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中英翻译字数计算的转换比例(Chinese to English conversion ratio)
Thread poster: Donglai Lou

Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 01:56
Member (2002)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Aug 6, 2013

Dear Colleague,

Just now, I complained to the XTM support staff about its ridiculous Chinese into English conversion ratio. They counted 30K chinese characters as 12k English words (I couldn't remember the exact figure. it was something similar).

Their response is "Regarding the Chinese word counts, the GMX/V standard uses a
factor of 2.8 to divide the number of Unicode characters to arrive at a word count. This is an acknowledged industry factor."

Apparently, such ratio can't be called an industry standard as almost no one here in the Chinese community can agree on it. this is really something bullying and exploiting.

the normal conversion ratio is 1.5-1.8 which is widely recognized in China.

so we need to have our voice heard to protect our interests.

best regards,

Donglai


 

Leo Ning
China
Local time: 01:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
For our interests Aug 6, 2013

1.5-1.8 can be acceptable.

 

Jean Chao  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
Agreed--the normal conversion ratio is 1.5-1.8 which is widely recognized in China Aug 6, 2013

Out of curiosity. Why can't you just use the actual English target text to determine the exact final word count in MS Word? These conversion rates are usually only good for estimates.

 

Zheng Lee
China
Local time: 01:56
Chinese to English
+ ...
Don't play with us Aug 6, 2013

This ratio is out of mind. Why don't they just let us work for them without paying anything?

Just like Leo said, 1.5-1.8 can be acceptable.

[修改时间: 2013-08-06 23:31 GMT]


 

Sidney_1  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 01:56
English to Chinese
As far as I know Aug 7, 2013

Many translation companies in China mainland go by 1.5, sometimes even lower.
2.8 is almost ridiculous, for it can never reflect the actual work load.


 
GMX/V Word count factors for Chinese Aug 7, 2013

Dear Forum Members,

Thank you for your comments. GMX/V 2.0 is an official ETSI LIS standard since 2012. ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) took over the original GMX/V 1.0 standard from LISA which only mandated character counts for Chinese. The Chinese word count factor of 2.8 is the acknowledged industry ratio that has been used by major LSPs for many years. ETSI LIS adopted these factors as an industry standard.

Some of the top 10 LSPs are on the ETSI LIS technical committee. GMX/V was published extensively for public comment by ETSI in 2012 and no feedback was received regarding the ratios. There have also been numerous webinars and presentations regarding GMX/V and L10N standards by Gala and other organizations since 2012.

If you feel that the ratio is not accurate, please direct your comments to ETSI LIS. I can also raise the issues on your behalf as I am a member of ETSI LIS. Please write to me personally regarding this. It would be very helpful to get an acknowledged Chinese academic expert and or professional Chinese translators body to present your case.

Best Regards,

Andrzej Zydroń


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:56
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
My experience Aug 7, 2013

Off the top of my head for complete sentences the English word count is probably 60-80% that of the Chinese one.

For me, I always say "per source word" and I mean the word count that MS Word is going to give you. I don't do matches or conversation rates (although I might be a little more flexible on the actual rate/word); what you see is what you get.

[Edited at 2013-08-07 09:30 GMT]


 

Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:56
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
I most certainly have never worked with such an LSP Aug 7, 2013

azydron wrote:

Dear Forum Members,

Thank you for your comments. GMX/V 2.0 is an official ETSI LIS standard since 2012. ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) took over the original GMX/V 1.0 standard from LISA which only mandated character counts for Chinese. The Chinese word count factor of 2.8 is the acknowledged industry ratio that has been used by major LSPs for many years. ETSI LIS adopted these factors as an industry standard.

Some of the top 10 LSPs are on the ETSI LIS technical committee. GMX/V was published extensively for public comment by ETSI in 2012 and no feedback was received regarding the ratios. There have also been numerous webinars and presentations regarding GMX/V and L10N standards by Gala and other organizations since 2012.

If you feel that the ratio is not accurate, please direct your comments to ETSI LIS. I can also raise the issues on your behalf as I am a member of ETSI LIS. Please write to me personally regarding this. It would be very helpful to get an acknowledged Chinese academic expert and or professional Chinese translators body to present your case.

Best Regards,

Andrzej Zydroń


Andrzej,

Thanks for your response on this topic, but I'm a bit baffled by your mention of "Many major LSPs" using this for many years. Who are these major LSPs? What are the real cases in practice where they employ such ratios? Is there any proven record of doing so? I obviously don't work with every single major LSP out there, but I have never, ever in my (short) years of working with translation heard of as ridiculous a ratio as this one. I've had LSPs who offered 1.8 or 1.7 ratios, or even 1.9, but I've never heard of anything as 2.8. Most of the time, I work with 1.5-1.6 myself.

Obviously it often does take some wrestling to get the ratio we wanted when it comes to actually taking on a project; sometimes it even involves delivering a small lesson where I might have a quick chat with a PM and discuss the difference between a stand-alone character and an English word (i.e. its components), etc, etc.

Also, I don't think such concerns can only be "vouched for" by an acknowledged Chinese academic expert. What does that mean exactly? Acknowledged by whom? Expert in which field? That being said, would a famous engineer who is fluent in both EN and CH be capable of offering legitimate and universally accepted reasoning to such linguistic issues? I beg to differ, truly.

I do agree however with your mention that no review was offered back in 2012; I myself will attest for the fact that I simply was not aware of this - I wasn't so active on proz back in the day and simply was absorbed in other things instead of keeping up with industry standards. That being said, however, there obviously is a need to revisit the entire ratio. A quick look at all the respondents here in the forum shows that we're from across many different geographic regions, and there seems to be more or less some sort of consensus on what the ratio should be. I don't translate as often into Chinese as some of my colleagues here, so perhaps someone here who's more seasoned should spearhead the effort of addressing the ETSI? I for one will gladly join in the participation.

Regardless, however, Andrzej, thank you for pointing out the organizations/bodies which govern this particular rule. It's always good to learn more about these things.


 

Donglai Lou  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 01:56
Member (2002)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well Said, Rita, Thank you very much Aug 8, 2013

Rita Pang wrote:

azydron wrote:

Dear Forum Members,

Thank you for your comments. GMX/V 2.0 is an official ETSI LIS standard since 2012. ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) took over the original GMX/V 1.0 standard from LISA which only mandated character counts for Chinese. The Chinese word count factor of 2.8 is the acknowledged industry ratio that has been used by major LSPs for many years. ETSI LIS adopted these factors as an industry standard.

Some of the top 10 LSPs are on the ETSI LIS technical committee. GMX/V was published extensively for public comment by ETSI in 2012 and no feedback was received regarding the ratios. There have also been numerous webinars and presentations regarding GMX/V and L10N standards by Gala and other organizations since 2012.

If you feel that the ratio is not accurate, please direct your comments to ETSI LIS. I can also raise the issues on your behalf as I am a member of ETSI LIS. Please write to me personally regarding this. It would be very helpful to get an acknowledged Chinese academic expert and or professional Chinese translators body to present your case.

Best Regards,

Andrzej Zydroń


Andrzej,

Thanks for your response on this topic, but I'm a bit baffled by your mention of "Many major LSPs" using this for many years. Who are these major LSPs? What are the real cases in practice where they employ such ratios? Is there any proven record of doing so? I obviously don't work with every single major LSP out there, but I have never, ever in my (short) years of working with translation heard of as ridiculous a ratio as this one. I've had LSPs who offered 1.8 or 1.7 ratios, or even 1.9, but I've never heard of anything as 2.8. Most of the time, I work with 1.5-1.6 myself.


To be frank, as I have worked with many LSP's big or small, only one LSP who are using XTM ever underestimated the workload but finally reached a reasonable one after consulting a few other Chinese translators. Anyway, as my client has used your "standard" ratio to quote to their clients, they had to suffer some profit losses.

I did think that you may have misinterpreted that standard. My experience with other CAT tools indicates that XTM might be the only one using this ratio.


 
GMX/V Word count factors for Chinese Aug 8, 2013

Dear Rita and Donglai,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. The ratio in question for Chinese source text is that quoted by Lionbridge the 2nd top LSP worldwide. As I do not represent that company I have checked with them before quoting their name. This ratio is also often used by other LSPs, which is why the figure was adopted by GMX/V 2.0.

In order to make a representation to ETSI LIS it would be best to get input from an official Chinese Translators body or acknowledged academic expert. This carries more weight as you can appreciate and makes your case more likely to succeed.

Best Regards,

AZ


 

Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:56
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
That makes perfect sense Aug 8, 2013

azydron wrote:
..........The ratio in question for Chinese source text is that quoted by Lionbridge .......



No wonder!
icon_frown.gif


 

Simin Tan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:56
Chinese to English
I generally use 1.5 in my quotes to clients... Aug 16, 2013

... and 2.8? Forget about it. Anything past 1.7, 1.8 I don't even bother responding, "major LSP" or not.

[Edited at 2013-08-16 08:16 GMT]


 

J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 01:56
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
A ridiculously high factor like 2.8 is doomed to be short-lived Aug 16, 2013

Simin Tan wrote:

... and 2.8? Forget about it. Anything past 1.7, 1.8 I don't even bother responding, "major LSP" or not.

[Edited at 2013-08-16 08:16 GMT]



As more and more translators choose to reject such a factor, it will quickly be discarded.


 

ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
一语中的 Aug 17, 2013

Simin Tan wrote:

... and 2.8? Forget about it. Anything past 1.7, 1.8 I don't even bother responding, "major LSP" or not.

说得太好了!干翻译这行就是得有点骨气,决不能饥不择食,更不食嗟来之食!

对于那种挖空心思、想方设法剥削翻译人员的业者,不给他们干就是了,又有什么好多说的?再多说又有什么用?除非确实闲着没事儿干了!


 

Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:56
Chinese to English
+ ...
How do people come up with these ratios? Aug 17, 2013

How can 30K Chinese characters be counted as 12k English words? A translation into English is often longer, not shorter.

 
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中英翻译字数计算的转换比例(Chinese to English conversion ratio)

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