CAT tools typically calculate wordcounts based on the source material. The reason of course is because this way you can give your clients an idea of the cost before you start the work… which of course seems a sensible approach as you need to base your estimate on something. You can estimate the target wordcount by applying an expansion factor to the source words, and this is a principle we see with pseudotranslate in Studio where you can set the expansion per language to give you some idea of the costs for DTP requirements in the finished document before you even start translating. But what you can’t do, at least what you have never been able to do in all the Trados versions right up to the current SDL Trados Studio, is generate a target wordcount for those customers who pay you for work after the translation is complete and are happy to base this on the words you have actually translated.
You could workaround this of course by running the target file back through the analysis, but it would be nice if you could just run a target wordcount after the translation was complete without having to resort to this workaround.
Another requirement for counting words we often hear about, especially in Switzerland and Germany is a line count. Some customers in these parts of the world like to pay for their work by lines. The standard line being 55 characters including spaces… although I believe Belgium sometimes uses 60 characters per line, again including spaces. You can work around this as well by taking the character count, adding the number of words to it (to account for spaces… one word has an equivalent space) and then dividing by 55 or 60… or whatever the requirement. That would provide a reasonable estimate.
Or you could use a tool like AnyCount of course which offers quite a range of options for analysis… but this may not be suitable for all the files you are translating as it doesn’t support as many formats as your translation tools, and it may not support customisation of the formats to manage non-translatable texts in the same way you can with Studio. And of course it does not support SDLXLIFF files in case you were working on a package and wanted to use a feature like this. In any event, it would be better to have this capability in your translation tool in the first place and then you would not need to run two applications to get your target wordcount, or line counts, for payment.
This is where the SDL AppStore comes in as there is now a neat plugin called “Target Word Count” developed by Jesse Good (a prolific and very helpful developer) that is capable of producing an analysis for the target wordcount or a customisable line count.
Target Word Count
The application works in the same way you run an analysis or a source wordcount… via a batch task. This one is installed when you download and install the sdlplugin from the SDL Appstore. If this screenshot looks different to yours it’s because I hid all the other tasks for clarity:
When you run the task you are presented with a rates table (I randomly filled these in and hopefully won’t start a discussion over rates!!) which you can optionally fill in, and you are also given the opportunity to save the rates you use. This is quite useful if you have different rates for different customers as you can easily load the correct rates for the job and save typing them all in again. You can also add in your characters per line for the linecount report if you wish, and optionally create a source count or separate any locked segments:
The reports can then be found in the reports view in Studio, summarised as shown below but also with a breakdown by file if you have worked on multiple files. The target wordcount looking like this:
Selecting the linecount offers a slightly different interface as you only need to complete the rates for the line:
Then a simplified report:
Very straightforward, and probably the start of more to come as Jesse sees more use from an app like this. So simple, and yet so helpful!! You can also save the report in all the same formats as the out of the box reports from Studio… so Excel (XLSX), HTML, MHT and XML.
Nice work Jesse!