How many French words in a standard line?
Thread poster: John Fossey

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:06
Member (2008)
French to English
Jul 26

I have been asked to quote on a project in which the volume (in French) is stated in lines, not words. Is there a standard ratio of words per line?

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@John Jul 26

I haven’t quoted in lines for a long time but in 1985 when I started translating full time in Belgium I was told that a line contained 55 characters = 9 words in French. Hope this helps!

Kevin Fulton
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:06
French to English
Ask your client Jul 27

Why not ask the client? If they are expecting you to quote in a particular way, they must have a specific understanding of what that actually means to them. For example, a three-column article presentation would not have as many words/line as an A4 no-column article. You really need to be sure what it means for the client and then you'll be able to quote.

 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:06
Member (2008)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Lazy client Jul 27

Because it's a very large job in pdf format and it was obvious the client had no intention (or means) to count the words. In the end I quoted on the basis of 9 words per line, subject to review after I receive the documents. We'll see.

 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:06
English to French
+ ...
So... Jul 29

John Fossey wrote:

Because it's a very large job in pdf format and it was obvious the client had no intention (or means) to count the words. In the end I quoted on the basis of 9 words per line, subject to review after I receive the documents. We'll see.


So... You didn't even take a look at the document? I would have asked for the pdf, saved it in word (using Adobe Acrobat) and read the number... Can do it for you, if you want.


Josephine Cassar
 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:06
Member (2008)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Quote subject to review... Jul 29

Germaine wrote:

John Fossey wrote:

Because it's a very large job in pdf format and it was obvious the client had no intention (or means) to count the words. In the end I quoted on the basis of 9 words per line, subject to review after I receive the documents. We'll see.


So... You didn't even take a look at the document? I would have asked for the pdf, saved it in word (using Adobe Acrobat) and read the number... Can do it for you, if you want.


As I said, subject to review after I received the documents. Had I not provided a ballpark quote I would not have had the opportunity to review the documents. I have no problem converting to Word once I have them, using PDF Transformer.


 

Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:06
English to French
+ ...
How did it go? Aug 13

Sorry, John. I misunderstood your point.
So, how did the estimate compare to reality? Is 9 words/line a fair basis or should the number be closer to 13-14 words/line ?


 


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How many French words in a standard line?

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The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features, ensures new

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