Posts by Tag

See all
Joanna Tarasiewicz
February 21, 2023
17 min read

How to Get the Best Price from Translation Companies?

How to Get the Best Price from Translation Companies?

How to get the best price from translation companies? What services do they offer, and how do you negotiate the best rate for your needs? This blog will discuss some of the most critical factors you should consider before making an important decision. Expanding to new markets is always a significant investment, so proceed with your business goal in mind.






How Do I Get the Best Price for Translations?



How Do I Get the Best Price for Translations?



Let's say your company is located in North America. Your business goal is to expand your global network and open a new branch in London, Europe. The logistics of such a process are challenging enough. Translation or localization service is a must in this case, as even American English to British English translation can take a lot of time. Not to mention preparing a website or localizing USD to GBP or date formats.



Consider Your Translation Needs



Consider Your Translation Needs



Be clear about your needs before you start comparing translation companies. Consider what types of content you need translating, and look for a translation company with a process that can help you. 


If you need one-time translation help, project-based translation services are ideal. However, look into localization agencies when you search for a long-term partner who can handle more extensive translation needs. 









Once you have narrowed your options, it's time to evaluate their cost and investment in translation ROI.


Simple Translations



Simple Translations



When you need to translate simple text such as ingredient lists, customer reviews, and meeting notes, there is no need to hire a professional translation company.


Ultimately, it depends on the type of text you are translating and the project's level of complexity.



 Advanced Translations



Advanced Translations



A more complex or niche-oriented text, such as technical documentation or texts about cultural issues, may be worth using a professional translation service. 


A high-quality advanced interpreter will help with one-time projects. Or when you have more content, but only the text needs Translation: no video, no software, no mobile applications, no game translations. 







Related content: 3 Differences in Costs of Translation vs. Transcreation






Transcreation is more than just translations. Interpreters must go beyond words in the original document and create new texts in the target language. It's essential in projects that must sound natural and native to the target audience. 


Transcreation can save you time and money while ensuring high-quality content. Writing new text based on the original makes the final Translation best suit their target audience's cultural, linguistic, and sociocultural context.






Localization projects tend to be more complex, as larger-scale assignments involve video game translation



Localization services help companies adapt the content for different languages and cultural contexts, for example, to fit standards in Europe or North America. International audience and international market have specific needs. Therefore a simple translation is not enough. Aside from this, localization helps to increase customer engagement and loyalty.


Localization projects tend to be more complex, as larger-scale assignments involve:


  • translation of not only text but also multimedia,
  • adjusting the imagery,
  • translating video and audio,
  • adjusting product code,
  • localizing software and mobile applications,
  • ensuring the project is correct from a legal standpoint.




Decide What Type of Translation is Sufficient



Decide What Type of Translation is Sufficient



You do not have to pay more or hire a translation agency if it's just a simple task. Instead, research translation services online to find a company that best suits your needs and budget.


The translation cost depends on the project's volume and scope. The price for translating a business document into another language will be higher than the price for a set of meeting notes.  


A one-time project will have a higher per-word rate than recurring, high-volume document translation.





Related content: 10 Best Practices in Website Localization





Free Online Translations



Let's look at AI-based machine translations, aka free online translation tools.



Let's look at AI-based machine translations, aka free online translation tools.


Services like Google Translate can perform various translation tasks to save you both: time and money. They use powerful machine learning However, machine translations have limited accuracy and can sometimes misread context, especially if human translators don't do any additional proofreading. 


There is also a security concern when it comes to AI-based translations. 


When the Translation is free, it only means no money exchange. However, terms and conditions of free online translation services will likely include a clause that the service owner can use the data input to train their AI-based machine translation algorithm further.


This makes it unsuitable for legal, insurance, and medical translations. Providing personal data in the original text, like last name, address, and social security number is not a good idea.








Related content: What Happens When You Experiment with Machine Translation







Human Translation by Non-Professional Translator


Human Translation is a good option when machine translation fails or when you need to pay more attention to the context. Linguists bring a high level of accuracy and quality to the table. 


However, they are only sometimes necessary, as machine translation can be a quick solution if you only need to translate a few sentences. This is not a suitable option to translate website content or e-commerce shop.


One issue, thou, is when a non-professional translator does the task (your friend or in-house teammate), the deliverables will not be helpful in court or any institution. When you need translation for official purposes make sure you choose a professional translator or a translation agency that employs certified translators and has a track record of successful projects.




Human Translation by Professional Language Expert



Human Translation by Professional Language Expert



With the help of the Internet, it is now easier than ever to find interpreters who are skilled in their field and can deliver high-quality translations. 


Professional translators and interpreters are trained linguists, often part of translation companies. They have access to professional resources such as translation memory software. This helps them work on your project quickly and with precision. 


Suppose you are looking to hire a translator for a simple project with a tight deadline. In that case, finding an individual translator makes more sense than hiring a translation agency. This will save you time and money while ensuring you get the best translation services possible.




For Advanced Translation Needs: Translation Agency (LSP)



For Advanced Translation Needs: Translation Agency (LSP)



A translation company is best if you need translated software, mobile apps, website content, or other media-reach projects. 


The agency's professional interpreters and language services can work with experts worldwide and use the best translation tools and processes. They will manage your project from start to finish, using their additional expertise and experience to complete it successfully. 


They also provide localization services to ensure your project is culturally appropriate and legally suitable for translation. 








Related content: How Much Do Translation Services Really Cost? [Rates & Factors]





How do Translation Companies Calculate the Price?



How do Translation Companies Calculate the Price?



Many factors go into calculating the translation rate, and these factors include time, word count, and complexity of the project. 



Per-Word Translation Service


The price of a per-word translation depends on the language pairs involved in a translation workflow. If the language pair is standard, the translation will cost less per word than if the language pair is rare.


However, the translation cost can increase significantly if it requires expert knowledge. For example, in legal translations, professional language experts must have experience in legal terminology. This can result in higher translation costs per word.



Hourly Translation Service


Hourly rate is common practice for highly skilled translators who must translate live at an event. 


Another example? Suppose there is a lot of prep work before the translation begins. In that case, translation companies may charge an hourly rate. 


In some cases, the hourly rate is included in the contract if the client wants to change the source files after files are already sent out for translations. 




Per-page Translation Service



Per-page Translation Service



Per-page translation services are usually offered in bulk, meaning they simultaneously translate a certain number of pages. 


This system is also used when a client needs official documents translated in a specific format or when content on each page needs to be translated and summarized. 


Page-by-page translation services are ideal for short translations, such as birth certificates, medical records, police reports, and insurance certificates.




Project-Based Translation Service


Project-based translation services calculate the cost based on the complexity of the project. The price is usually a mix of per-word and per-hour rates. It can also include additional fees: cancelation fees, preparing documents for print, or a minimum charge. 


There are a few ways to negotiate the fees and rates. 



What Factors Influence the Final Cost of Translation?



What Factors Influence the Final Cost of Translation?



The cost of business translations is usually based on the number of words, the project's complexity, delivery time, and languages. 

There may be an additional charge for proofreading and editing.


Let's dive into some of the elements affecting translation price. 



Scope and Volume of the Project


When a language specialist works on a large and complex task, translating the text may cost more than a simple one. 


When the larger translation project has more pages, it will be more expensive than a smaller one. However, the more words to translate, the lesser the per-word charge is. 


Professional translation companies use tools that can help estimate the source text's repetitions. Repetitions cost less, therefore saving money for the client. 



Source Language and Target Languages



Source Language and Target Languages



The English language is standard when it comes to translations. So is Spanish, French, or Italian. On the other hand, we have rare languages regarding the availability of professional translators. Romanian or Finnish can serve as examples. 


When the language pair is standard, the translation will cost less per word than if the language pair is rare. Multilingual content will also be charged higher.



Level of Linguistic Competence


A translator with more experience and expertise will charge higher prices than a translator with less experience. A translator with higher linguistic competence can consistently deliver accurate translations that ensure a better final quality. Certified translation comes at a higher price. Also, if we talk about translation companies providing translations according to ISO standards, this is a higher rate, as the level of the service is also high-class.


In addition, the price of a translation depends on the complexity of the language and the amount of research required for an accurate interpretation of the text. 


Professional translators with more experience provide faster turnaround times, resulting in more immediate delivery of target language translations.




Degree of Complexity of the Project


The cost of a certified translation project will vary depending on the target language, the industry, and the duration of the translation workflow. Other factors that may affect translation costs include:

  • The type of content (text vs. text + software + multimedia)
  • The need for localization
  • The quality of the deliverables
  • Project processing and management
  • Usage of a specific tool, like Trados, CAT Translation Memory


A simple, straightforward translation project will cost less than a more complicated task, such as web page localization.



Type of Content


The type of content has a significant impact on the cost of the final project. 


It will cost less to translate only texts or documents. The price will be significantly higher when a more complex task involves:



Translation Quality Assurance 


A precise translation to break cultural barriers is crucial. After all, high-quality translation has to reflect your message across target languages and ideally sync with your new audience. The Quality Assurance workflow is essential, then. 


Pay attention to the final translation process and assess if proper QA exists. If yes, then you are covered. But it will be reflected in the price. 



Additional Support From the Translation Company


Check the fine print for support options. Some agencies will offer you a dedicated project manager to show high professionalism. Others will only provide an emergency telephone number. Be prepared to have a team members of your team dedicated to contacting your chosen translation company.


The better the service, the more it affects the price. Any additional form of contact (email, phone, web chat, personal point of contact), extra hours of customer support availability, rush translations, and direct access to translators working on your project will increase the price.




How Do You Negotiate the Best Price For Translations?



How Do You Negotiate the Best Price For Translations?



Translation services are a very common type of business in the language industry. It's best to ask a few companies for a free pricing quote or initial estimation based on the same brief. Any professional translation company will be happy to assist with such a request. For some interpretation services, a simple email with a project brief is enough, others will ask you to fill in a special request form or will propose a meeting. Customer service is one of important factors to distinguish the best companies from the rest of the crowd.


Comparing the offers from professional services is very informative and will give some ideas about where to look for savings. Below are some good points for opening negotiations with your potential language service providers.



Quantity Discount


When negotiating the best price for a translation, it is essential to know the volume of the texts or media that needs to be translated. Leading translation agencies will help you with any estimations.


The more words, documents, or content to translate, the greater the potential for a discount. Play this card if you plan to hire a long-term partner and professional translation company. This way, the translation firm can notice you are open for a more extended business partnership. 




Payment-Based Lower Rate


If more money is paid upfront or in the early stages of the project, there may be an opportunity to negotiate rates and the final price with a professional translation company. 


The translation agency will feel more confident knowing that most of the money is in the bank upfront. This way, they can ensure to completion of the project without financial constraints. From the client's perspective, consider speaking to previous customers about the turnaround time and their overall opinion about your shortlisted translation firm. 



Minimum Charge for Translations


Minimum rates are applied to translation services based on the project size. Top translation companies will most likely have higher minimum rates.


So, you have a small translation project. You may be charged a fixed-term rate if the word count rate is less than the required minimum fee.


However, when you only have larger translation tasks, you may negotiate a higher minimum rate (good for the translation company) in the contract and a better per-word charge (better for you).








Extra Fees


You should pay attention to the extra charges when negotiating the price of translations. Translation companies may charge additional fees for translation review and proofreading services. Rush translation fee is also standard. Ask direct questions and expect clear answers about the pricing system to ensure you understand every point. The best translation companies will be transparent and open to an honest conversation about the rates.



Many professional translation services promise high quality translation at unbeatable prices. However, before embarking on a project, you should ensure that the translation service provider has satisfied clients and offers quality translation services. Do you have any expert tips on negotiating the translation fees? Feel free to share them!



Recommended articles: 

A Guide to an Efficient Software UI Localization Process

What to Look for in the Translation Rates