Quality translations can be an expensive endeavor, but they are often necessary. Whether you’re looking for a quick translation to get the gist of a document or need more detailed work done, it’s important to know how much it will cost in your desired market. This blog post will provide some general guidelines and tips on what to expect when pricing out translation services.
Because operational efficiency is the value proposition of translation services, your price must be exceptionally competitive. A 1% increase in your pricing approach can result in a gain of 11% in profits. A project in the translation sector needs an accurate pricing approach based on its unique characteristics.
Based on our research of the translation industry’s rates, we devised the following price structure:
What are the common pricing methods?
I believe that pricing should be simple and straightforward. Customers will not pay even a cent more than the product’s genuine value.
One of the classic “4 Ps” of the marketing mix is pricing (product, price, place, and promotion). Your pricing has an impact on how the market perceives your product. Your price sends a powerful statement to your market; it should be in line with the value you provide.
Many translation companies use mark-up pricing and then switch to meet-competitor pricing when the buyer wants it or when they realize their offer is being compared. This argument isn’t terrible in and of itself, but it leads to frustration when both pricing approaches fail to win new clients or secure a much-needed or anticipated project.
1. Per word
A cost per word basis is the most popular and widely used pricing approach and industry standard. Expect to pay $0.08 to $0.40 per word on average. (This usually refers to the number of source words rather than the number of words in the target language.)
This is the most popular and widely used calculation in the industry. For all parties concerned, per-word charging is incredibly convenient and fair. Each quote is customized to the needs of the client. Prices vary widely and are sometimes substantially less than the gross calculation result.
Given that many multinational agencies now offer end clients cheaper pricing, the average price for translation services appears to be about USD 0.18—a reasonably solid price point.
2. Per line
In Central Europe, charges are frequently based on standard lines and the translation’s target language. The standard foundation for calculating normal difficulty translations is per line, which simplifies pricing comparisons. A normal line is 55 characters long, not counting the spaces between words. Prices range from EUR 1.50 to EUR 2.20 in this situation.
3. Per page
Some providers charge for translating content dependent on the number of pages in the document. For documents where an electronic word count cannot be provided, per-page pricing works effectively. Any documents scanned to a PDF file, such as medical records and court documents, are a good example of this. A typical quote from a language services business is around $100 per page.
Companies that charge for translation services rarely charge by the hour because it is subjective. It’s difficult to predict how much effort any translation project will require. Pricing on an hourly basis is better suited to revising and updating previously translated content.
What factors influence the cost of translation?
The cost of document translation services varies dramatically. In terms of pricing, the target language, the size, and complexity of a document, turnaround time, and the quality of the source text are only a few of the most significant factors to consider.
The cost of professional translation services is determined by supply and demand, just like any other business. There are a huge number of translators available in various language pairs, such as English to Spanish translation services. As a result, English to Spanish is a comparatively low-cost language pair. However, suppose you require the translation of a Russian document into Spanish. Because there are fewer experienced Spanish translators who can translate from Russian, the price will be greater. The cost of living and currency exchange rates in the translation country can influence the price of the translation. The price is also affected by the type of translation certification required. The fee will go up if you need sworn translations for court papers or Apostille certification.
The intricacy or technical nature of the content to be translated, the language combination, quantities and delivery time, content repeats, and so on all influence translation prices. What effect do these factors have on translation pricing, and why?
1. Subject matter
The material’s industry focus is another aspect that influences translation service rates. The translation of medical device manuals and clinical trial materials necessitates a high level of expertise and experience. As a result, the cost of medical translation is likely to be higher than the cost of translating a basic business document. Technical translation, legal translation, and patent translation are other industry-specific services that might command a premium fee.
An expert translator with advanced understanding is required for complex or technical content, such as an employment contract or a user guide for an electronic item.
If you want a high-quality translation, you’ll need a translator who is well-versed in the industry’s specialized vocabulary. A non-specialist translator who works on uncomplicated, generalist translations will be paid more than a translator with this degree of knowledge. As a result, translating an employment contract will cost more than translating e-commerce product descriptions, for example.
2. Language combination
Pricing varies according to the language pair. It’s now possible to translate text into a variety of languages. Just because the most commonly requested languages are English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Spanish, does not mean you will never need to translate a document into Polish or Korean.
Companies frequently charge greater costs for languages with more sophisticated translation requirements.
Because there’re more translators available, a translation with a popular language combination will be less expensive than a translation with a more uncommon language combination.
3. Volumes and turnaround times
An urgent translation of several thousand words necessitates the use of translators who are available right away. To ensure timely delivery, the translators must be able to devote 100% of their time and attention to the project. This may have an impact on the project’s translation cost. Recurring translation requests may have an impact on translation pricing: a lower price for translation may be the result of a recurring request.
The pricing is also affected by your delivery time estimates. Rush translation jobs are often charged at a rate that is 25% to 50% more than standard rates. Many of you are certainly familiar with the Project Management Triangle: you can only get two out of three, therefore if you need the translation right now, it will be more expensive.
4. Quality and scope of service
Reliable suppliers normally take a number of processes to produce high-quality translations. After the original document has been evaluated and translated into the target language, it must be properly edited, proofread, and reformatted.
For the final translated work to satisfy all correct format criteria, a rigorous editing process is essential. Someone other than the original translator should undertake any final editing. Some of the best translation companies confirm the quality of their work by having a native speaker of the target language do a final editorial check.
Proofreading and editing services are sometimes charged separately by some translation firms.
5. Technologies for translation
For specific categories of content, translation systems optimize translation prices. Using CAT tools that recognize all the repetitions in your material and automatically deducts them from translation pricing. Because these repetitions are not charged, the total cost of your translations can be considerably reduced.