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Parallel text word counts - where to find info?
Thread poster: Csaba Ban

Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 22:30
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Feb 23, 2002

Does any of you know a good online resource of parallel texts in various languages?

The reason why I am asking is this because a regular client of mine normally sets rates based on the target word count, which, in my case is Hungarian.

Well, due to grammar and syntax, the word count of Hungarian texts tend to be about 25% lower than that of an equivalent English text. (We have a complex system of suffixes attached to the end of the word that express the same grammatical function as prefixes, auxiliary verbs, etc, all written as separate words, in most Indo-European languages.)

Well, since this agency normally has texts to be translated into a dozen or more European languages, all paid according to the target word count (and they insist on this policy), I feel adversely affected just because of the syntax of my mother tongue.

Now, what I am looking for is a comprehensive of parallel texts so that I could make comparative word counts to prove my point to the client. (And to convince them to increase the target word rate to reflect the amount I would normally get if the source word count would be used.)

Any ideas?


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jinshi
Local time: 04:30
English to Chinese
+ ...
parallel texts Feb 23, 2002

Dear Mr. Ban,



I think you can use Google to browse some Hungarian sites (i have to admit that I don\'t know Hungarian, otherwise I can do it for you), which have English version as well, preferably publications.



Jinshi


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FrancescoP  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:30
English to Italian
+ ...
Declaration of Human Rights Feb 23, 2002

Hi Csaba,



you can try with the translation in Hungarian of the Declaration of Human Rights (eh eh eh, not bad for this purpose, asserting a translator right to have a fair reward...) at the following addresses:



Hungarian version

http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/hng.htm



English version

http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm



Good luck!



FP



P.S.:And don\'t despair! Fight for your rights!


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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
Target word count = extra work . Feb 23, 2002

I must confess I can\'t understand why you would accept this arrangement. Translators paid by target words find themselves having to reproduce all the filler (and fighting the temptation to introduce more) they would normally save time by ignoring, lest they lose money.

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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 22:30
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Feb 23, 2002

I checked the UN site and I found the Declaration of human rights in an incredible number of languages. I made a comparison of word and character counts in most European languages and I found that there is a great variation in word count, and much less variation is character count.

If anyone is interested, I could send the xls file I created.


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Minna Wood MITI (Purring CAT Ltd.)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:30
English to Finnish
+ ...
I am! Feb 24, 2002

Hi Csaba,



I would love to see your comparison file since, as you might know, Finnish is exactly like Hungarian - no prepositions, lots of case endings. I too have come accross some clients who would like to pay according to the target word count but so far I have managed to convince them to pay me according to the source text.



Anyway, we Finns don\'t like to use too many words but prefer to go straight to the point, and if I was to fill the page just to get the same pay as other translators, the target text wouldn\'t sound very idiomatic!



Minna



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FrancescoP  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:30
English to Italian
+ ...
Happy to be of assistance! Feb 24, 2002

I too have some concerns about being paid according to target text word count. But sometimes is necessary. Think about when you receive a text on paper (not in electronic format). What do you do then? Retype it? And if it is one hundred pages long?



In that case I do word count on the target text. You can\'t help it.



Have a nice Sunday!



FP

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-02-25 09:18 ]


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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
What if it's on paper? Feb 24, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-02-24 08:40, FrancescoP wrote:

I too have some concerns about being paid according to target text word count. But sometimes is necessary. Think about when you receive a text on paper (not in electronic format). What do you do then? Retype it? And if is one hundred pages long?



Scan it. Better yet, avoid clients who want to give you things on paper. Talk about extra work.

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Alison Schwitzgebel
Germany
Local time: 22:30
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Source text, target text.... as long as you're making enough, why worry. Feb 25, 2002

If you find that the nature of your target language means that you are making less money by doing a target word count than a source word count, then up your rates!



If the customer says they must be invoiced by words in the target language, then charge them a higher rate.



Then we come to the wonderful theory/practice argument. What sounds so simple in theory is often difficult to implement in practice!



HTH



Alison


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xxxJon Zuber
Spanish to English
+ ...
Because you can't cut anything without taking money out of your pocket Feb 25, 2002

if you\'re being paid by target count. Since I\'m being paid by source count, when I hit filler phrases or two sentences in a row that say the same thing in different words, I ignore the extra. If I were being paid by target count, I couldn\'t afford to do that, and I\'d be wasting time with stuff that\'s completely needless.

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FrancescoP  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:30
English to Italian
+ ...
Translation and DTP Feb 26, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-02-24 21:47, Jon Zuber wrote:



Scan it. Better yet, avoid clients who want to give you things on paper. Talk about extra work.





Scann it? Nehhh, it\'d take too long... You can bet I avoid clients that deliver texts on paper... Those days when I accepted faxed texts are gone... fortunately....



But it still happens sometimes with some direct clients (not agencies) of mine... Of course I charge translation plus DTP...



FP

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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:30
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Another approach Feb 26, 2002

What I use when presented with an out of the ordinary request is to have two separate rates, one for source-language counts and one for target-language counts.



I arrived at the different rates by using my OWN translations. Say I have 20 texts, both source language and my translations. Then it is easy enough to arrive at a word rate for both counts that will cover you adequately.



Then, send me faxes, send me electronic, send it by mail, heck, even carrier pigeon If it is work at MY rate and in my areas, no problem.



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