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I wasn't aware that there were translations of that book that are
significantly different. I just picked the first French eText and the
first English eText and compared their word counts.

But like I pointed out earlier, it would take a much larger sample
involving many other books and as many different original v.
translation language pairs as possible to draw any firm conclusions.

--gary

On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 8:25 AM, Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 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/
> CONLANG the Movie has only until 30 November on its Kickstarter pledge drive:
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>