Translation Word Count: Factors To Consider
Translation word count is an important factor when it comes to managing translations on behalf of your organization or client.
If you’ve ever purchased translation services or translation software, then you’ve likely been quoted a price by word. Cost Per Word is the standard used in most countries to calculate translation cost, including the United States.
However, there are exceptions. Some countries use Cost Per Character instead. In Germany’s case, they use Cost Per Line, and a line is usually defined as 55 characters long. Word count can also affect how much you pay for translation software, as many plans are priced by the number of words translated.
Just as importantly, it’s a great tool to help determine the amount of time it takes to produce a translation.
What Causes Translation Word Count Discrepancies?
When you go to count your words wherever you are translating, it can be confusing when you receive different results depending on the platform you’re using or the file itself. Whether you’re counting words of a file in its native word processing application (say Microsoft Word) or within your translation management software, you might see a discrepancy in word counts.
Certain document formats are resistant to word count. For example, PDF’s that are locked or scanned PDF files. In those cases, you might need to find the unlocked file or plan to manually count words.
To the frustration of many translation managers, footnotes, endnotes, tables and text objects are notoriously excluded from word count in some versions of Microsoft Word. Embedded jpegs are usually not counted and text in the form of WordArt, and text that exists in shapes and embedded tables can also be excluded.
Numbers & Symbols
Numbers written with digits such as “123” are sometimes excluded from word count. Written in the form “one hundred twenty-three,” the number will count as words. Symbols are oftentimes counted as spaces. So “twenty-three” might be counted as two words instead of one, depending on the tool you’re using.
All of these factor into why you may get different word counts from different applications for the same file.
Word count can also differ greatly between languages. So it’s imperative to understand this going into a translation project or software subscription. For example, a sentence in a romance language can be 30% longer than it is in English.
Word count approach for translation management systems and word processors can vary depending on the application. Ultimately, every translation application uses its own algorithm to count words and that’s why you’ll get a discrepancy in word count.
How to Simplify Word Count in Your Day-to-Day
The only way to truly get the feel for how word count works in a particular system is to be aware that software applications all count words differently and make sure all your users are in alignment. Translation software provides more word count data by breaking files down into 100% matches, partial or fuzzy matches, repetitions and new words. It’s the preferred method for producing word counts and planning translation projects.
In other words, translation software outperforms word processor software. This will both simplify your translation process and help you save time and continuously reduce costs in the long run.
Ready to Save Time & Money on Translation?
Schedule a live demo of Pairaphrase.
How to Translate JSON Files Online Effectively
Want to translate JSON files? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best way to auto-translate JSON files online.
How to Translate HTML Files to Another Language
Want to translate HTML files to another language? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best way to translate HTML files.
How to Translate PO Files Online 
Need to translate PO files online? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best way to translate PO files.
Best AI Translation Software for Enterprises 
Need the best AI translation software for enterprise use? Learn the top 10 reasons your organization should use Pairaphrase.
Translating in Microsoft Office 365 Apps vs. Pairaphrase
Translating files in Microsoft Office 365? Explore pros and cons of the translation experience in each MS Office app vs the Pairaphrase TMS.
OpenAI Language Translation: Pros & Cons for Enterprises
Exploring OpenAI language translation capabilities? In this article, discover the pros & cons of OpenAI translation for enterprise use.
File Translation 101: Your Guide to the Basics
Learn all about file translation in this 2023 guide to gain an understanding of the different kinds of file translation services & formats.
Best Way to Translate Elucidat Course Content
Learn how Pairaphrase makes Elucidat course translation reusable, secure, fast and easy.
5 Tips for eLearning Localization in 2023
Need to localize eLearning content? Familiarize yourself with these 5 eLearning localization tips for effective multilingual training.
How to Translate a Text File Online 
Want to translate a text file? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best way to translate a text file for your organization.
Best DocTranslator Alternative (2023)
Want a secure enterprise alternative to DocTranslator? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best DocTranslator alternative for enterprises here »
Top 8 Translation Industry Trends (2023 Outlook)
Explore 2023 translation industry trends! Learn about 8 translation industry trends 2023 will bring, according to our predictions »
How to Translate a Google Doc Most Efficiently 
Want to translate Google Doc text? Learn why you should use Pairaphrase as your Google Docs translator.
Best English to Polish Document Translation Software 
Looking for English to Polish translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
Translation Services 101: Your Guide to the Basics
Need translation services? First, learn the basics! This way, you can make an informed decision. Explore this guide to translation services.
Best Redokun Alternative for Enterprises (2023)
Want a secure enterprise alternative to Redokun? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best Redokun alternative for enterprises here »
Localization 101: Your Guide to the Basics
Curious about localization? Learn about localization vs translation, what it is, how it works, benefits & more in this guide to the basics!
Best Memsource Alternative for Enterprises (2023)
Want a secure enterprise alternative to Memsource? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best Memsource alternative for enterprises here »
How to Translate Entire Google Sheets (All Cells) 2023
Want to translate entire Google Sheets? Learn why you should use Pairaphrase as your Google Sheets translator.
How to Translate Entire Google Slides Presentation 
Want to translate Google Slides presentation text, notes & charts? Learn why you should use Pairaphrase as your Google Slides translator.
Fast Turnaround Translation: How to Get it
While fast translation turnaround and linguistic quality is a delicate balance, this post will tell you how to best use Pairaphrase to get fast translations.
Best English to Arabic Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for English to Arabic translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
Best OnlineDocTranslator.com Alternative (2023)
Considering an alternative to OnlineDocTranslator.com? Explore why Pairaphrase is the best OnlineDocTranslator.com alternative for enterprises.
How to Translate an IEP Document 
Need to translate an IEP document? Learn how to translate IEP documents in the most efficient and secure way possible.
Machine Translation (MT): Your 2023 Guide to the Basics
Curious about Machine Translation (MT)? Learn about machine translation, how it works, benefits of machine translation & more.
How to Translate PDF Document Text to Another Language (2023)
Learn common issues involved with translating PDF documents and discover why Pairaphrase is the best PDF document translator.
How to Translate XML Files Online (2023)
Need to translate XML files online? Learn about the best features to use when translating XML files.
Best English to Italian Document Translation Software (2023)
Want the best English to Italian document translation software for business? Read about the 10 best English-Italian translator app features.
Learn all about terminology management in this comprehensive guide.
Smartling Alternative for Enterprises in 2023
Want a Smartling alternative? Explore 10 possible reasons you need one, and why Pairaphrase might be your best alternative.
How to Translate XLIFF Files Online Successfully (2023)
Need to translate XLIFF files online? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best way to translate an XLIFF file.
Best Japanese to English Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for Japanese to English translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
How to Translate SRT Files Effectively 
Learn how to translate SRT files in 2022! Explore the reasons Pairaphrase is the best way to translate an SRT file effectively.
Best English to Japanese Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for English to Japanese translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
Brochure Translation Software Features to Look for
Need brochure translation? Look for these 10 top brochure translator features (before you buy).
Best Way to Translate Articulate Course Files
Need to translate Articulate course files? Learn why Pairaphrase is the best way to translate Articulate files (XLIFF 2.0).
Best Way to Translate Multiple Files Simultaneously Online
Need to translate multiple files simultaneously online? Learn why Pairaphrase is best for batch translation.
Using Pairaphrase Translation Software with Amazon Translate
Curious about translating with Amazon Translate (AWS)? Learn about using Amazon’s machine translation engine with Pairaphrase.
Best English to Hindi Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for English to Hindi translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
How to Translate Large Files with Ease
Need to translate large files? Learn about the best tools to use when translating large PDF’s, documents & more (10MB+).
Catalog Translation Software Features to Look for
Need catalog translation? Look for these 10 top catalog translator features (before you buy).
Best English to Vietnamese Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for English to Vietnamese translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
How to Create Effective Termbase Glossaries for Machine Translation
Need to create a termbase glossary? Get our top 5 tips for creating effective termbase glossaries for machine translation.
Best English to Korean Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for English to Korean translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
DeepL Alternative for Enterprises (2023)
Explore various DeepL drawbacks and user-specific needs you might identify with. This way, you can conclude whether alternatives to DeepL could fill these gaps.
Most Accurate Translator: How to Get it
While a 100% accurate translator does not yet exist, this post will tell you how to get the most accurate translator tailored to your company’s words and phrases.
Top 10 Translation Industry Trends in 2022
Explore 2022 translation industry trends! Learn about 10 translation industry trends 2022 will bring, according to our predictions »
Secure Transcription Software That Translates Languages
Need secure transcription software that translates languages? Learn what features to look for and how Pairaphrase will benefit you.
Best English to Portuguese Document Translation Software (2023)
Looking for English to Portuguese translation software, but not sure what features you need? Access this buying guide.
Translation KPIs for Translation Management Success
Establishing translation KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)? Here are the 5 Most Important KPIs for translation management success.
5 Things Pairaphrase Cannot Do For You
Pairaphrase is a powerful tool, but it is not a replacement for the human translation and post-editing review process. Read this before you buy.
Subscribe to our Blog
Get expert translation tips straight to your inbox, and get more from Pairaphrase. Subscribe to the Pairaphrase Blog today.