Translation Services Text Expansion and Contraction

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Text expansion or text contraction occurs when you translate a document from one language into another. This results from differences in sentence structure, grammar tone, writing style, syntax, and word usage across languages. Text expansion or contraction leads to a lack of an abundance of white space that in turn may affect the design of your marketing campaign, presentation, website, brochures, documents, or apps. In order to avoid the effects of text expansion and contraction in translation services, any company that provides certified translation in Dubai needs to understand the differences in the length of languages to predict and plan ahead for your translation projects.

What are text expansion and contraction?

Text expansion happens when the content in the target language takes up more space than in the source language. For some languages, the difference may be in the number of words or word length.  Sometimes the difference is just a few words more to make the same statement, but other times, the words may increase up to 50% more than the source texts. On contrary, text contraction happens when the target text takes less space than the source text. For example, the text length shrinks when translating from English into Swedish.

Alsun provides professional official translation services in Dubai for all your documents taking into account text expansion and contraction to maintain the design of your original document.

Factors that Cause Text Expansion and Contraction

So, what causes text expansion and contraction? There are some factors that lead to text expansion and contraction such as:

  • Width of Characters: For example, if you are translating from English into Japanese, Japanese characters will take up much more horizontal space.
  • Compound Words: Many languages contain compound words such as Dutch and German. These compound long words are usually translated into smaller words in English.
  • Abbreviations: If a document contains a large number of abbreviations, it would create considerable text expansion or shrinkage.
  • Types of Content: Translators cannot add or cut words in the content of Legal or medical translations, but in literary translation, for example, it is likely to find text expansion or shrink.

Alsun legal translation company in Dubai provides accurate and reliable legal translations for all your documents. Our translators pay attention to every single detail of your documents to deliver error-free translations.

Examples of text expansion and contraction

Below are some examples of text expansion and contraction from and into English:

From English To English
Arabic +25% -20% to -25%
Hindi +15% to +35% -15%
Japanese -10% to -55% +20% to +60%
Korean -10% to -15% +15% to +20%
Thai +15% -5% to -15%
French +15 %to +20% -10% to -15%
Spanish +20 %to +25% -10% to -20%

Alsun provides translation, localization, and subtitling services to help you reach your targeted audiences. Contact the legal translation Dubai office and get a free quote! 


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