etc. fuzzy discounts are more then fair.

For quick daily jobs, I find it annoying.

I hope this helps
Umit


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:18
Russian to English
+ ...
The "fuzzy"matches concept is something totally absurd. Nov 17, 2013

I don't give any discounts for things like that. They just play with your brain and destruct you from your work. I think they are a redundant feature of many CAT tools. If the tool has them, anyhow, I would not give any discount at all. They are just like a dictionary, sort of, and you usually don't give discounts for dictionary entries.

"Fuzzy matches"was something originally used in searches -- Google search and similar search engines, and then someone had not such a genius idea to use them for translation purposes as well.

Maybe, if you are translating some annual reports for the same agencies where the text is almost 99% repeated, in some parts, you can offer a 50% discount for such matches. Otherwise, none.

[Edited at 2013-11-17 12:10 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Ilham Nov 17, 2013

Ilham Ahmadov wrote:
I would be interested to know how much you charge for fuzzy matches.


I let the client dictate it, and then I look at the total amount of money that I would get for a particular job, and then I request a higher base rate if the total for the job is too low. Different clients have different fuzzy match schemes, and I don't want to add to that nightmare by trying to get them to accept mine.

That said, when I need to determine whether an amount is acceptable for the job as a whole, I do take into account the fuzzy match analysis. I tend to think that matches lower than 85% should be charged at 100% of the base rate, and that matces in the 90-99% range may be charged as little as 25% of the base rate, and (depending on the CAT tool used) I generally tend to be satisfied if 100% matches and repetitions are unpaid if I'm not required to check them.

I currently face a situation where client unilaterally imposes rates for fuzzy matches and I am wondering if the rate for them can be half the rate for new words?


You'd have to calculate that on a case-by-case basis for a while and see what effect it has on your income. The "unilateral" happens only once -- after the first job, you can say that the rate is mutually agreed because you keep on accepting it.

As a very short experiment, I took the comments from the rest of this thread and applied them to the job that I'm currently doing. The match analysis of the job is:

Class Words
Reps 1874
100% 2462
95-99% 1111
85-94% 3231
50-84% 3062
00-49% 2452
Total 14192

Using Jitka's method, the weighted word count would be 6154 words. The method that Philippe had turned down, yields a weighted word count of 8330 words. Philippe's actual method works out to a weighted word count of 8986.4 words. A method in which 95-100% matches are charged at 33% and 85-95% matches are charged at 66% yields a weighted word count of 8524.5 words.

Jitka's method relies more on the principle that gains and losses will be evened out over a number of jobs, and although I agree with that logic (after all, we all apply it when we charge the same "per word" rate for long words and short words), I myself would prefer at least three categories of rates in such a system.

Samuel


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Ilham Ahmadov  Identity Verified
Azerbaijan
Local time: 09:18
Member
English to Azerbaijani
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 18, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you very much for your valuable answers. We have agreed on the following structure:

95-99%-12 of my rate
85-94%-50 of my rate
75-84% - 50 of my rate

But we will have to get back to this if I find out that 75-84% is huge.

Reading entries here I may give some thorough consideration to 75-84% with 50% of my rate.


Kind Regards,

Ilham


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The amounts should be count-independent Nov 18, 2013

Ilham Ahmadov wrote:
We have agreed on the following structure:

95-99%-12 of my rate
85-94%-50 of my rate
75-84% - 50 of my rate

But we will have to get back to this if I find out that 75-84% is huge.


Your final comment reveals that you are not entirely happy with the arrangement and that you regard the match structure as a calculated risk instead of equal value for both parties.

In an ideal situation, the rates for the match categories should apply regardless of how many word or segments there are in each of the categories.


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Ilham Ahmadov  Identity Verified
Azerbaijan
Local time: 09:18
Member
English to Azerbaijani
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Samuel Nov 18, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Ilham Ahmadov wrote:
We have agreed on the following structure:

95-99%-12 of my rate
85-94%-50 of my rate
75-84% - 50 of my rate

But we will have to get back to this if I find out that 75-84% is huge.


Your final comment reveals that you are not entirely happy with the arrangement and that you regard the match structure as a calculated risk instead of equal value for both parties.

In an ideal situation, the rates for the match categories should apply regardless of how many word or segments there are in each of the categories.



I agree with your comments, it stems from my inexperience in dealing with CAT tool discounts.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:18
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dodgy - depends on the translation memory you use Nov 18, 2013

It is not the same thing translating from an empty memory as translating for a client who says "Here's our memory - there's a total of 20,000 words, but 10,000 in the memory. Give us a quote that takes account of fuzzies and, of course, 100% matches should be for next to nothing".

After a couple of unhappy experiences, I now view these in-house memories with great suspicion, because I have no control over their contents. They may well be terrible, and that's 10,000 words you have to rearrange for practically nothing if you want the end result to be perfect. Even if it's an acceptable TM, there are endless issues on which the previous translator may not have done the same as you: will/shall, date format, spelling format, corporate titles etc.


Best,


Mervyn


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:18
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A fairer system Nov 18, 2013

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
After a couple of unhappy experiences, I now view these in-house memories with great suspicion, because I have no control over their contents.


True.

A much fairer fuzzy discount system would be one that is based not on a comparison between the source text and the TM, but on a comparison between the fuzzy match and the final edited segment. In other words, if a fuzzy match is a "high" match, but you end up changing it quite a lot, then you should be paid more for it. Similarly, if there is a "low" match but due to linguistic reasons very few changes are made to the segment, it would be paid for much less. Unfortunately the final analysis of such a system can only be done afterwards, and it is open to some abuse by the translator.


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