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How to Determine the Cost of Translation

Cost of Translation

There are several different factors that can determine the cost of translation. These factors include the complexity, location, and turn-around time.

Depending on the type of document, the cost of translation can range from $0.06 per word to over $10 per page. Here are some tips to help you determine the cost of translation.

Paying per word

Paying per word for translation is a common method for hiring a translator. This method lets you charge for each word that you translate, and it is easier to calculate than an hourly rate. However, it is better to charge an hourly rate if you are working on a small, fixed-scope project.

In addition to varying per-word rates, other factors can affect the cost of a translation. The final cost of the service will vary, depending on the language and the needs of the client. Understanding how each rate works can help you decide on the best option for your project. Some vendors will provide transparent quotes, while others will gloss over the details.

Pricing by the word is generally more expensive than pricing by the hour. It can be difficult to estimate the time required to complete the project. Moreover, it can be difficult to know what the end cost will be. Many language services companies charge by the word, but you should know that the final cost will vary from the estimated price. If the content is complex, the cost per word will be higher.

While paying per word for translation can be expensive, it is worth it in the long run. A bad translation can cause people to discard your brochure or website. It could even cause them to laugh at your company. Ultimately, paying more for a translation will help you create a positive image of your company and its content.

Turnaround time

The length of the turnaround time for a translation is often determined by the format of the source files. For example, a plain text file can be translated much faster than an image file. However, a poorly scanned image will take more time to translate than a well-translated file. Furthermore, a document with high-visual content will require a special process called Desktop Publishing, which replicates the formatting of the source document.

Once you have decided to commission a translation, the next step is to find a translation company. A good translation company will be able to quote a price for a project based on the content and the number of words. Typically, the longer the turnaround time, the lower the cost. Also, a longer turnaround time means that the translation company can perform quality assurance on the work, lowering the overall cost.

To determine the turnaround time, it is important to consider the project’s urgency and size. Urgent translation projects can be completed in as little as two days, while non-urgent projects can take up to ten business days. Also, keep in mind that a project may require additional services such as proofreading or editing.

If you require a highly specialised translation, finding a translator who has specialized knowledge of that particular language may be more difficult. For example, translating from Polish to Chinese is not a common request, which means there are fewer translators available and the turnaround time will be longer. In addition, it is also important to understand the difference between standard translations and technical translations. Technical translations are more technical and require subject matter experts.


The cost of translation services vary greatly depending on the location of the translation agency. Some organizations strive to pay a consistent rate to all of their translators no matter where they are located. This model is effective if the translation agency can guarantee a steady flow of work. Others opt to optimize costs by paying higher rates in some locations.

A language’s cost structure can also vary depending on whether it is a Latin-alphabet language or a symbol-based language. For example, the cost of translating a document into a German-language document will differ from a translation into a Latin-alphabet language.

The cost of translation may be reduced if the translation agency performs additional quality checks. Likewise, the cost per word may be higher when the translator is located in a country with a higher cost of living. If the project is large, the translator may need to hire a project manager. A project manager can reduce the cost of translation.


One of the biggest factors that can affect the complexity of translation costs is the type of text. For example, translating a financial report requires a much larger amount of time than a simple article, which requires just a few sentences to convey the message. Financial texts contain many numbers and require a more detailed approach to translation.

In addition, some types of translations cost more than others. For instance, a legal document requires a certified translation from a government agency. A clinical trial translation requires extensive subject matter and other aspects, resulting in a higher translation cost. Furthermore, the document must be translated by a native speaker.

Another factor that can increase the complexity of translation costs is the complexity of the content. Documents containing technical terms or other complex terminology typically require specialized translators, and these translators charge a higher rate for the work. Similarly, creative content containing slogans, poetry, or marketing campaigns can be more difficult to translate.

Depending on the type of content, translations can be carried out in multiple languages. Some languages are more popular than others, and this can influence the price of a translation. In addition, some languages are more difficult to translate than others. This will affect the amount of time required to complete the project.

Cost of Translation
Cost of Translation
Cost of Translation


When you need a translation, there are a few things you should consider before choosing a translation service. One of the biggest considerations is the quality of the translation. Non-certified translations may be less expensive, but they can have errors. Furthermore, these translations take the time of research staff, which can be better spent on other tasks.

The type of translation service you need will also affect the cost. A basic translation will involve one translator, while a full-service translation will involve two or three linguists. Other services such as desktop publishing, software engineering, or linguistic quality assurance will add to the cost. You should carefully consider these costs before hiring a translation service.

Other factors to consider are the volume of the translation, the type of language, and the number of words to be translated. Most translation services bill per word, so the more words you require, the higher the cost per word will be. There are also special per-word rates for large-scale projects. In addition, you should consider whether the content being translated is technical or non-technical. Technical content requires specialized translators, and therefore commands a higher per-word price.

Other factors affecting the cost of translation include the language combination and the popularity of the language pair. For example, Western European languages are generally cheaper than Asian languages. Asian languages, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive because of their complexities and the limited number of qualified translators. If your translation requires technical or scientific content, you may also have to pay extra for formatting and research. Additionally, you may need to hire a more industry-specialized linguist for the project.

Getting a native speaker

Hiring a native speaker to translate a document can save a lot of money. These services offer the best quality translation for a reasonable price. The native speaker will be familiar with the language and have the necessary skills to produce the translation you need. A native speaker can also ensure that your translation is accurate and fluent. The costs of hiring a native speaker for translation will depend on the language and scope of the project. The most common methods of pricing are per word and per hour, but other methods include charging by character, line, or page.

The rate of a native speaker depends on their level of expertise in the target language. For example, highly technical content may require a highly specialized knowledge of the language. These fields are usually challenging for native speakers, as they must use specialized terminology to understand the content. Examples of these fields include software development, manufacturing, legal, and financial fields. A bilingual speaker can have experience working in these fields and charge a higher rate.

A native speaker will not have as many grammatical errors as a non-native speaker. Moreover, they are much more likely to understand the text if it’s in their mother tongue. However, they may not be able to translate it perfectly. Because native speakers handle language differently than non-native speakers, a native speaker’s texts tend to flow more naturally.


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