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Everyday Math for Translators  

2014-04-16 05:47:28|  分类: 翻译 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Everyday Math for Translators - 南桥 - 南桥的博客
 
Everyday Math for Translators - 南桥 - 南桥的博客
 
Everyday Math for Translators - 南桥 - 南桥的博客
An English-Chinese translator was asked by a friend about the  word count ratio between the original English text and its Chinese translation.  The translator, being the math nerd he is supposed to be, by virtue of being a Chinese --  though using the same argument you can call a chicken duck, or a duck goose --  randomly selected five chapters from his recent translation, and here is what he found: 

1. 2639 words in English translates to 5687 words in Chinese
2. 6588 words in English translates to 12059 words in Chinese
3. 2482 words in English translates to 3929 words in Chinese
4. 2203 words in English translates to 3511 words in Chinese
5. 4964 words in English translates to 8627 words in Chinese

During the weekend, he could have translated 5000 words in English into Chinese at RMB70 per thousand words in the translated Chinese text.  Instead, this translator worked on his backyard by laying some stepping stones to cover up some of the weeds which just appeared out of nowhere "whan that aprill with his shoures soote".   The square stepping stones cost US$1.58 per piece.   The round one cost US$2.25 per piece.   

With such information, answer the following hodge podge of questions:
1) Which language is more concise, and why?
2) How many square stepping stones could he buy if he had translated instead on a Saturday? 
3) If the translator had hired a handyman to do the yard work at $75 dollars an hour for five hours, how many weekends does he have to work as a translator to cover that cost?
4) Let's say a novel is 100,000 words in English.   The translator used 30 round stepping stones, 20 square stones and eight hours of a handyman's work for his project.   Will translating a novel cover the cost of the entire project?
5)  You are probably very bored by now, here is your chance to get at least one question right:  Has anyone seen the copper-colored moon last night?   
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