Our clients always ask us, “How much will my translation cost?”. Well, it depends. Translation cost varies significantly according to the characteristics of a translation project. Let’s see the main factors affecting translation cost:
Rare languages are more expensive, since translators specialized in these languages are very few. On the contrary, if there is plenty of translators able to work with a language, translating either from or into that language will be much cheaper. Let’s provide an example. Translating from English into Norwegian is much more expensive than from English into Spanish. Moreover, English often serves as an intermediary language between rare languages. For instance, imagine needing a Korean-Croatian translation. It is very likely that two distinct translations would be necessary: from Korean into English and then from English into Croatian. This will obviously result in an extra translation cost.
By when do you need the translated document? If the answer is as soon as possible, then you will have to pay more. As for timing, a translator is able to handle approximately 2,000 words per day. So, if your translation project comprises 10,000 words, you will have to wait about five working days to have your document properly translated and reviewed. However, if you want the translation to be finished within 24 hours, then you will be charged an extra fee.
3. Word count
Do you want to translate a user manual of more than 50,000 words or just a one-page internal company document of less than 400 words? The cost of translating a document depends on the number of words since most translation agencies charge translation cost per word. Word count is used because it is objective and it can be calculated in advance. Discounts are possible when a client offers a regular volume of work to a translation company. For instance, if you want to translate a user manual of about 250 pages every 3 months, you will obtain discounts that will not be offered to an individual who wants to translate his or her birth certificate, with no prospect of ever having to translate a document again.
Translation projects may vary significantly in complexity and sometimes they require additional services beyond translation itself. These services affect translation cost and include, among others, file preparation – for instance if you send us a contract saved as a pdf file and we have to convert it to a doc file – and quality assurance – e.g. testing the technical functioning of a localized website.
Some translation companies offer different levels of translation quality which are suitable for different contexts. If, for example, you need to translate an internal company document which is to be read by very few people, then low-medium quality should be sufficient. Instead, if you want to translate a technical report for important foreign shareholders, then outstanding quality will be needed. Logically, translation cost is directly proportional to the requested quality.
Now that you have a clearer idea of translation cost, you can determine which translation modality best sticks to your budget.