Word counting in French

Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:17 pm
Platform: Mac + Windows

Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:09 pm Post

Scrivener word counting in French is certainly not a priority but as a French user, here is my feed-back :
(excuse my bad English)

Here are a couple of sentences in French :
1) Qu’est-ce que tu fais ?
2) Fromage ou dessert ? demande-t-il.
3) Il ne s’intéresse qu’à lui.

What I expect to happen in terms of word count :
1) 6 words : Qu' + est + ce + que + tu + fais
2) 6 words : Fromage + ou + dessert + demande + t + il
3) 7 words : Il + ne + s' + intéresse + qu' + à + lui

What actually happens :
1) 4 words
2) 4 words
3) 5 words

Describe EXACTLY how to reproduce the bug
I guess part of the 'bug' may come from :
- French elision, that is omission in some cases of letters of some French words, turning words such as se, te, que into s', t', qu', etc.
See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elision
- and more generally the fact that in French, letters might be considered as words.

However, the problem may be more complex. I haven't checked every cases of sentence count. Some day, when I have more time, I may be more exhaustive.
Thx for reading.

PS : btw Scrivener 3 is really great !

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Platform: Mac
Location: Truro, Cornwall

Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:00 pm Post

Many thanks for the feedback (and sorry for the month-late reply). Unfortunately, this may be very difficult to fix. For word counting, Scrivener relies on what Apple's text engine deems to be a "word", which may well be skewed to English. Moreover, there is code in Scrivener to count hyphenated words as single words, since this was a big user request and standard in English, which skewers things even more in this case. It would be possible to add an option to have Scrivener count words attached by hyphens separately, but this wouldn't help in the case of words attached with apostrophes because Apple's word-counting engine does not distinguish them. (And I have to rely on Apple's engine for this, because I'm sure you can imagine how complex it is determining what a "word" is in any language!)

All the best,
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:17 pm
Platform: Mac + Windows

Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:36 am Post

Thx for your reply :-)

I fully understand the complexity of this matter.

Maybe the user manual could inform those who don't write in English that they can't fully rely on Scrivener word counting, as this feature may mislead them.

However, I like this software very much. Keep up the good work.

PS : And I like the way you take care of your costumers.