Translation question: words numbers in different languages?

Subject: Translation question: words numbers in different languages?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Susan Hogarth <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 13:33:13 -0400

Susan Hogarth wonders: <<I have a doc we are going to have translated
to French from English. The procurement people tell me that the
translators charge .16-.17/per word of *French* (the 'to' language).
My boss wants me to tell her how much the translation will cost. I
have the number of words in English (1,500), but no way to estimate
how many French words it would be. Is there an easy rule-of-thumb?>>

I've never seen costs quoted per word of target language for English
to French translation, though I'm told this is sometimes done in
other languages. The standard practice is to charge per word of
source text, among other reasons because this is the only way to
easily budget costs and because it doesn't give the translator an
incentive to pad the bill by adding unnecessary but justifiable
words. If you have any control over the process, recommend that
future translations be handled this way.

If you need a crude estimate, the French word count typically expands
by between 10 and 30% above the English word count, depending on the
nature of the topic and how concise the translator chooses to be.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Translation question: words numbers in different languages?: From: Susan Hogarth

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