Calculating a Website’s Word Count for Translation

August 1st, 2015

It’s not an easy task calculating the word count for a website translation.

Calculating a Website’s Word Count for Translation | One Hour Translation

It’s not an easy task calculating the word count for a website translation. This type of translation will typically involve many challenges because, as well as the work required by translators, design and web-development teams may also be required. There will also be a certain amount of interaction with either the client or the client’s website developers in order to determine the most appropriate method for tackling the project.

Getting the Quote Right

However, prior to all these challenges there’s still the required quote. In order to provide a quote for the translation required you must know the precise number of words to be translated. Plus, you must be able to distinguish between words that haven’t yet been translated and words that already appear in the translation memory from past projects.

Repeated Segments

But, that’s not all: you also need to know the number of repeated segments contained within the new project. In the case of a new client who may not have a translation memory, these repetitions can have a big impact on your final quotation. This is particularly important when it comes to website translations because the content of each individual page is oftentimes framed with a series of recurring elements; like a header, contact information, links, recent entries in blogs, and so on. Because of this you might have a website that’s composed of 80,000 words of which only 20,000 will be new (sometimes known as ‘no match’).

So, when quoting on the translation of a website, its considerable length and its repetitive nature require that you pay close attention to repetitions.

Using More Than One Translator

If the translation project is to be completed by various translators, then keep in mind that different linguists could offer differing versions of the same repeated terms. Plus, when dividing up the files the number of repetitions within the whole project will be affected, and thus won’t coincide with the quoted amount.

So, if it’s necessary to use more than one translator to complete the project, there are two options –

The first option, and also the easiest one, is to connect all translators via an online translation tool to a single translation memory. This will prevent any inconsistencies between translations and make sure that internal repetitions are used advantageously.

The second more-complex option is to begin by translating the most frequently occurring segments; meaning those that are repeated a few times, and sometimes even dozens of times when you have a website with many individual pages. Then, with those repetitions already translated, the files can be divided between several translators. Everyone receives the memory containing the contents of the frequently occurring segments, so everyone benefits from the repetitions and the consistency of the project is ensured.

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