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Counting words (pdf files and fax)
Thread poster: Renata L. Parolari Fernandes
Renata L. Parolari Fernandes
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jun 21, 2006

Hi there

I was wondering if you guys could give me a hand.
I´ve been receiving pdf files as the source text (scanned documents or fax).

I hate counting the words one by one but I dont know how else to do that.
Any ideas of program recommendation?

And when a client wants you to translate a small book, do you charge per word, page or what?

Thanks for your help guys

Renata


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Ismael Torres
Local time: 17:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
PDF/Fax wordcount Jun 21, 2006

I often use ScanSoft PDF Converter to convert PDF files to Word documents and then get the word count.


For faxes I use a virtual fax to receive them, HotFax Messenger Center, I then can format the fax with Textbridge (also by Scansoft) into a Word document an then apply the word count feature of Microsoft Word.


For a book I;
1) count the numer of words in a sentence then
2) multiply it by the number of sentences in a page then
3) multipy it by the total number of pages in the book and finally
4) multipy it by the rate.

Although translation quotes can be estimated either by word or by page.

[Edited at 2006-06-21 19:42]

[Edited at 2006-06-21 20:51]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 23:54
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
Scanned documents - charge per target word Jun 21, 2006

That's what I usually do if the document for translation is a scanned document.

I realise that this is very impractical for translations into some languages, but the traget word count when translating into Danish is often so close to the source word count that it doesn't matter to much.

As for the small book, I guess I would take a look a the total word count, if possible, apply my usual rate and then figure out a discount which matches the total size of the job, the deadline and the rate per word - and, obviously, taking into consideration the amount of time I would need to do this job making sure that my usual rate per hour is not getting too low making discounts.


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Renata L. Parolari Fernandes
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank You! Jun 21, 2006

Brilliant!
Thanks for that! Very helpful indeed.
Renata

[Edited at 2006-06-21 21:35]


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Jill Sommer
United States
Local time: 16:54
German to English
I use Abbyy Fine Reader Jun 21, 2006

I have also noticed an increase in PDFs and scanned documents. I recently invested in Abbyy Fine Reader and have been kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner. It paid for itself with the first job (45 pages). All you do is open Abbyy Fine Reader, run the file through its scan software, and save it in Word or whatever format you need. It does a spellcheck (I work in German but it works with a variety of different languages) and you can proof and modify the words as needed. It has problems with handwritten text and text written over other text, but for the most part it offers great results without all the extra text boxes other software like OmniPage inserts. I also love the fact that I don't have to format the files and the font usually matches the original. Download a 30-day trial version and try it for yourself (note: definitely do a price comparison. I saved $300 buying it from a company in Germany through eBay.)

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Elizabeth Ardans  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 18:54
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Estimate Jun 21, 2006

I've come across this problem several times. The pdf converters sometimes work ok, but sometimes there are hyphenated words that, when converted to Word, are counted as two words. So, I also use the method Ismael suggested, and then come up with an estimate (usually an average between the Word count of the converted pdf and what I calculated considering number of pages, etc.)

Depending on the volume of the book, I offer a discount, but never more than 20% (we are not machines so, unless the text is very repetitive, it doesn't get sooo much easier).

Charging by target word is an option I like too (in my combination there is a difference in the word count you have to consider), though it is not always possible, because most clients want to know in advance the cost of the translation.

Good luck!


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Ismael Torres
Local time: 17:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Book Target Wordcount Jun 22, 2006

I recommend keeping a record of the translation ratio for all projects. This is useful for quoting the translation of a printed book.
For example, if you translate a 1000 word document and end up with a 1100 word document then the ratio is 10%. If you find that most translation jobs fall within some percentage, you can add such percentage to the average number of words in a book in order to estimate the target wordcount.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 23:54
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"I´ve been receiving pdf files as the source text" Jun 22, 2006

I charge first of all per page for this kind of input - if I accept it at all, some of the are unreadable even to my eyes, forget the computer -.

The word count after the conversion from paper to a - say - word file is then no problem - I avoided the term "machine readable" on purpose, because a PDF file full of screwy JPG copies of xeroxed handwritten notes (you get the idea) is machine readable as well.

If you have to OCR a book, then it makes sense to look around for a service with a scanner, that will scan the whole book - turning pages etc -. Any other way is error-prone and too expensive in terms of work.

[Edited at 2006-06-22 13:53]


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