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word count - actual calculations?
Thread poster: Rosalind Lobo
Rosalind Lobo  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:32
French to English
Sep 3, 2005

Hello, Prozians:
I realize this topic has come up before, but I'm approaching it from a slightly different angle that, as far as I could see, has not been covered in previous posts.
Have any of you French to English translators had a chance to run numbers on jobs you have done and worked out the actual percentage difference between your SL and TL texts? This is a big challenge for jobs received by fax that obviously cannot be counted automatically. I'm now in a position of having to provide a ratio to a client who sends SL files by fax, and I'm wondering if anyone has come up with an actual number.
(I have one client who told me a few years ago to add 12.13% to the English word count and use that result for billing. Apparently one of their employees crunched some numbers and gave the boss this percentage, which he very happily adopted, but I have no idea how thorough or accurate the employee was. Since I cant prove the validity of this calculation, I'm hesitant to use it with my other client.) I know we all just love to spend our evenings sitting around doing manual word counts (Ha!), but if anyone has had occasion to work out these numbers, I'd greatly appreciate hearing from you.
Thanks so much.
Rosalind


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 08:32
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
But if you translate in this language pair Sep 3, 2005

my guess is you should have a fairly large portfolio of such thanslations.

Then just copy one, source, heap into one folder and target heap into another. Make your software to do the count and calculate the average ratio.

If you don't have the appropriate counting sofware, I suggest downloading Practicount from www.practiline.com. It will be fully functional for 15 day trial period and I can assure you it's worth buying. (It counts words (with or without numerals as to your choice) in umpteen file formats, etc, etc.) You can give the task to count as many files as you like in one go, you don't have to count them one by one or even open (or unzip) them).

Uldis


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Rosalind Lobo  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:32
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks, Uldis, but... Sep 3, 2005

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

my guess is you should have a fairly large portfolio of such thanslations.

Then just copy one, source, heap into one folder and target heap into another. Make your software to do the count and calculate the average ratio.

If you don't have the appropriate counting sofware, I suggest downloading Practicount from www.practiline.com. It will be fully functional for 15 day trial period and I can assure you it's worth buying. (It counts words (with or without numerals as to your choice) in umpteen file formats, etc, etc.) You can give the task to count as many files as you like in one go, you don't have to count them one by one or even open (or unzip) them).

Uldis


My problem is that I'm trying to do it a little more scientifically. I worked out the ratios for a number of different file pairs, and get a variance between file pairs. Surprisingly, in some cases it's almost 1:1, whereas in other cases it varies : 3%, 4%, 7%, 10%, and in one case almost 30%. Possibly this depends on the writing style of the SL author. Anyway, thanks for the pointers.
Rosalind


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 08:32
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
That number depends very much on the personal style... Sep 3, 2005

...of the translator. And the algorithm for the wordcount. In French you have lots of "l'eau" cases. If the software counts these as two words, you get another number than if it counts them as one. For instance. But some translators are more wordy than others. So you have to calculate this number for your one translations and for your wordcount software.

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 08:32
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Yes, there are variations Sep 4, 2005

depending on the field, style, etc. That's why I suggested you making your own calculations- take some translations in the same field and see the ratio.

E.g., generally there are 20%-35%more words in any English text than there are in the same Latvian text (fluctuation about 15%) (but only 7-10% more chatacters in the same English text- that also have to be taken into account).

Uldis

Rosalind Lobo wrote:
My problem is that I'm trying to do it a little more scientifically. I worked out the ratios for a number of different file pairs, and get a variance between file pairs. Surprisingly, in some cases it's almost 1:1, whereas in other cases it varies : 3%, 4%, 7%, 10%, and in one case almost 30%. Possibly this depends on the writing style of the SL author. Anyway, thanks for the pointers.
Rosalind


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