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English word count from Asian language translation
Thread poster: overseas

overseas
Local time: 09:20
English to Korean
+ ...
Jul 17, 2006

Is there any efficient way to estimate the English word count when you translate from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese?

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xiaoyanchen
Local time: 05:20
English to Chinese
+ ...
word count Jul 18, 2006

Usually the count of English words will be 10% less than the count of Chinese characters of the source text.

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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 01:20
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Roughly speaking.... Jul 18, 2006

Hi,
We've only had to quote a rate for the target English words once and it was for a literary project and we calculated, based on previous projects and samples that an average ratio of 1.2:1 Chinese characters to English words worked out pretty accurately.

I would honestly advise you to steer away from quoting target rates though where Asian languages are concerned because, depending on the subject matter, you could end up really losing out.

In our experience clients seem happy with and expect a rate for the per source Chinese characters. They know and we know exactly where we both stand from the beginning re charges and also I always think, if I was an outsourcer, it would be a really dangerous game to play accepting a target rate because there may be some unscrupulous translators out there who may feel inclined to expand on sentences. Especially where English is concerned as it's reknowned for being a flowery language and using 10 words when only 2 will do:)

Hope this helps a little and I'll be interested to hear from any others who have a more "proven method" for calculating the ratios for both general and technical subject matter.

Best wishes,
Mark


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overseas
Local time: 09:20
English to Korean
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some clients still... Jul 18, 2006

Thank you both, Xiaoyan and Mark.

My personal experience has been that the English word count tends to increase a bit when the document is translated from Chinese.

A couple of my clients like to get a quote based on the source character count, but some still request the final English word count, which is quite impossible at the beginning of the work. So when I give them a quote, I always tell them that it is only a preliminary estimation, the final word count woul be determined when the translation is complete.


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English word count from Asian language translation

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