Text growth when translating
Thread poster: Stendahls

Stendahls
Local time: 01:55
English
Oct 25, 2004

Hi,

Is there any one who knows of a accurate table that shows how much a text will grow after transaltion? Ie. how much extra space that should be used when creating a document?

Thanks in advance
Daniel


 

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:55
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
An accurate table? Oct 25, 2004

Stendahls wrote:
Is there any one who knows of a accurate table that shows how much a text will grow after transaltion? Ie. how much extra space that should be used when creating a document?


Dear Daniel,

I think that there are no tables like what you seek. There are just some general stats. And it depends on Source->Target languages and the nature of a text translated. Of course, I may tell you, say, that when you translate from English into Russian the general volume (in raw chars) grows 20-30% in average -- so, even if I do, is this information of any value to you? This all depends. Please specify the Source-Target pairs -- and even in this case you may ask only for broadly averaged evaluations, not for exact ratios.


 

Stendahls
Local time: 01:55
English
TOPIC STARTER
Stats on average Oct 26, 2004

Kirill Semenov wrote:

Dear Daniel,

I think that there are no tables like what you seek. There are just some general stats. And it depends on Source->Target languages and the nature of a text translated. Of course, I may tell you, say, that when you translate from English into Russian the general volume (in raw chars) grows 20-30% in average -- so, even if I do, is this information of any value to you? This all depends. Please specify the Source-Target pairs -- and even in this case you may ask only for broadly averaged evaluations, not for exact ratios.


Dear Kirill,

Thank you for the reply! What im looking for is some figures that can show the growth between many different languages (as many as possible)and that is a reasnably correct number. I understand that it cant be completly accurate for all texts, all figures on this has to be an average. But I´m looking for numbers that is not "guestimated" but calculated. Evenbetter would be if the gowth would be shown depening of type of text as well.

But the general stats you where talking about would be a good start, du you have a link?

Best regards
Daniel


 

Victor Potapov
Russian Federation
Local time: 03:55
English to Russian
+ ...
Increase in word count - my thoughts Oct 26, 2004

Stendahls wrote:

Dear Kirill,

Thank you for the reply! What im looking for is some figures that can show the growth between many different languages (as many as possible)and that is a reasnably correct number. I understand that it cant be completly accurate for all texts, all figures on this has to be an average. But I´m looking for numbers that is not "guestimated" but calculated. Evenbetter would be if the gowth would be shown depening of type of text as well.

But the general stats you where talking about would be a good start, du you have a link?

Best regards
Daniel


Dear Stendahls,

There is no straightforward answer to your question. Even in one language pair (English>Russian for me) texts in different areas of knowledge (legal, financial, technical, political etc.) have different "growth" percentages. Examples are all terms that originated in English but were translated descriptively into Russian/other languages. Recent example: L/C in financial English (letter of credit). In Russian it is "àêêðåäèòèâ" - there you go, 3 characters in English - 10 in Russian...icon_smile.gif Same is true for a lot of other terms as well.

You can never get a "standard" increase in number of characters, maybe a broad range - e.g. I quote 10% to 30% to my clients (I charge by target word). Generally all translations fall into this range, closer to 15-20% though.

And, by the way, the "growth rate" for number of words in source and target texts will be different from the "growth rate" in number of characters! I have no reliable statistical data here.

I agree that this type of statistics (e.g. average verbosity increases in a language pair by subject matter area) will be extremely interesting for translators. If you do compile this table/database - please post a link here at proz.com !

Regards,

Victor.


 

DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:55
Georgian to English
+ ...
If it's wordcounts we are talking about Oct 26, 2004

then these past postings at:
http://www.proz.com/topic/17596
may be useful / interesting, as well.

But I see from Daniel's follow-on (below), it isn't just a matter of wordcount in different sorts of texts, but all the factors which can together contribute to the 'physical' length of the text (eg: different font widths in different alphabets, and tendency for longer or shorter words).

Some parts of the thread deal with character counts, though.

I'll be interested to see the table, too!

[Edited at 2004-10-26 13:30]


 

Stendahls
Local time: 01:55
English
TOPIC STARTER
Time saving information Oct 26, 2004

Victor Potapov wrote:

Dear Stendahls,

There is no straightforward answer to your question. Even in one language pair (English>Russian for me) texts in different areas of knowledge (legal, financial, technical, political etc.) have different "growth" percentages. Examples are all terms that originated in English but were translated descriptively into Russian/other languages. Recent example: L/C in financial English (letter of credit). In Russian it is "àêêðåäèòèâ" - there you go, 3 characters in English - 10 in Russian...icon_smile.gif Same is true for a lot of other terms as well.

You can never get a "standard" increase in number of characters, maybe a broad range - e.g. I quote 10% to 30% to my clients (I charge by target word). Generally all translations fall into this range, closer to 15-20% though.

And, by the way, the "growth rate" for number of words in source and target texts will be different from the "growth rate" in number of characters! I have no reliable statistical data here.

I agree that this type of statistics (e.g. average verbosity increases in a language pair by subject matter area) will be extremely interesting for translators. If you do compile this table/database - please post a link here at proz.com !

Regards,

Victor.


I will do so!
I might as well give you some bakground on why I need it. It seems that alot of the time put in to reinsertion of the text inte the original layout could be saved by making the producers of the original aware of the growth in different languages.

Best regards
Daniel


 

Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:55
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Also some paradoxes Oct 26, 2004

Victor Potapov wrote:
There is no straightforward answer to your question. Even in one language pair (English>Russian for me) texts in different areas of knowledge (legal, financial, technical, political etc.) have different "growth" percentages. Examples are all terms that originated in English but were translated descriptively into Russian/other languages. Recent example: L/C in financial English (letter of credit). In Russian it is "àêêðåäèòèâ" - there you go, 3 characters in English - 10 in Russian...icon_smile.gif Same is true for a lot of other terms as well.


Speaking of English-Russian, the paradoxical thing is that the general volume (of characters) grows, but the wordcount decreases.
It may look strange, but, on the other hand, Russian does not have articles -- and Russian words are, basically, longer. That's why the difference.

[Edited at 2004-10-26 16:26]


 

Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:55
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
language swell statistics Oct 26, 2004

For ideas on obtaining this kind of information, see my article below on using the Bible as a multi-reference translation resource:

ALLEN, Jeff. 2002. The Bible as a Resource for Translation Software: A proposal for Machine Translation (MT) development using an untapped language resource database. In Multilingual Computing and Technology magazine. Number 51, Vol. 13, Issue 7. October/November 2002. Pp. 40-45.
accessible at http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/bible.htm

Several versions of the Bible can be accessed in different languages in plain text format. There are not only older versions of the Bible, but also very modern versions of it. All of the texts are lined up verse by verse. Lots of opportunity with those texts to produce some relevant statistics for many languages.

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/


 


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