What Factors Affect The Cost Of Translation?

Piggy bank next to a calculator

What is the cost of translation? We receive this question on a daily basis at iTi. It seems like this should be a simple question to answer; however, there’s a bunch of details that influence the cost of translation. Before you entrust a company with your documents, you likely want to form a basic understanding of price. So, this post offers information concerning the factors that influence the cost of translating your businesses’ documents, helping you to determine whether you have received a fair quote.

Original Document Specifications

The price of a translation project largely depends on a number of factors, like the language of the submitted document, the length of the included documents, the complexity of the document design, as well as the document format (though we can typically work around this). Understandably, languages that require more nuanced engagement for translation, or are harder to find quality translators for will cost more.

Are You Working With A Translation Company Or A Freelance Translator?

Typically, freelance translators offer lower pricing when compared to translation companies. This may seem appealing, however, a translation company’s quote will include additional value, as companies can offer project management, as well as additional proofreading and editing.

Word Count

Many companies use word counts to approximate the cost of a given translation project. Per-word pricing tends to be fair for both the company and client, though, it is important that you ask whether the company charges for source language word count or target language word count. Certain languages will increase the total word count (e.g. 500 words in English could end up being 600 words in Spanish after translation). You should always clarify what the per word pricing includes. Some companies will give you a very low per word price but it includes translation only and no additional proofreading or editing. On the other hands some companies will give you one per word price for translation, editing, and proofreading. Understanding what your price includes is critical when comparing quotes so you can be sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Subject Matter Complexity

If you need highly technical content to be translated, you may need to pay for a subject matter expert. Technical subject matter experts often cost more money understandably. If you want to ensure quality, you need to make sure subject matter is discussed as part of the budget.

Here’s a list of tips to help you assess whether or not you need a subject matter expert.

Do We Offer Discounts?

While it’s natural to seek the best deal, you want your project to be completed with quality in mind, not the lowest price. That being said, we are flexible whenever possible while maintaining a standard of high quality. For instance, if you have numerous documents to translate, we are usually able to negotiate a lower price with our translators and pass that savings along. Essentially, our rates are flexible because they are dependent on what exactly the client is looking for.

iTi | Connecticut Translation Company

iTi’s dedicated and experienced teams offer a wide range of multilingual solutions for domestic and global corporations in a variety of industries. With our expansive resources, you can take advantage of communication services on a global scale, creating, managing, and distributing your content in any format. You are welcome to contact us to request a quote for your language translation project.


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