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Word repetition counter
Thread poster: Melisa Fernández Rosso

Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:06
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 5, 2012

Hi all!

I would like to know which is a good program to count repeated words in a text. The translation agency that offers me the job is asking me to discount the repeated words from the total budget.
Thank you very much in advance!


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 18:06
English to Russian
+ ...
They may ask whatever they want but... May 5, 2012

Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

The translation agency that offers me the job is asking me to discount the repeated words from the total budget.


the fact that somebody asks you for a discount doesn't mean that you have to offer it...

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Tony M
France
Local time: 17:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
I agree with Nikita May 5, 2012

It all depends how you intend to translate; IF you use a CAT tool, then you can indeed save SOME time with repeated words — but only if you 'teach' them to it the first time they occur; and how do you know WHICH are the repeated words?

If you do not use a CAT tool, then there is no difference between a repeated word and a not repeated word — you still have to type 'thingammajig' 50 times...

Personally, I refuse to give discounts for repeated WORDS, but only for repeated SEGMENTS (when using a CAT tool) — there you can indeed save a worthwhile amount of time, if the segments are a very close match, you only need to check and validate.

So if you are going to use a CAT tool, then that is what you should use to count the repeats; if not, then I wouldn't personally advocate offering a discount anyway.

One way to achieve your immediate object would be to download for example the free trial version of Wordfast, which will then let you analyse your document and tell you how many repetitions there are; like I said, if I were you, I would advocate basing any discount only on repeated SEGMENTS, and then of course only if you are going to actually be translating using a CAT tool.

[Edited at 2012-05-05 14:32 GMT]


 

Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:06
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Than you Nikita and Tony! May 5, 2012

I agree with you. When I work with agencies, they directly tell me the number of repeated words, so I have never had to count them for them.
I thought of telling the agency about this, but I have the fear of losing the job, which is quite long!
So I will first try with Wordfast -I don't want to download suspicious programs.
Thank you for your quick response!


[Edited at 2012-05-05 16:08 GMT]


 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 17:06
English to German
Search & replace? May 5, 2012

Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

I would like to know which is a good program to count repeated words in a text.


If you want to count the occurences of "aword", you can use the Global Search & Replace function, i. e. replace "a long word" by "a long word". You'll get a message like "945 replacements were made".

Of course this isn't very handy if there are lots of different words to check.

Just curious: Is that agency thinking of words like "a", "the", "and", "to", ...? Maybe you should offer them to omit that words (discount = 100 %), so that their secretary can enter them for some Cents.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 09:06
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree May 5, 2012

I agree with Rolf. The whole idea of paying less for repetitions is ridiculous - you still have to type them in and they form an important part of what is supposed to be a readable, understandable text. And what about punctuation marks? They are repetitions too - are they going to dock you pay for those as well?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Two paths May 5, 2012

Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:
The translation agency that offers me the job is asking me to discount the repeated words from the total budget.


1. It is likely that they mean the word count in whole repeating sentences. This means that you need to open your files in a CAT tool that does this type of counting for you. If you don't have a CAT tool, the easiest may be to use a small, free one, like OmegaT.

2. If they really mean that they want a discount for any single word that occurs more than once, then you need to do a word extraction program that creates a word frequency list, like Timothy Craven's ExtPhr32. You'd then charge the full rate for the number of unique words, and a discount for the total word count minus the number of unique words. This is silly, however.


 

Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:06
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Rolf, Tina and Samuel May 5, 2012

I finally used Wordfast to count the repeated words from the texts to be translated.
Of course, they ask me to discount repetitions because I will use TRADOS.
Nevertheless, I agree with you that they should not make a discount for repeated words as I have to type them, but in this case they are the authority and I am not to establish the rules, so I have to accept what they offer or decline the job. Let's see it this way, I do not have to work on repeated wordsicon_smile.gif

Thank you all and I promise that when I am a renown translator, I will not let anyone walk over me!


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 18:06
English to Russian
+ ...
There are no 'authorities' here May 5, 2012

Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

in this case they are the authority and I am not to establish the rules

Melisa, I'm afraid it's a wrong perception: there are no 'authorities' here, there are two EQUAL sides of one business deal. One side orders a service and another side delivers that service. As usual the sides should discuss and agree about certain terms of the deal.

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[Edited at 2012-05-05 21:48 GMT]


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree May 6, 2012

Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:

they are the authority and I am not to establish the rules


I agree 100% with Nikita. Don't let anyone kick you around. Ever.


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 17:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
Trados? May 6, 2012

I don't really understand what's going on here?

If you are going to be using Trados for this translation, then presumably you must already have bought it — in which case, why didn't you use that for your wordcount? There are quite often differences between Wordfast and Trados wordcounts, so if you know you are going to be using one particular CAT tool, then you should certainly use that for counting the words!

In any case, why is the customer asking you to do this? If they are insisting on Trados, then presumably they have it themselves, in which case, it is they who ought to be providing you with the word count.

Like Nikita says, I fear you are setting off on the wrong foot to attain your objective of becoming a "renown translator" [sic] if you start out by letting yourself be walked all over by customers like this — remember, once you've established a principle, it's much harder to go back on it later.

Also, as a translator just starting out, it is reasonable to assume that you may not be fully up to speed yet, in which case repetitions are unlikely to save you much time or help your productivity.

Then again, customers so often fail to take into account the fact that the same word may not necessarily be translated by the same term every time it occurs — if you give a discount for repetitions, this implies that you will do no better than machine translation, i.e. slavishly translating the word exactly the same each time; the end result may thus be no better than machine translation.

My advice to you would be to stand firm, and if the customer doesn't accept your proposal, then they are not worth working for; I find that the "accept work at any price" philosophy is very counter-productive, and ultimately damaging to oneself and to the industry as a whole.


 

Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:06
French to English
+ ...
Thank you everyone May 6, 2012

I find this tendency to look to cut "repeated words" from the word count is silly and indeed damaging to an understanding of what we do.

Are "rose" and "rose" repetitions? One means a flower and the other means that someone stood up.

And what about "present?" Does it mean a gift, to give something, the current moment, or that something is in the same place as the speaker?

Should definite articles be eliminated from the word count? Various languages use the articles in different ways, we have to decide whether the same article is to be used in the target, or to add one if the source leaves it out.

We work with our knowledge of the languages and we have an understanding of context that machines don't have yet. The only discounts allowed should be for repeated segments.


 

Melisa Fernández Rosso  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:06
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Unfortunately, I disagree. May 7, 2012

Thank you for correcting me Tony! Is renowned translatoricon_smile.gif

I have to disagree with you all. I think that in order to make money in the first place (I have a house and a kid to look after) I have to accept the rules of the market.
I already gave up my job as a lawyer because in the beginning we lawyers fight a lot for nothing (at least in my country.) However, I do not find it unfair to discount some words from a whole assignment if the work is well paid as regards an overall cost-benefit analysis.
So, my conclusion is: I start accepting a few market rules (but I decline some others such as to work for a low rate, etc.), clients keep switching, and when I provide myself with an "economic foundation" to support myself, then I will freely choose who to work with, how to work, when to work, etc.
You are talking about an utopian kind of job, at least in my situation and my undeveloped country. Compared to my past as a lawyer, in which I could not even choose to be legally paid, I am very happy now and, as I said before, eventually I will impose the rules, but not now.
I hope you all understand it although you may feel frustrated, but, trust me, I will honor our profession because I am proud of being a translatoricon_biggrin.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:06
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Melisa May 7, 2012

Melisa Fernández Rosso wrote:
Of course, they ask me to discount repetitions because I will use TRADOS.


Well, if they want you to use Trados, then:

1. You can do the wordcount using Trados itself.
2. The client does not mean "repeating words" but "repeating segments".
3. The discount does not apply to the first time the segment occurs -- only to subsequence occurences of it (Trados will count it like that, so you don't have to worry).
4. You don't have to retype repeating segments because Trados will automatically insert the text whenever you get to a repetition (if you use the correct keyboard shortcut).

In this case they are the authority and I am not to establish the rules, so I have to accept what they offer or decline the job.


That is a good attitude (don't listen to the nay sayers who believe that the translation world is a seller's market). Eventually you will learn what you absolutely do not want to accept.


 

Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 18:06
English to Russian
+ ...
Definition May 7, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

don't listen to the nay sayers who believe that the translation world is a seller's market

Тranslation industry is a professional services market.

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