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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : Development : Text size in translation (Now with a citation)
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icon Text size in translation (+1)  
I mentioned in the Flash DROD translation thread that written English tends to be more compact than a typical European language. Here is a citation of sorts for this claim that has figures that IBM has collected.

The above page cites this page.

The short version is that sometimes short texts, such as you might use as a heading or a label in a graphical user interface, can expand to even three times the size of an English phrase in some languages. Typically longer texts expand less in relation to the original as compared to shorter texts.

You might expect some written languages, notably Chinese, to actually be shorter than English on average. But generally the problem is that if a text grows longer, it messes with the originally planned layout in surprising ways, and you want to plan ahead for that situation.

This is probably useful to keep in mind when planning translations and localization. So I figured it deserved its own post here too. Just in case anybody was thinking of planting a big friendly wikipedia-like citation needed on my claims... I have one right here :)

04-21-2012 at 11:47 AM
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Great point!

We actually translated our core app into Finnish and we did experience web layout issues. Not much we could do about it though to be fair. We've yet to think of a good compromise so for now, it doesn't look as good translated.
04-22-2012 at 10:32 AM
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