How Much Does It Cost To Translate A Document?
We are often asked about the cost to translate a document. Unfortunately, there is not a single or simple answer to the question. The translation cost depends on the document to be translated. There are several things to consider when getting cost estimates of translation fees. Below we look at the various factors that can affect the cost to translate a document.
The first thing to consider when looking to translate a document is the language pair. What language is the original document in? This is the source language. What language would you like it to be translated to? This is the target language.
To translate a document between two common languages, spoken by lots of people, will usually be cheaper than to translate a document between a more unusual language combination. This is because there are more translators likely to work between those languages. Therefore, pricing is more competitive. For example, it is probably both easier and cheaper to find a professional translator for English to Spanish than it is to find a professional translator for Albanian to Hawaiian.
Length of the document
The length of the document will have a significant impact on the translation fees. This is because translation companies usually calculate the translation cost as per the number of words in the source document. This means that you can get an accurate translation cost upfront. Translation fees are priced this way as it is difficult to anticipate the word count of a final product ahead of time. High-volume projects usually receive generous discounts. The offered discounts will be clearly identified on quotes.
The length will also increase the time taken to translate a document. A professional translator can translate an average of 1500-2000 words per day (although this can vary). The time taken to translate a document can affect the translation cost.
If you need to translate a document in a very short time period, it could increase the translation cost. This is more likely if the document has a high word count, or if the delivery date is just a few hours or days away. If a translator will need to work evenings or weekends to meet a short deadline, this is likely to be reflected in the quote.
Planning ahead and offering longer deadlines when hiring a professional translator to translate a document will prevent the cost from rising due to tight deadlines. Being flexible with the deadline saves money without sacrificing the quality of the end product.
Specialisation increases translation cost
Translation fees can also vary significantly depending upon the content of the document to be translated. Specialisation is necessary to translate a document with a medical or legal subject. These types of translations require specific use of technical phrases and specialist knowledge by the translator.
Some organisations and governments may require documents to be translated by someone with specific qualifications or certificates. This is especially true in the case of identity documents, or evidence to support visa applications, for example. Hiring a professional translator for these purposes may cost more. This is sometimes called a sworn translation.
Format of the source text
The original document to be translated can affect the translation cost. Providing an editable, digital copy of the source document is always preferable for a professional translator. If the original document is a non-editable scan of a document or even a physical copy of a book, translation fees could be higher. This is because it increases the translator’s work to translate a document.
It is also possible to provide translations from an audio file. This service, known as multilingual transcription services, is priced differently from text-to-text translation. Transcription is charged per minute of the original recording.
Localisation and Transcreation
When first discussing a project and translation fees with a professional translator, it is important to be upfront about your needs. If your project is market-facing, requires creative writing in another language, and needs to capture a localised brand image, you may need transcreation services. However, if you want a more direct translation and have no need for localisation or transcreation services, the translation cost will be lower.
Contact us to get a translation quote!
Ultimately, it is impossible to give an accurate price to translate a document without seeing the document or discussing it first. There are many factors used to calculate the cost to translate a document.
Get in touch and provide us with just a few details about your document. One of our friendly team will be in touch to discuss translation fees. We will provide you with a competitively priced quote and can discuss your requirements further.