Pricing for translation work
Pricing for a good translation is determined by a number of factors:
- Time availability
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- Degree of difficulty
- Quality level
- Nature of the text
- Source and target language
Fast, faster, fastest!
We are often not contacted until the very last phase of a project. The documents are ready, the offer has been made, and the texts have to be translated quickly. This means that a translator is under stress to meet a short deadline.
A good translator, who translates in the traditional way, only using a computer, dictionaries, and terminology lists, translates approximately 2,000 words a day. A fast translator can translate up to 4,000 words daily, while a beginner can only translate about 1,000 words.
There are methods to increase a translator’s speed, however. If there are many similarities throughout the text, the translator can use translation tools to speed up the process. These translation tools are software programs that make the translator’s life easier.
They alert the translator that he/she has come to a part in the text that is very similar to a previously translated part. The system then suggests a translation based on the parts of the text that have already been translated. At this point, the translator only has to make adjustments. Examples of so-called CAT (computer-aided translation) tools are Transit, Dejavu, and the most popular one, Trados.
There are two advantages to this system: The translator can work faster and for less money. After all, the software builds the memory while the translator works through the translation. The number of repetitions increases over the course of the translation, and that number is expressed as a percentage of the text.
The advantage of translating with CAT tools is best seen in technical and legal texts. Almost all deeds start or end with the same text. It’s also obvious that many user manuals contain similar instructions for replacing a battery, for example: “Open the battery cover on the back of the unit…”
Besides the use of translation tools, the location of the translator is also of importance. We can gain time by assigning a project to a translator in a different time zone. For example, if you send us your text this afternoon for translation into English, our translation agency can send the text to a translator in another time zone so that the work can be done while you are sleeping. We can then deliver the translation just as your business day starts.
Degree of difficulty
Another factor is the degree of difficulty, which is, of course, relative. One translator is much better at translating a technical patent than another. Yet another translator will produce the perfect legal translation. This is why we have an arsenal of translation experts who are ready to tackle any possible subject area, no matter how complicated.
Our translator database currently contains 4,200 native speakers for 150 languages. The term “native” means that the translator translates into his or her mother tongue. We can attain a high level of quality and speed by assigning your text to one of these native speakers who also possesses the right subject expertise to translate your text using the correct terminology and language use.
After all, a translator who knows the material doesn’t have to spend time looking up words. He or she is already thoroughly familiar with the terminology and language style used in the source text and also knows how to translate that text perfectly for the target audience.
These factors have the following effects on our rates: Easy texts are less expensive than difficult texts. These rates also depend on the availability of our specialized translators for your subject area. Texts that contain repetitions are eligible for a better discount. Furthermore, we can grant a discount if the translator is given plenty of time to work on the text, instead of having to complete it on a rush basis.
Source and target language
Translation is less expensive if the source and target languages are popular, widely spoken languages. For example, it isn’t as expensive to translate from English into Spanish. After all, there are plenty of people who speak Spanish and have passive knowledge of English (can read English).
However, there are very few people who speak both Spanish and Danish for example. Therefore, a translation from Danish into Spanish will be more expensive. The language combination and the content of the text form the decisive factor when it comes to translation rates. The more specialized a subject, the shorter the delivery time and the less translators available for the job, the higher the price per word.
Of course, you can remove one of these factors from the equation: For example, you can agree to a longer delivery time. By doing so, Budgettranslations.com can reduce its price per word considerably. (Budgettranslations.com is one of our subsidiaries). We can also charge considerably less if the text doesn’t have to be translated by a native speaker or if the text can be translated by a student who is studying to become a translator. In this case, the translation will be good quality but not necessarily the highest quality.
A price quote for a translation
Since there are so many variables to consider when determining the price for translation work, we recommend that you submit your text ahead of time so that we can determine the price per word based on the number of words, the number of repetitions, and your required delivery time.
Keep in mind that we charge a minimum fee for small translations. Please refer to the following page for information about minimum fees: Minimum Fee. You can also refer to the following page for information about our discounted rates: Discounts and surcharges.
If you need a certified translation, you can send your text to us by regular mail or email. We recommend that you make copies of your originals before sending them to us and store your original documents in a safe place. We can work with a good copy or a scan of the documents, and we maintain absolute confidentiality.
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