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Nov 26, 2015

Fuzzy match of the month - WTF?!


Experienced translators using translation environment tool technology are quite familiar with the ludicrous results often obtained by so-called "fuzzy" matches in translation. For some 20 years now, the lie has been propagated that such matches usually help translators to work faster and that such "matches" therefore obligate one to offer discounts.

I will not rehash the familiar arguments and evidence that even truly close matches with the difference of a little word or two can cost more time that translation from scratch with no reference text or the fact that modern translation tools are useful primarily as a guide to facilitate consistency and not necessarily speed of work, especially if the translator is a real one with strong language and subject matter skills. Of course there are monkey-level jobs where a fuzzy match can usually be expected to save time, but once one ventures into fields such as legal or financial translation this is not the case as often as the linguistic sausage providers (aka LSPs) might claim.

I just wanted to share this little screenshot from my "daily bread", because it truly is worthy of sewer disposal.

All fuzzy matches are not created equal; every tool on the market will spew nonsense, and these nonsensical "values" are not even close to consistent between tools. It's time to cut the crap with fuzzies as a real means of evaluating work effort. Or at least share some of what the believers are smoking to reach such conclusions.