Translations: How we measure a page?

In last week’s article we started to clarify a few things about the service called translation. We explored what a translation is and we determined what the stages of the process are. At the same time, we learned about some specific terms, such as back-translation.

Today we want to go into even more detail. We want to show you exactly how a standard translation page is measured. Usually in Romania a standard translation page contains 2,000 characters with spaces. In Word, you can find out how many such standard pages a translation will have by selecting the Review > Word count option from the available drop-down menu.

This way you can get an idea of whether the number of physical pages matches the number of translation pages.

You should bear in mind that when translating from English into Romanian, the number of pages resulting from the translation can be up to 20% higher. This is because Romanian itself is a less concise language. Another way to measure a translation page is to count 1,800 characters without spaces. The resulting number of pages should be more or less the same.

Now you know how to find out how many pages your document has, before and after translation.

We also want to give you details of other systems for determining the number of pages. Internationally, the number of words per page is most often used. The convention is that a page counts 300 words. Another way to measure is the number of lines, where a standard page has on average about 20 – 25 lines.

It is important to know all these things to avoid confusion. Often the number of physical pages coincides with the number of translation pages. Small dilemmas arise with documents that are not provided in editable formats, such as PDF documents. There are solutions for such cases, too. Nowadays there are all kinds of free programs that can convert documents from PDF to DOC or DOCX.

Even in PowerPoint you can find out the word count of the document.

And that’s without having to copy and paste each slide into a word file. How exactly do you do this? It’s easy! Follow this flow: File → Options → Show all options → Words. That’s it! You have the number of words. Divide by 300, as mentioned earlier, and you get the number of pages.

But what about Excel?

In this case we have a solution too. The LEN (cell number) function applied to a cell tells you the number of characters in that cell. Then you can apply the formula to the other cells and add it up. This gives you the total number of characters (with spaces) in the document. Not so hard now, is it?

That’s about it for today. Hopefully we’ve managed to clarify a few more things about the translation domain. In the next article we’ll help you better understand the categories of translations and what their characteristics are. See you soon!

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