Posts by Tag

See all
Justyna Bagińska
May 09, 2024
11 min read

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Translator in 2024?






There is no simple answer to this question as the cost of hiring a translator can vary greatly depending on the type of translation needed, the language pair being translated, the level of expertise required, and other factors. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay more for high-quality translations, translations of legal documents, financial documents, technical user manuals, marketing content or other translations that require specialist knowledge. Additionally, the price may be higher if the source language is less common or if the target market is in a different region. Rush rates may also apply if you need a translation urgently. That said, there are some ways to get an idea of how much it might cost to hire a translator. One way is to look at average rates charged by translation agencies in different markets.


If you are looking to have a text translated from one language to another, you need to know how much it costs. There are several factors to consider. Some translation services charge by the hour, while others charge by the word. The hourly rate you choose should depend on how much time the job requires. You can get an estimate from a translator, so you know how much money to expect.



Per-Word Rate



The per-word rate for hiring a translator can vary greatly, depending on the level of skill required. In general, a translator's experience and skill level increase their rate. Experienced translators have the advantage of higher rates because they can handle highly technical content with ease. When interviewing translation vendors, it is important to request a portfolio of samples and references of their work, including actual texts that the vendor has translated for their clients.


Although set-rate pricing is the traditional method, some clients still use a per-word rate. These rates are usually based on the number of words in the source document and the target language document. This way, clients can see the cost breakdown and know what to expect. Additionally, when using per-word pricing, it is crucial to choose a quality-oriented Language Services Provider (LSP) with the experience and expertise to ensure your documents are translated accurately. If you hire a novice linguist, you risk having your documents translated incorrectly or with an unprofessional appearance.


While hiring an in-house translator is usually less expensive, it is possible to find a professional who works on a freelance basis. Most freelance translators charge a per-word rate. This rate is usually lower than the hourly rate. The reason for this is that the freelancer is paid based on the number of words they translate.


The cost of hiring a translator varies depending on a number of factors including the language, region, and area of specialization. A minimum of $0.12 per word is recommended by the American Translators Association, but rates vary according to region and experience. You can also pay more if you need a rush translation. For example, a translator in Louisville, Kentucky, charges $.02 per word if a translation matches 100% of the original. For a 94% to 95 percent match, the rate increases to $.03 per word. If the translation matches only 65% of the words in the original language, the rate may be higher.



Translators advertise their services with confidence and charge appropriate rates. It is also important to list which languages they should translate, as some languages are more expensive than others. The cost of each language varies depending on the demand and supply curve.



Hourly Rate



If you are planning to hire a translator, you may need to determine the price of the project in advance. Translators usually quote their prices per word but use hourly rates, too, especially for revision, review and quality assurance tasks, as well as for Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE or PEMT). For instance, they may charge you $40 per word if the project will take three hours to complete. Of course, this can differ depending on the type of project and the deadline.


It is difficult to estimate how long a project will take since the language and the subject matter vary greatly. A translation of 5,000 words will take more time than a translation of 500 words. In addition, a translator's experience, education, and subject matter all play a role in the actual number of hours spent translating a project.


If you plan on hiring a translator for a specific project, you should first determine what kind of content you require. Oftentimes, highly technical content is difficult to translate and requires specialized vocabulary. This can be a problem even for native speakers. These types of projects require specialists who have experience in the language.



Languages That Cost More to Translate



There are certain languages that cost more to translate than others. For example, Norwegian, Swedish, and Icelandic are some of the more expensive languages to translate. While this may sound like an unfair comparison, these languages have much lower numbers of native speakers, which makes them more expensive to translate. Other languages that tend to cost more to translate are Portuguese, French, Japanese, and Italian.


Languages with more difficult language systems are more expensive to translate than others. For example, Japanese has a different writing system than English, which means that it is difficult to find translators who understand the Japanese writing style. In addition, the length of the document will also determine the price of a translation. A shorter document will take less time to translate, and therefore will cost less.


The price of a translation depends on several factors, including the type of project and the type of provider. The most common pricing methods are per hour or per word are used for calculations and quoting. But other methods are available as well, such as character, line, and page. The exact cost of a translation project will depend on many factors, including the size of the project and the amount of text it contains.


Another factor that affects the price of translation services is the level of expertise of the translators. Some translators are better than others, but if they are new to the language, you can expect the cost to be higher than if you were using a native speaker. In addition, the cost of living for a native speaker of a language can make translations more expensive.






Related content: How to Save on Translation Thanks to Translation Memory





Using Machine Translation Services Instead of a Translator



Using machine translation services instead of a human translator can save you time and money. These automated translation services may not require human review and editing in some scenarios, making them an excellent option for businesses. Machine translation is also very quick. You can have your translation completed in just a few days, rather than weeks. And sometimes in minutes, even if your word count is really huge.


However, machine translation is not the best choice for all content. Sometimes a human translator is needed to give the content the proper meaning. Machine translation services are often sloppy and are not as accurate as a human translator. Moreover, a human translator is more likely to dig deeper into the content to ensure its accuracy. In addition, machine translation is not appropriate for highly important or creative content.



Another good reason to use machine translation services instead of a human translator is the cost. While machine translation is cheaper, it does not include customization costs and does not have the same level of accuracy. Also, it does not charge rework costs, which are a common problem with human translation. Moreover, it has a low quality and a lot of grammatical errors.


Using machine translation services instead of a human translator is not a good idea if you have a complex document that requires detailed context. Inaccuracies in the content could cause your prospective clients to not trust you. Machine translation can also miss hypersensitive linguistic details. However, please note that Neural Machine Translation (NMT) with human post-editing may be your best bet here in certain use cases. It’s already available on Google Translate, as well as with other leading machine translation technology providers like SYSTRAN, Microsoft Translator or Omniscien Technologies.


When using machine translation services instead of hiring a human translator, make sure to check the rate before hiring. If the company is charging less than the going rate, it might be an amateur or a machine translation program.



Working with a Professional Translation Company



There are many factors to consider when working with a translation/localization company. The first is the price - translation prices can vary significantly depending on the languages involved, the type of content, and the urgency of the project. However, they are usually higher than those of freelance translators as what you get from a translation agency is the added-value services like project management, vendor management, terminology management and more. Each of those can constitute around 10% of the rate (for example, some translation companies charge project management fee separately).


It's important to get a few quotes from different agencies before making a decision. Another important factor is turnaround time. Some projects can be completed very quickly, while others may take longer. It's important to discuss your timeline with the agency in advance to make sure they can meet your deadlines. Finally, you'll want to consider the experience and expertise of the translation agency. Make sure you're working with expert providers who are familiar with your industry and target market. They should also be able to provide accurate translations (not necessarily literal, for example literal, word-by-word translation won’t work in marketing, and you could turn to Google Translate or DeepL instead as well, the only difference being your pocket size) that maintain the meaning and tone of the original text.






Related content: How to Boost the Translation Into Multiple Languages at Once





Expert localization companies may charge higher rates, but they will usually provide a more accurate translation. Another important factor to consider is the translation memory, which is a database of previously translated documents that can be used to help translate new documents. This can be a major factor in reducing translation costs. The number of words/pages and the types of content also play a role in determining translation prices. For example, translating medical records or technical manuals will usually cost more than translating other types of documents. Video content typically costs more to translate than written content. Urgent translations will also usually cost more than non-urgent translations. When considering all these factors, it is important to get the best deal possible on translation services.



What Else Should You Know?



There are a number of ways to find a qualified translator for your project. Translation agencies typically have a network of translators with different language combinations and expertise levels, so they can match you with the best candidate for your needs. You can also search online for freelance translators or translation services companies. When requesting quotes from potential translators, be sure to specify the delivery time, target audience, source text format (e.g., hard copy or electronic), and any other relevant details about your project. This will help them give you an accurate estimate of the total cost.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much it costs to hire a translator. The cost will vary depending on a number of factors, including the language combination being translated, the turnaround time required, the expertise of the translator, and whether any additional services are required (such as desktop publishing or project management). Generally speaking, the prices charged by freelance translators are lower than those charged by translation companies. This is due to a number of factors, including overhead costs and economies of scale. However, it is important to remember that not all freelance translators are created equal. Some may have years of experience and be experts in their field, while others may be new to the industry and still learning the ropes. It is always best to request a sample translation before hiring a translator, in order to get an idea of their level of expertise. The price also varies depending on the language combination being translated. Some language combinations are in high demand and therefore command higher rates. Others are less commonly requested and therefore have lower rates. Additionally, some languages are more difficult to translate than others, which can also affect the price. Finally, the price may also be affected by urgency; translations required urgently will generally cost more than those with a longer turnaround time. In conclusion, there is no easy answer when it comes to determining how much it will cost to hire a translator.






Related content: How to Measure the Quality of Translation





The average cost of a professional translator can range anywhere from $0.10 to $0.30 per word, depending on the language pair being translated, the quality of the translation, the turnaround time, and other factors. Translation agencies may charge a flat fee, but freelance translators may charge by the hour or by the word. The cost of translation can vary depending on the language pair, with some language combinations being more expensive than others. And yes, you will find 100s of people calling themselves translators on Upwork and similar sites. They all will tell how great they are and will quote you like 10% of what any reasonable translation agency would chargé you but there’s a catch. They are not pros! They use public Google Translate to handle your job. Do you know what that means? GT terms and conditions for publicly available free service state that Google is free to use your data you input into GT for any purposes they see fit. It's the security and confidentiality, stupid! (As Bill Clinton would put it.)


For example, a Spanish translator may charge a higher rate than an English translator, because Spanish is considered a high-demand language. Translations between English and Spanish are typically more affordable than those between English and Chinese. The reason for this is that there are more English-Spanish translators available than English-Chinese translators, so there is more competition and lower prices. It is also important to consider the quality of the translation when determining how much to pay for a translator.


Similarly, a translator who specializes in medical documents may charge a higher rate than one who translates marketing materials. Or vice versa. The best way to get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to hire a translator is to send the text to be translated, along with any instructions or context, to several different translation agencies or freelance translators and request quotes. The total cost will also depend on the length of the text; for example, a short document may only cost a few hundred dollars to translate, while a longer document could cost several thousand dollars. In general, though, it is usually more cost-effective to use a translation agency or team of translators rather than relying on Google Translate or other online services, which often produce inaccurate results.


High-quality translations are typically more expensive than literal translations, but they are worth the investment if your target audience is in a different region or speaks a different language. Finally, keep in mind that the price of translation is often based on the length of the source text. The longer the text, the higher the price will be. This is because it takes longer to translate a longer text, so translators need to be paid for their time.


Happy hunting!