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Fax: how to count words?
Thread poster: Estelle Demontrond-Box

Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 12:42
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Sep 10, 2004

I have received a large faxed document and was wondering: what is the ebst and easiest way to count words? Shall I give an hourly rate instead? Or is it possible to give a page-rate?

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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 03:42
German to Romanian
+ ...
give a target rate Sep 10, 2004

in my opinion, this is the easiest way

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Delinguaproz
Local time: 04:42
English to Finnish
+ ...
counting the words... Sep 10, 2004

I just had the same problem this morning! I ended up with counting the words, believe me or not, because if I had accepted the price for target words, I'd receive a LOT less, because my target language doesn't have prepositions, articles etc...but a lot longer words!
So in my opinion: be careful! It's a pain...but I'd count the words!

Katja


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:42
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Find average words per line & count lines Sep 10, 2004

Count the number of words in each of four or five lines and find the average, then count the number of lines and multiply by this average.

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Crystal Samples  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:42
French to English
+ ...
too bad you don't have an intern Sep 10, 2004

When I did my internship at a translation agency, it was always me who counted the words in the faxes (no matter how large). I've heard that some fax machines have word recognition capabilities and can count words for you if the type is legible enough. If you don't have this feature already on your fax machine, maybe you should look into investing in one that does (that is, assuming that the word recognition thing isn't just a figment of my imagination. I seem to remember hearing something about it, but I've done so many fax word counts that I'd just as soon believe that it doesn't exist).

sindee


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 03:42
English to German
+ ...
quote project rage Sep 10, 2004

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:

I have received a large faxed document and was wondering: what is the ebst and easiest way to count words? Shall I give an hourly rate instead? Or is it possible to give a page-rate?
take only number of pages into count, quote project rate and filter words with some OCR tool like Fine Reader.brandis


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Estelle Demontrond-Box  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 12:42
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 10, 2004

Thanks to all for precious tips.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Count target words Sep 14, 2004

If your client is willing, charge a target word rate. You should know by now how many words of source text will result from how many words of target text. Apply this ratio to your source rate and there you have it... your target rate.

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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:42
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Estimate with pencil and ruler Sep 15, 2004

If a good estimate is enough, this is an old but reliable method:

1) using a pencil and a ruler, draw a vertical line about 2/3 across each page
2) count all the text lines that actually cross the vertical line, for each page (if a text line doesn't reach as far as the vertical line, don't count it)
3) write the number of text lines at the bottom of each page
4) semi-randomly choose two "average-looking" text lines per page, and count how many words there are on these text lines
5) divide this word count by two
6) write this number (words per line) at the bottomn of the page, next to the line count
7) for each page multiply the number of text lines by the number of words per line, thus obtaining a per page estimate
8) add all the page estimates to obtin an estimated SL word count for the document.

The advantage of this method is that it is much faster than actually counting all words, and still farily accurate.


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jof  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:42
German to English
+ ...
keystrokes Sep 17, 2004

Some words are long, some are short. The agency I work for charges by the line and one line consists of 55 keystrokes. This seems fair to me.

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Roberto Silva  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:42
English to Spanish
Counting fax words Sep 20, 2004

Estelle Demontrond-Box wrote:

I have received a large faxed document and was wondering: what is the ebst and easiest way to count words? Shall I give an hourly rate instead? Or is it possible to give a page-rate?


If the fax is large, of reasonable quality, and you can get hold of a good scanner, the best option it is to scan the document, recognize it (using an OCR program), deleting what does not need to be counted (this is important because many faxes contain words that should not be included in the translation. This process is simple and fast, though it might seem complex if you have not done it before...)

If the fax is short, and you can easily spot what needs and does not need to be translated, some of the options described here are good alternatives (counting lines, pages, etc.)


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