Word count analysis – 15% fewer words than in Trados?
Thread poster: Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Jun 11, 2013

A while ago, I completed a small project for an agency using MemoQ for analysis. I'm not sure to what extent Trados is generous with word counts (I know it skimps beyond belief on character counts), but Trados counted in excess of 2200 words, while the MemoQ analysis returned 1900. The project was rather small, but potentially losing 15% on all turnover from a source (plus other sources using Memoq for the same purpose, I'd need to ask them) is not really an exciting perspective.

Just in case: both analyses were based on the source, not the target.

What's the deal with the Memoq word count? Does simply produce different results than Trados does, sometimes resulting in more words and sometimes in fewer, or does it always produce a 15% pay hit in effect?


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Yael Ramon  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:42
German to Hebrew
+ ...
nice point Jun 12, 2013

indeed, very strange. i checked it now, as i saw your post, and realized, that counting words is indeed shorter, whereas counting characters is way larger.
but what i did in order to come close to Trados results, is mark "tags" as 1 word instead of the 0.00 default. it brought me to a result of less than 40 words shorter on a 20'000 word document, which is somehow much more acceptable.

Good luck
Yael


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Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:42
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Have you counted the words using any other program? Jun 12, 2013

Have you imported the file into Word or anything else that can give you a word count? It may be more accurate and may give you a better idea of the real word count. It could be that MemoQ is correct and that Trados is overestimating the word count and you're not really losing out at all.

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Elisabeth Monrozier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:42
English to French
+ ...
Slight difference with word count in Word Jun 12, 2013

I just analysed a Word file in MemoQ and noticed the word count was lower in MQ than in MS Word; but after a short calculation I realized the difference was a minor one. The word count is about 3 % lower in MQ, and the character count is only 0.6 % lower. I don't use the character count anyway, but this 3 % gap is potentially a significant loss at the end of the year. Not worth buying Trados just for analysis purpose, still it would be worth addressing the issue!

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Carl Carter
Germany
Local time: 15:42
German to English
This is what the online help says... Jun 12, 2013

Hi Lukasz,

Perhaps this page of the online help documentation will help explain the differences between memoQ and Trados in terms of word counts:

http://kilgray.com/memoq/62/help-en/index.html?statistics_dialog.html

(You can also call it up by pressing F1 when you're in memoQ.)

This section looks particularly relevant:

"Word counts section:
• memoQ: Check this check box to display memoQ word counts.

Note: In memoQ, similarly to Microsoft® Excel®, every string or character that is between whitespaces is counted as a word. Therefore in memoQ mode you always count numbers as a single word and hyphenated words like in-bound are also considered to be a single word. [CC: my own emphasis]

• TRADOS-like: Check this check box to display Trados-like word counts. SDL Trados® is another CAT tool on the market that handles word counts differently. [CC: I wonder if there's any difference in the way Trados 2007 and Studio 2011 count words or characters. Anyone know?]

Note: In Trados, numbers are only counted as words when they are within a segment, and a number of other rules apply. In Trados®, segmentation is a factor in word count, i.e. you can get a different word count if the same text appears in one or two lines. Trados® segmentation rules are not public, therefore there is usually a small discrepancy between the word counts of Trados® and Trados-mode memoQ. In most of the cases, this discrepancy does not exceed 1.5%. We suggest that you only use Trados-like word counts if your client explicitly requires you to do so."

Well, I'd say the upshot is that you need to agree on a basis for doing word counts, be it memoQ 5, 6, 6.2, 2013 or Trados 2007/Studio 2009, Studio 2011 or whatever (even Word or a text editor can be used).

If you want to find out why memoQ counts the way it does, I'd get it touch with Support at Kilgray if I were you.

Regards

Carl


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:42
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Hi everyone, Jun 12, 2013

Have you also tried changing the Word count method in the Statistics dialogue in memoQ?

There are two options:

• memoQ, and
• TRADOS-like

Selecting 'TRADOS-like' ought to give you counts that resemble those of Trados.


Word counts section:

• memoQ: Check this check box to display memoQ word counts.

Note: In memoQ, similarly to Microsoft® Excel®, every string or character that is between whitespaces is counted as a word. Therefore in memoQ mode you always count numbers as a single word and hyphenated words like in-bound are also considered to be a single word.

• TRADOS-like: Check this check box to display Trados-like word counts. SDL Trados® is another CAT tool on the market that handles word counts differently.

Note: In Trados, numbers are only counted as words when they are within a segment, and a number of other rules apply. In Trados®, segmentation is a factor in word count, i.e. you can get a different word count if the same text appears in one or two lines. Trados® segmentation rules are not public, therefore there is usually a small discrepancy between the word counts of Trados® and Trados-mode memoQ. In most of the cases, this discrepancy does not exceed 1.5%. We suggest that you only use Trados-like word counts if your client explicitly requires you to do so. (http://kilgray.com/memoq/60/help-en/index.html?translation_grid.html )



Wordbook.nl


Michael

[Edited at 2013-06-12 12:42 GMT]


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TommyBGoode
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:42
French to English
+ ...
Wordcount criteria between CAT TOOLS Sep 2, 2014

We're using Swordfish and memoq and there are significant differences in word counts. Does anyone know the criteria for they use? Are numbers counted by one and not the other?

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Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
English to Spanish
Swordfish counts numbers Sep 2, 2014

TommyBGoode wrote:

We're using Swordfish and memoq and there are significant differences in word counts. Does anyone know the criteria for they use? Are numbers counted by one and not the other?



Swordfish counts numbers. A number with periods or commas (e.g.: 1,2345.67) is counted as one word.

Regards,
Rodolfo


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:42
Member (2008)
French to English
Standard? Sep 3, 2014

Is there no standard that governs word counts? If there isn't, there should be IMO.

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