Word count using Trados versus other tools
Thread poster: Serge Driamov

Serge Driamov  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 18:46
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Jun 30, 2009

Hello everybody,

an agency has provided me an analysis of a document made with Trados. It contains word count (along with count of repetitions, fuzzy match, characters and placeables). After applying Word Count function of MS Word to this document I got another (slightly bigger) amount of words. Analysis using Wordfast produced the same number of words as obtained using Word Cound function of MS Word.
So, why the results obtained using Trados are different? Did anybody ever have anything like this?

Thanks in advance.

[Edited at 2009-06-30 20:40 GMT]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:46
Spanish to English
They are all different Jun 30, 2009

In fact I am surprised that wordfast and word gave you the same result, there is often quite a big discrepancy between the two.

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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:46
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
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Apples and Pears Jul 1, 2009

One reason for such discrepancies is that different programmers define words differently. For example, is "well-known" 1 word or 2? Both answers are correct.

Another reason is that Word shows you the number of words, whereas Trados counts the number of words you will have to translate. Take this example:

Current assets 123 234
Current liabilities 345 456

Word says 8 words, Trados says 4. Both are correct.

As we say in English, beware of comparing apples and pears -- similar but not identical.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 16:46
Member (2003)
German to English
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Not correct Jul 1, 2009

Peter Linton wrote:
... whereas Trados counts the number of words you will have to translate. Take this example:

Current assets 123 234
Current liabilities 345 456

Word says 8 words, Trados says 4. Both are correct.

As we say in English, beware of comparing apples and pears -- similar but not identical.


Peter, the assumptions by Trados software that dates and numbers do not require "translation" are quite wrong in many cases as you well know. The adaptation of figures and dates to a format appropriate in another culture is indeed a form of translation or at least necessary effort which must be compensated. These tasks also cannot be relegated to regular expressions, etc. in many cases; I see so much mixing of decimal formats (Swiss German documents that use English, Swiss and German conventions all in the same document, for example!) that I am wary of the "automatic" number conversions in DVX, for example.

The exclusion of numbers and dates in a Trados count often leads to incorrect calculation for purposes of compensation as well as problems with content when these elements are skipped in the segmentation. All content which one must read and understand should be compensated. Often it is by reviewing tables of numbers that I discover discrepancies elsewhere in a text.

Thus I would not suggest that Trados counting methods are in any way correct or that they are an accurate reflection of the work to be done. They represent - at best - a minimum and in other cases a distortion that can have unfortunate economic or safety consequences.


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:46
English to Norwegian
Different customers – different counts Jul 1, 2009

If you translate for end customers, use Word. But beware of headers, footers and textboxes; you have to check if they are included. Word is usually the only way an end customer has to verify your calculation, and you will avoid discussions by using a method he can relate to.

If you work for agencies it is nice if you get away with a count based on Word (a lot of the counting tools also use Word as a reference). But you would usually be stuck with the Trados count, both because they know the tool, and because they may insist on some kind of discount based on equal segments.


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Serge Driamov  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 18:46
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You are right, Jul 15, 2009

Lesley Clarke wrote:

In fact I am surprised that wordfast and word gave you the same result, there is often quite a big discrepancy between the two.



I only had the same results in one document, probably by chance. Still the difference I see in other documents is far less than between MS Word and Trados.


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Word count using Trados versus other tools

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