The end of grids as we now it?
Thread poster: Robert Rietvelt

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:31
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Jan 17

I received a mail from an agency, and I was really surprised.

They are skipping the grids and are going to start using something they call 'weighted word count' to measure word counts on translation and revision jobs.

In their example you got a job of +12.000 words and they anticipate/calculate that the job (with all reps and fuzzies) will take you about as long as it would take you to translate 5045 words from scratch.

In short, a weighted word count according to them is doing two jobs at the same time. Firstly it gives the translator (= you) a good idea of how much work is involved (= time) and the price will be calculated accordingly without having to mess around with TRADOS calculators – 'although you still can if you want!'

Visionary indeed! If they really want to pay me by the the time it takes me to finish a job, let them pay me my hourly rate. Seems to me the most honest solution.

Dear colleagues, what do you think?









[Edited at 2018-01-17 20:59 GMT]


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Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
a weighted word count = based on a fuzzy discount grid. i.e., it's the same thing Jan 17

Hi Robert,

As far as I know, a so-called "weighted word count" is merely the result of applying an analysis, based on a fuzzy discount grid. That is, it's essentially same thing.

See e.g.:

https://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/245720-weighted_words.html
http://kilgray.com/memoq/2015-100/help-en/index.html?weighted_word_counts.html
http://novalo.com/how-to-perform-word-counts-and-interpret-them/
https://www.catcount.com/ (a free tool for producing a "weighted word count" based on the numbers in an analysis/grid)

Michael

[Edited at 2018-01-17 21:16 GMT]


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:31
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Michael Jan 17

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer wrote:

Hi Robert,

As far as I know, a so-called "weighted word count" is merely the result of applying an analysis, based on a fuzzy discount grid. That is, it's essentially same thing.

See e.g.:

https://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/245720-weighted_words.html
http://kilgray.com/memoq/2015-100/help-en/index.html?weighted_word_counts.html
http://novalo.com/how-to-perform-word-counts-and-interpret-them/

Michael


It might be, but it sounds "fuzzy".


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Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:31
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
yep Jan 17

WWC is the grid

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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:31
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still.... Jan 17

Sergei Leshchinsky wrote:

WWC is the grid


Who determines the distributive code?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:31
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Robert Jan 18

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
Who determines the distributive code?


The one who says "I accept". This is sometimes the translator, and sometimes the client.

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer wrote:
As far as I know, a so-called "weighted word count" is merely the result of applying an analysis, based on a fuzzy discount grid.


I agree (basically).

Not all analyses have a column for the weighted word count, and it's not always easy to calculate the weighted word count from such a grid. The weighted word count can only be calculated if you know how much the client pays per word for each fuzzy category. The grid analyses I receive from clients (that are generated by the CAT tools) often do not contain a column for payment weight.

The weighted word count is a simple, short way to communicate the overall aspect of the fuzzy grid without having to paste the entire grid in the e-mail and without having to reconfirm what the per-word price is that the client pays for each fuzzy category.

Suppose a translator had agreed with the client to charge 10c for new words, 7.5c for fuzzy matches, 5c for 100% matches, and 2.5c for repetitions (or suppose this is what the client assumed that the translator will accept). For a job with 5000 new words, 5000 fuzzy words, 5000 100% match words, and 5000 repetition words, the analysis generated by the CAT tool would look like this:

small grid

...and the translator would have to figure out what the price is himself, because the CAT tool doesn't know what rates that the client and the translator had agreed upon, and so the CAT tool's grid can't include that information. The translator would get USD 1250 for this job, but how would you go about calculating it?

A tool capable of calculating the weighted word count would use a grid that looks like this:

medium grid

...and the client would simply tell the translator the result in the last cell: 12500 weighted words. The translator multiplies with this usual per-word rate (USD 0.10 in our example) to get the final amount.

The problem with a weighted word count, of course, is that you can't double-check if the grid used by the client is the grid that you had originally agreed to (that is, not until you receive the official analysis or were able to perform your own analysis).

If a client asks for your rate per weighted word, he is essentially asking for your usual rate, while indicating to that he expects you to accept his grid's payment scheme. If you don't trust the client's grid (seen or unseen, or if you don't want to commit to a per-weighted word rate before seeing the grid), then you should ask for it.


[Edited at 2018-01-18 08:05 GMT]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:31
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Depends on the result Jan 18

I let my customers count however they like, as long as the sum in Euro seems right to me. Adjust your rate accordingly.

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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:31
Member
English to French
They should show you the grid on which they base their weighted word count Jan 18

....otherwise it's just untrue marketing rubbish in a shiny wrapping, a smoke screen to lure gullible translators into unsustainable earnings.
I'll add a bit to the other contributors' posts just in case.

1.
Robert Rietvelt wrote:
...'weighted word count' to measure word counts on translation and revision jobs....

What's the concept of revising a "weighted word count"? Rereading only a fraction of the TOTAL wordcount, leaving out every first two words and 3 letters of each sentence? How does it work exactly?

2.
... a job of +12.000 words and they anticipate/calculate that the job (with all reps and fuzzies) will take you about as long as it would take you to translate 5045 words from scratch.

Show me the grid.
Show me how you set the CAT tool parameters (internal matching/homogeneity, tag/number weights/penalties for fuzzy matching...)
Then I'll tell you whether you properly estimate the actual effort needed.
Because I can't relate a 'total word count' to the effort needed if I don't know what grid you apply.
There are many grid flavours, from the fair one to the downright scam (examples here: https://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/239237-what_is_a_normal_trados_"discount"_scheme.html)
With a grid, you (should) see straight away whether you are underpaid.

3.
In short, a weighted word count according to them is doing two jobs at the same time. Firstly it gives the translator (= you) a good idea of how much work is involved (= time) and the price will be calculated accordingly without having to mess around with TRADOS calculators – 'although you still can if you want!'

What a load of marketing non-sense aimed at brain-dead self-employed slaves. We're pros, we know how much our time is worth and we know how to assess the effort needed for any assignment. And if we haven't got a clue, we should vastly overcharge the job or not take it on.
A weighted word count is just the outcome of a discount grid. With a weighted word count only, you precisely have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER of the amount of work involved, which is exactly the opposite of what they're claiming.
What a weighted word count really is: https://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/268387-rates_for_weighted_words.html#2291899

4.
Visionary indeed! If they really want to pay me by the the time it takes me to finish a job, let them pay me my hourly rate.

EXACTLY! This whole fuzzy matching stuff is essentially aimed at "anticipating" the actual effort needed to translate text. With this weighted-word-count "new" way of working, they just tell you how much they're prepared to pay you. And it may have nothing to do with how much you need to charge.

Philippe


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:31
French to English
Hitting the nail on the head Jan 18

Philippe Etienne wrote:
This whole fuzzy matching stuff is essentially aimed at "anticipating" the actual effort needed to translate text. With this weighted-word-count "new" way of working, they just tell you how much they're prepared to pay you. And it may have nothing to do with how much you need to charge.
Philippe


All is said.


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Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:31
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Won't make a difference with the right client Jan 18

I honestly can't be bothered messing around with fuzzy calculations.
So either the client does them and pays a higher base rate, or we agree a lower flat rate and ignore all that nonsense, or we just agree a (random) flat fee we're both happy with. Some clients want to pay by character,line or page instead. Others seem to specialise in scanned PDFs with extensive formatting. As long as its all reasonable, I'm happy.
If option 1 applies, I'll double-check the first few times, and maybe do the odd spot check later if anything appears off at any point. A reliable outsourcer looking for long-term collaboration won't try to secretly squeeze a few pennies out. The others are revealed quickly.
Grids are not all equal either. They differ between CAT tools. You can enter custom settings, e.g. for numbers, tag weight, pre-confirmed segments etc. There's a good bit of leverage.
I think I have found inconsistency between client grids and my own analysis more often than between weighted wordcounts supplied by a client without a grid and my own analysis.
The apparent transparency of grids seems to make the dodgier outsourcers feel safe from discovery

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

I let my customers count however they like, as long as the sum in Euro seems right to me. Adjust your rate accordingly.


That's exactly what it boils down to.

[Edited at 2018-01-18 15:36 GMT]


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