At the moment we are wrestling with an analysis issue that should be solvable but we don't know how to. As I always see your posts about all kinds of TM issues, I was hoping you might be able to provide some advice.To me, this sounds an awful lot like my PM acquaintance has been blind-sided by Kilgray's homogeneity analysis, which has been a feature of memoQ for a very long time. It's a feature about which I personally have mixed feelings. Used in the wrong way by unscrupulous agencies or ignorant persons, it can be yet another club with which to clobber translators and their rates to the ground and bring about the Hobbesian state of being so many fear is in our future, if not our present. But I approach it as a valuable information tool for helping me estimate how much time a rush project might actually take. Or in the case of my correspondent's competitor, it can be used judiciously to calculate a competitive rate that might not land you in the poorhouse.
The case is as follows:
From one of our clients we have received what is basically a list of tools in Excel for translation (NL-FR). My colleague made an initial quotation for the project based on the Trados analysis, which revealed 23% repetitions in the file. However, the client received a much lower quote from a different provider. The reason for this, according to him, is that there are a lot of high fuzzy matches in the file which the other provider has counted but Trados doesn't (for example, "... metaalzaagbeugel 12 inch zwaar model met D-greep" and "... metaalzaagbeugel 12 inch zwaar model met rechte greep".)
Do you know whether there is a way (or tool other than Trados) that does count these fuzziess when performing an analysis?
Classic Trados and most other CAT tools calculate fuzzy matches based on the content of a translation memory. If these sentences:
The cat is black and white.do not have something similar in a TM used for analysis, they will all be counted as "No Match" segments. However, with a good tool like Atril's Déjà Vu X and it's functional "assembly" technology, similar sentences like these are handled almost like 100% matches from a TM. But DVX still won't tell you about the time you might save.
The dog is black and white.
The rabbit is black and white.
Kilgray's memoQ analyzes a text for internal redundancies and "fuzzy redundancies", the latter being referred to as having a degree of "homogeneity". But as anyone who works with CAT software knows, even high fuzzy matches can be utterly useless and cost more time than content with no statistical similarities. Translation is about meaning, not statistics, and the price assassins at Trados and other tool pimps of the past sold everyone a lousy bill of goods with nonsense marketing lies like "You'll never have to translate the same sentence again." Well, guess what? If you do successive versions of an information brochure or technical manual and don't start to update your language after a while, your text will soon sound like it was written for an age long past and might not communicate as clearly as it should. Those who can read German should have a look at the various editions of the classic cookbook Die Süddeutsche Küche by Katharina Prato, which was popular from the mid-19th century until the 1930s for truly dramatic examples of the changes in a language. (These are available online via Google Books and various libraries online. They are also a good source of offal recipes - people ate all manner of interesting things back then.) But this happens on a much shorter time scale as well: my eight-to-ten-year-old texts for the AOK social insurance brochure and various IT manuals sound rather awful and dated, though they were quite acceptable at the time they were written.
Used as a planning tool, however, the homogeneity function in memoQ can give you valuable information and help you compete more effectively in difficult times and markets.