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« Wiki-trivia | Main | The Swiss price for connectivity »

March 06, 2006

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Interesting to speculate what these differences in length imply about modes of perception and psyches when people are communicating across languages. Aside from word count and lenght, what else might be "lost in translation"?

Word counts and characters are the trivial part of the difference: overall length, as in the number of lines or size of a text block, are significant details for book and magazine designers working in more than one language. I edited a trilingual (French, Spanish, English) set of brochures and magazines for 10 years. It was important to design and write - from the outset - with all three in mind or the end product was visually unsuitable in at least one language. French is missing from your chart. It is typically 20% longer than English.

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