a quote for printed/handwritten text
Thread poster: Agnieszka Tomeczek

Agnieszka Tomeczek  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:57
Member (2009)
Polish to English
+ ...
May 12, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

As I am fairly new to translation (have been interpreting so far) I would like to ask you for help in a rather technical matter. I've been faced with a request for quotation for a translation of a text sent to me in the print. Additionally, part of this text is handwritten and the handwriting is barely legible...
Hence I would appreciate your suggestions on the following:

1) Is there any faster way to count the words without scanning each and every single page and then using OfficeWord to count it for me? Mind you, there are some 200 pages with very varied amount of text on each.

2) a part of the same job is a bundle of handwritten documents and the handwriting is really hard to read - again is there any software/trick/proven method to first count the words and second make sense of them?

Thank you.



Boris Sigalov
Local time: 14:57
English to Russian
Working with hard copies and non-editable formats May 12, 2009


In order to count words and convently work with the text you get as a hard copy you should:

1) to scan the whole text

2) to use an OCR program for converting the result into editable format (MS Word or similar)

Please note that it's practically impossible to OCR handwritten text.

I usually charge extra for working with texts received as a hard copy or in non-editable formats (PDF, graphics, etc.). In case of handwritten text the surcharge my be up to 100%.


Tjasa Kuerpick  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:57
Member (2006)
Slovenian to German
+ ...
handwritting - toolkits May 12, 2009

As you did not say a word in which format you have received the document -
printed out or scanned pdf as pic file ??

Since a pdf file saved as pic format is much easier to handle than printed out pages send by ordinary mail.

For the printed text:
you will have to use a OCR recognition software, eg. ABBY (PDF RECOGNITION), Readiris (OCR) or something similar. I hope you have one of this programms, if not ask a friend to do the OCR recognition (I am sure he or she will do it for some bugs).

For the handwritten text;
Use the free OpenSource handwriting recoginition program Lipi Toolkit :
It does quite a good job, but you have to check it after the programme has finished his job.

A much faster way is to count words of the first three pages and note that your quotation is based only on estimation, and you send them your word price.
You may add that if they want a more detailed quotation, they can get it in a few days (if they assign you with the jobicon_smile.gif
the best way is allways contacting the person who send you the file, and explain them your problem, ask if they have a version of the paper without handwriting, just for count purposes, and tell them that you will take account of the handwritten parts. As the handwritten part is hard legible, you will need some help from them.
Clients are always happy to help if one does a good job, so no reason to worry about it


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a quote for printed/handwritten text

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