Word count is one of the most controversial issues during the process of translation. It involves your quotation and payment as most of translation work in the localization industry is paid based on word count. So let us look at how the word is counted by the different tools.


We can directly use the “word count” function in MS word. Word counts any characters, letters separated by space and symbols as one single word. Even if there is no need to translate the symbols, they are still regarded as single word, such as @, #, ¥, %, &, they are counted as 5 words in Word. Moreover, number is also counted as single word.

For Chinese source, you can check “Chinese characters and Korean words” which only count Chinese characters and Korean words.


It provides two kinds of different counting algorthims, one is totally same with Word, the other is its unique counting way, counts special characters and number as word, but doesn’t count symbols, such as bullet or number, etc., which is count as a single word in the Word.

Trados (Translator’s workbench)

It only counts translatable texts excluded any number and symbols. Note:

1 It cannot count the texts in text box;

2 It counts word with hyphen as different single word, for example, it counts “two-word” as two single words, which is counted as one single word in Word.