Not being able to find prices on websites can be frustrating. We understand how useful that might be when you're searching for the document translation services that are perfect for you. However, document translation is not a one-size-fits-all type of service. Each translation project is unique and many different variables can determine the cost. For that reason, you won’t find many company websites with a price list for translation services. While we can’t tell you exactly what your project might cost, we want our customers to understand our process for quoting translations so you know how to plan your next translation project.
Here are 7 ways pricing is determined for translation projects:
The Number of Source Words
Document translation charges are usually based on the number of words in the source material. Translation prices based on word count or pay-per-word rates are the most efficient way to measure the length of time required and the amount of work involved in a translation.
In contrast, you may hear about charging per page. We find this to be impractical due to the number of words on a page varying by font, font size, margins, and page size.
The amount of time required to complete the assignment can affect translation costs. For example, translation rush rates for a translation project with a short time-frame may cost 50% above standard rates.
Language combinations may also be a factor in calculating the price of a translation project. Western European languages tend to be cheaper, while Asian languages are more expensive due to the complexity of the characters and the limited number of qualified linguists.
The Complexity of the Subject Matter
When the content is particularly technical or considerable formatting is required, there may be additional document translation charges. This is because it either takes more time for a translator team to research the subject or a more industry-specialized linguist with the subject matter knowledge needed to relay the context behind the materials in the most comprehensive way.
Beware of Hidden Fees
Some translation agencies may charge extra to cover project management and overhead fees. Be sure that the contract clearly specifies all fees before you sign on the dotted line.
Many translation companies like LinguaLinx employ a Translation, Editing, and Proofreading (TEP) process. In this method, each document is translated by a native-speaking linguist, then edited and proofread by separate qualified linguists to ensure its accuracy with respect to the source materials, cultural considerations, and applicable linguistic standards. A translation company may offer translation without editing for a lower price. But if it isn’t edited, it cannot be considered certified.
Translation Software Tools
Translation pricing can also vary based on the use of certain software tools. Translators use a wide variety of software such as:
- Translation Memory (TM): Translation service providers often use TM, a tool that uniquely remembers and recalls previously translated words and phrases. This software auto-fills words while the translator types. Usually, translation agencies offer discounts based on the number of repeated words.
- Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) Software: CAT Software is used to develop a database of sentences. This database can be used later in other projects for the same client. This kind of software includes a Glossary Builder which allows the translator to see how a term or sentence was previously translated. The Glossary Builder creates a glossary for a specific subject or company in order to maintain consistency throughout a project, making it convenient for future use.
- Software Localization: Localization of software or content management systems is usually charged on an hourly basis or at a fixed price for the project.
With such an important issue such as translation, the scope of the projects vary, which in turn varies the cost. LinguaLinx strives to provide the highest quality translations at the most competitive pricing in the industry.