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Notes on Calculating Translation

Both a professional freelance translator and project manager could face challenges charging a translation job or project. Drawing on a previous experience of translation industry professionals we have to learn ways to enhance the value of our effort.

You may have noticed that the number of words in a document usually increases or decreases when the document is translated. The text expansion and contraction are attributes of the translation procedure and must be taken into account while calculating translations.

Depending on different language pairs as well as a type of specialized translation wether they are medical, IT, technical, financial, economic, legal, literary etc., the amount of characters would always vary.

In general a text translated from English to French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Romanian or Russian will expand by about 10-20% and vice versa. So for example your French to English translation text will contract by around 10-20%.Translating from English to Danish or Dutch, Portuguese, Greek, Turkish, your text will grow by about 20% or even 30% and vice versa.

The other way around the text translated from English to Swedish, Finnish or Norwegian will contract approximately by 30% and expand in reverse translation. Chinese and other ideographic languages will contract by about 30-40%.

The figures presented above may only be approximate, as it was mentioned before the text expansion depends on a subject matter and terminology to a great extent and also the quality of the writing matters. Alternatively you could find an information referring to Romance languages using nearly 30% more space in each line of text than English does, Cyrillic-alphabet languages use up to 45% more space, and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese take up about 20% less space.

Without regard to measure units that you use for a text volume evaluation you need to anticipate changes in the target text size in relation to the source text and include it into the calculation. Notice that calculating the price per word of the source or target language reduces costs at times and at other times increases them.

To fulfill an accurate and quick estimation a professional software gives the best fit. With AnyCount you can calculate not only words but also any text elements and custom count units in your files and documents. Find out more about AnyCount.

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