As translators , we are primarily concerned with communicating the overall meaning of a stretch of language. To achieve this, we need to start by decoding the units and structures which carry that meaning. The smallest unit we would expect to possess individual meaning is the word. Any written word can be defined as any sequence of letters with an orthographic space on either side. Or the smallest unit of language that can be used by itself. There is no one-to-one correspondence between orthographic words and elements of meaning within or across languages.