Calculation of text volume
Determining the volume of a text
is not only essential in the field of translation (submitting quotations,
invoicing), but also plays an important part in various stages of processing
languages (analyses, statistics, comparisons).
However, the unit of calculation applied differs from one region to another:
in the Anglo-Saxon world, on the one hand, it is still common practice
to calculate text volume by counting words - a method dating back to the
days of the typewriter. Alternatively, in German-speaking countries, and
to some extent in France, text volume is expressed in the number of characters
(or standard lines).
Depending on the morphology of a language, the average word length varies
considerably. In German, for example, compound words occur frequently,
whereas French is more analytically structured. 1,000 words of one given
language do not correspond to the same text volume as 1,000 words of another.
In a multilingual environment, therefore, the only viable and truly accurate
method of calculation is to determine the number of characters (or standard
lines). (see Quant)