Japanese, Korean and Arabic are the most expensive languages for translation. Translations into Spanish and French cost almost half. However, translation cost doesn’t only depend on the language combination and can be calculated differently: a specialist may charge you based on an hourly rate or even use a subscription model. Read on to find out about the main components of the translation cost.
The average cost of translating one word varies from 0.10 to 0.25 USD. Thus, you can roughly calculate the cost of translation as soon as you have the complete text. However, different companies have various pricing models that can make the final cost much higher or lower than you expect. Let’s take a look at these options.
In most cases, the costs of translating content are calculated based on the word count. It’s a clear and simple indicator. However, the number of words may be different depending on the language. Some have a lot of articles and prepositions, others are more concise. Thus, you should discuss the per-word pricing model with your vendor in detail.
Other companies calculate the cost of translation based on the number of pages. In this case, pay attention to the font size, line spacing, and other features of the document that can make translation more expensive or cheaper. Talk to the vendor about how much text can fit on a standard translation page.
Some specialists calculate the cost based on the amount of time required for the work. This is a rational approach because it’s related to the efforts of a translator. However, the terms of work should be clearly defined. It will help you avoid miscalculations and overpayments. Urgent translations will also cost more because your vendor will have to postpone other tasks and probably even work overtime.
The cost of translation depends mostly on the amount of content and the languages. However, other factors can also affect the translation cost. Let’s discuss the main ones.
The text volume directly affects the cost of its translation. If you want to quickly enter a new market with a translated product you can probably shorten some of the text or select only the necessary documents or sections of your website that will be translated first. It will help you finish the work faster.
Common languages, such as those spoken in Western Europe, are very popular and are in demand all over the world. There are many certified translators of these languages, and competition in the market is strong, so the cost of translation is usually lower. Other languages require deep knowledge and experience, and they have the highest rates.
Moreover, translations between various language combinations can cost more or less. For example, translating a text from Arabic to Spanish will be more expensive than from English to Spanish since there are not as many people fluent in Arabic and Spanish, as there are in English and Spanish.
Additionally, the source language can affect the price, too. Translating a text from English is usually cheaper than from another source language into English.
Here are the average rates for translation among different language pairs:
Translation Rates (Source: Nimdzi)
Translating a chapter of a novel or a medical text are two fundamentally different tasks. Each of them requires different skills, as well as other specific types of materials, such as technical documents, scientific books, or legal documents. The translator must know special terms and even document formatting standards. The subject area may affect the cost, and some companies may not provide specialized services.
Some types of content are more difficult to translate. For example, to translate a podcast in audio format, you must first decrypt the file, and only then translate it. Then you will also have to voice it again. Similar difficulties are related, for example, to translating texts on images or videos. Translation of audio, video or image entail charges for extra services other than translation.
Translation of your text can take a significant amount of time. It depends on the daily capacity and current workload of translators. If you need a translation urgently, the price may increase two- or fourfold. Take this into account when planning the timing and budget of the project.
Do you want a text of the highest quality? If so, you need editing. Do you want to avoid typos and mistakes? If so, you need proofreading. Do you need a document to meet certain print requirements? Then you need DTP. Length restriction may also entail extra shortening charges. All these services can also increase the cost of work. Such services may include translation memory maintenance, glossary and style guide creation, and others.
Some services require third-party specialists, time, money, and so on. Keep in mind that your translation can become even more expensive due to different factors: we list only a few of them.
Everyone wants the text to look “native” in the target language. If that’s your case, you may need a review performed by a native speaker, which means hiring a professional and paying for the review services. It can cost even more if you want to translate medical or technical texts because you will need a specialist who knows specific terminology in the chosen area.
A translation agency can employ dozens of experienced translators, so there should also be a project manager who will communicate with customers, distribute work between translators, and ensure that tasks are completed on time. Sometimes the project management fee is charged as a separate service, but most often it is included in the cost of the work and positioned as a free-of-charge service.
If you are sending a source document to a translation company as a scan or PDF copy, extra effort will be required to extract the texts from the document. Keep in mind that you will probably need the work of a separate specialist whose efforts must also be paid.
If you want to entrust the work to professional translators instead of using machine translation, you should be aware that there are many factors affecting the cost of their services: from volume to language. However, any costs are worth the effort, because the result is a high-quality translation that will be easily understood by native speakers.
To order a quality translation of a text, contact Palex — translation services provider. We’ve been working in this area for more than 20 years, during which time we’ve gained extensive experience. We translate fiction, medical, legal, technical, and any other texts based on industry standards. We work with more than 80 languages. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an accurate quote for your project and discuss the work stages involved.