Aliens and widgets…

Widget, the World Watcher is a purple alien who came down to earth to teach children about the problems caused by pollution and the importance of protecting our planet for future generations. Of course he also battled with evil villains and could shape-shift into various forms that allowed him to do battle and prevent the earths valuable resources from being stolen.
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"Please translate this short paragraph and return by email"

These “quick” jobs are never that quick if you want to make sure you add the translation to your Translation Memory, or leverage the work you’ve done before.  You need to copy the text into a word document, or similar, then open the document in your favourite translation environment, translate the document, save the target translation, open the document and copy the text, finally paste it back into your email to return to your client.
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So how many words do you think it is?

Last Update 14 Feb 2015: Analysis based on SDL Trados Studio 2014 SP2 CU8 (11.2.4364.8)
It’s not unusual for people to see the word-count in a translation tool, compare it to the word-count in their authoring tool (usually MSWord..!) and then wonder why there are so many differences.  Quite often I get sent documents and am asked to explain the differences which I often put down to a simple explanation; ultimately I think you need to be fair with this and Word is a simple word count, whereas a translation tool is designed to try and reflect the effort of the Translator.  Studio even separates out the placeables and numbers so that the real effort becomes apparent and a fair way of measuring and charging for the work is achieved.  How successful this is often depends on who’s asking and exactly what the source material is..!
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