BLOG A TransPerfect World


Freelance Experts 05.07.19 BLOG 

Finding Focus: The Evolution of Fuzzy Match Technology

By TransPerfect Vendor Management Team

small man stands in front of large computer as a book moves toward him through the screen

Finding Focus: The Evolution of Fuzzy Match Technology

Feeling Fuzzy About Fuzzy Matches?

TransPerfect offers the tools to make them crystal clear! Most people in the translation industry know that fuzzy matches are sections of text that are literally or contextually similar to content that has been previously saved in a translation memory or appears in multiple sections of the same text. But why do we put so much emphasis on their importance? The translation of fuzzy matches is not always 100% the same as its predecessor.

“One of the positives of seeing a fuzzy match is that you’re reviewing material that the client already likes,” says Simão Martins, a TransPerfect senior lead quality director. Simão uses fuzzy matches to maintain the integrity of client-approved content, believing they are references to client expectations. This, in turn, should boost a translator’s confidence that they can provide content analogous to what has been previously approved by a client, and that can be a takeaway on their future projects.

Checking Fuzzy Matches Was Once Manual Mayhem

Back in the dark ages, before the big bang of translation and technology created translation memory (TM) tools, fuzzy matches did not exist. Remembering similar content within a project, or between projects miles apart, was entirely vendor-dependent and susceptible to memory gaps. Checking fuzzy matches was manual mayhem, and consistency in large files was not guaranteed.

As time and technology advanced, managing fuzzy matches became less formidable and more automated. Still, the effect of technology on fuzzy matches was in its infancy, and there was vast room for improvement.

It’s also important to note the correlation between technological advancement and higher client expectations and how this relationship shaped the translation profession. Slowly and surely the understanding of how to effectively review fuzzy matches reached an “Enlightenment Era.” Knowledge of best practices for fuzzy matches between vendors spread, and this informed how tech industrialists integrated new systems to support clients’ expectations of consistency.

And now here we are: the future. Freelance experts are now able to check fuzzy matches down to percentages of differences, and even contextual matches. While it’s thrilling that technology and translation are so intertwined, staying up to date on these progressions can be daunting.

TransPerfect: Your Training Partner

The level of care and commitment TransPerfect has for its clients and freelance experts alike is unparalleled. For this reason, providing resources and training is a company-wide objective. By giving our freelance experts support tools and relevant training, we can confidently make promises to our clients that their material is in the hands of the best resources in the industry!

While there is no training program wholly dedicated to handling fuzzy matches, it is something that comes up all over TransPerfect modules and training materials. We also offer specific training that covers technical aspects of how to use industry-recognized tools for fuzzy matches. If you’re wondering what makes our training and internal linguistic experts uniquely qualified to offer help, it’s simple: TransPerfect isn’t just offering language services—we are also a technology solutions company.

Dive into Wordfast 5

While no technology is 100% risk-free and will never replace the human element, it does help reduce the risk of inconsistencies. Wordfast 5 (WF5) is the foremost technology used in handling translation memory and takes tackling fuzzy matches seriously. It is continuing to lead the pack with plans to advance its tech tools even further. For that reason, our training and tech Wordfast leads regularly encourage freelance experts to update to the latest version of Wordfast. Fundamentally, using this industry-recognized tool contributes to quality, effectiveness, and efficiency, especially when it comes to fuzzy matches.

Greg Koess, a director of quality management at TransPerfect, supports that: “When you know how to handle a fuzzy match properly, you can go faster!”

How to Keep Your Path Bright:

  1. Have your finger on the pulse of new and quality-enhancing tech solutions

    Remember, education doesn’t end in the classroom. Continue your language and technological studies with TransPerfect training tools!

  2. Take advantage of relevant training

    Fuzzy matches are not the only hot topic; there is so much more to explore.

  3. Use Wordfast 5

    Fun Fact: If you’re a freelance expert using Project Director (PD), perhaps you’ve already discovered that GlobalLink’s TransStudio Online includes all the WF5 fuzzy match capabilities available free of charge for all in-PD projects.

If you know anyone who is interested in being a part of our freelance community, please encourage them to visit the Registration Portal and apply today!


A TransPerfect World – In Your Inbox!

Stay in the know! Sign up below to receive TransPerfect blog posts right in your inbox, so you never have to miss the latest thought leadership from our industry experts.


Select Your Language

The Americas Europe Africa & Middle East Asia Pacific