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On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 2:12 AM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The test of that would be to take some e-texts of books originally
> written in languages other than English and compare words counts in
> the original to word counts in the English translations.
>
> Just out of curiosity I jumped over the the project Gutenberg page and
> did a quick spot check:
>
> Project Gutenberg etext of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
> 138,750 words in original French
> 143,147 words in English translation
> English translation is 3% more words.

Which English translation were you doing a word-count of?  The 1873
translation was heavily abridged; if in spite of that it is still
longer than the French original, that argues for an expansion in
verbosity much greater than 3% (but how much it's hard to be sure).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty_Thousand_Leagues_Under_the_Sea#Translations

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
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