Difference of 1000+ words between Studio2009/MSWord and PM-provided word counts
Thread poster: Ayako Teranishi

Ayako Teranishi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:41
Member (2007)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Sep 21, 2013

Hello all,

Is it technically possible to have 1,000+ word count difference between the number Studio 2009 and MS Word show and the analysis provided by a project manager?

I am working on a translation project that the project manager initially says total of 8138 words (SDL TR 7100 + SDL Fuzzy 664 + SDL 100%/REP 374.)

Now I open the .xliff file with Studio 2009 and found that it shows the file has total of 9238 words.

I wanted to be sure, so I counted the original source text provided as an Excel file by copy and paste onto MS Word. It shows 9284 words in total.

I am aware that word count can slightly differ among different versions of TRADOS, different CAT tools, and MS Word. However, the difference of 1000+ words is quite surprising. Can this be technically possible? Am I missing something? Or, just simply the project manager counted it wrong?

Any information/thought would be appreciated, thanks!


Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:41
Japanese to English
+ ...
Hmm Sep 21, 2013

Not sure what they are using to count but in my experience agencies/clients often miscount the words. I usually just tell them before accepting the job that "I am counting X number of words, is this OK (at the agreed-upon rate)?" If they say no then it is someone who you didn't want to work with anyway.

There are differences in the way that this or that software counts words (namely, what they actually consider to be a word), but in your specific case I don't see how they are coming up with a number like that. If you average your counts from Word and Trados, you can see that the PM is arriving at a number over 12% lower than yours.

You say that you are already working on the project. Did you already agree to the 8138 count from the PM when you accepted the job?

[Edited at 2013-09-21 10:42 GMT]


Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:41
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Differences in wordcounts Sep 21, 2013

This blog post by Paul Filkin might help clarify the difference:


Minoru Kuwahara
Local time: 23:41
English to Japanese
+ ...
Possibility Sep 21, 2013

Hello Teranishi-san,

Considering that big count difference, I suppose, from my experience of Trados 2009/2011, there can be cases where numbers, signs such as underscores or embedded codes, if any, are inevitably included in the total word count. This could make a significant discrepancy between the count in Trados and that in MS Word. In this case, I might guess your pm had forgotten to inform you of that total word count in the Trados file can be largely different from a manual count.



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Difference of 1000+ words between Studio2009/MSWord and PM-provided word counts

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