What Factors Affect Rates for Professional Translation?


Quick Answer

Factors affecting professional translation rates include the project's language, deadline, size, complexity and quality. Types of discounts that may be offered by translation companies include long-term partner, first-time buyer or seasonal discounts.

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Full Answer

Some languages cost more to translate than others depending on the availability of translators. English may be used as an intermediate between less commonly translated languages further affecting the cost of the service. Translating from Hindi to Icelandic, for example, may require a translator to convert the text from Hindi to English and a second one to translate from English to Icelandic.

Many translation companies charge extra for an urgent project. This markup can vary greatly from one company to the next. The size of the project also impacts the cost. Most translation companies charge based on the number of words in the original text. Word count is often used to estimate or calculate the cost of the service in advance. Additional costs are incurred when translating to multiple languages.

Translation projects vary in complexity and some require additional services such as project management, quality evaluation, voice-over or software engineering. These services may be included in the base price or charged as separate items.

Lastly, the quality of the translation varies widely and is measured differently. Translators who proofread and edit their own work charge differently from those who use senior-level editors or third-party peers.

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