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In a message dated 3/7/2008 14:14:45 PM Central Standard Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> That's better than no data, but it's not much to the point of whether
> and how much texts tend to expand (or shrink) when translated into
> another language.  Basing it on length in characters rather than length
> in phonemes or syllables or morphemes tells us very little, unless
> we can compare two languages on the list with roughly phonetic
> spelling (e.g. Spanish seems to be a bit more verbose than Finnish
> or Esperanto by that measure).    I don't know about Azerbaijani
> or Indonesian, but Irish and French have a preponderance of
> digraphs and silent letters that bias this kind of measure against them
> (but then, so does English, the benchmark of this measurement system);
> and all the lowest-ranking languages have logographic or syllabic
> scripts.
> 

The length of a text for translation purposes is typically measured in words. 
 Thus the number of characters is often a poor measure of the number of 
words.  
The length in characters is often the easiest measure to obtain, and for 
short texts, such as those typical on Cucumis, may be the best measure.  

The type of writing system would make an obvious difference in the 
characters/word measure.  I don't think this is treated on Cucumis at all.

stevo   </HTML>