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  • Writer's pictureHernán J. Droguett

What are the costs of translation?

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Most translators charge a set fee per each word they translate, as it is considered the most accurate way to quantify the time and effort it takes to do the work. Additionally, they may also charge a flat, minimum fee ($30-50), which is a safeguard in the case of very small projects. For instance, if a translator is tasked to translate a short letter, let’s say, 100 words, and charges 15 cents/word, the total charge for that job would be $15. The job would also require a few minutes for email communication, file recreation, formatting, terminology research, etc. Naturally, such a small payment is not worth the translator’s time and thus the need for the minimum fee. These base fees are often waived for larger projects.

A returning client may also receive additional benefits. A linguist who uses translation software will have a memory of all past projects. When a client requests a second job, this memory will likely contain “matches” that will speed up the process, make the second translation consistent (“in tone” or “in-brand”) with the first one, and reduce costs. Other benefits include discounts for identical phrases, repeated words, or partial matches.

So, going back to total costs. An average page in a Word document contains around 500-600 words. At .15 cents/word, the total translation cost for that page would be $80 plus the minimum fee. If your document includes several pages, the minimum fee would likely be waived. Bottom line – translating your 5-page Word document may cost you around $400. If the document contains pictures, graphs, bullet points, etc. the total word count would be lower as well as the cost. Conversely, a document that includes elements other than simple text may require extra time (and an additional fee) to reformat in the target language.

Translating an entire website will take more than simply adding up the words from all individual pages. Once all content is translated, the client will need to decide how to incorporate said content into the new target language pages. This could be done by the same person who manages the original English website and through the same publishing platform (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.). By commissioning an existing employee with this task, the business will save on extra costs. Yet, it is highly recommended to use a language professional to perform QA on the translated pages.

Regardless of whether your business needs a simple translation of your English copy or you want comprehensive website localization for your publishing system, fullcircleTranslation offers a variety of options. Start by submitting a query to get started.

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