How much does translation cost and how to get a fast quote

how much does translation cost
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Translation companies can learn a valuable lesson from the e-commerce boom: sales are driven by a friendly experience while buying. We at Universal Translation Services did our best to provide you with several easy ways to learn how much translation costs by using our step-by-step, easy-to-use calculators, which are free for anyone.

How much does translation cost?

The translation is not shopped for the same way a shampoo is, as it requires a human touch and customization. There are times when using a step-by-step automation wizard will not be possible. In most cases, however, you will save some time. Here are some scenarios where automated interfaces can provide a translation quote.

cost of translation services

The translation industry and exact quotes

How much does translation cost? Professional translation services can add up, but is there an industry standard, and how do translation agencies calculate their fees?

Unlike free online translation tools like Google Translate, expert human translation is a paid-for service. But in an industry with considerable differences in price and quality, how do you know if you’re making a fair deal?

The translation industry is particularly vague when it comes to translation costs. Until recently, there were only two choices if you required a translation: somehow do it yourself or ask a professional. Traditional translation agencies have done most of their captive business, adding hidden charges and creating dodges in their pricing policy to maximize their profits. Although new services are questioning their industry control, these changes have made it even tougher to pin down what you’re spending your money on. As a result, there’s no quick answer to the question of how much translation costs.

How to get a quote from us

If you need certified translation for the US

If you need a notarized or certified translation for your documents, you can use our certified translation tool to calculate your translation cost easily. Within a few minutes, you will receive our answer on how much translation costs for your documents.

The above also applies to notarized translation, and the tool will give you a price for it if needed. The page also has a video explaining how to use the device (effortless).

If you need general translation

When needing translation services for documents that don’t need to be certified, this 5-minute quote tool will help you learn how much translation costs. Upload your documents; the tool will count the words and price you.

price of translation

There are less automated ways to learn how much translation costs.

Ask us

In general, the customer loves to compare prices from many companies. The client can achieve this by emailing the companies, using their livechat tool or calling them. A significant time for project management is lost while trying to answer the client’s questions; however, ignoring the client is not an option, at least not for us. Our clients can get a preliminary price with the automated quotes above, and a handcrafted offer can come later if the customer shows interest or has special needs. The client always has the option to get in touch with one of our project managers and ask any questions they may have.

Night watch

Nights, holidays and weekends are times when many requests come up. We have project managers available 24/7 for proper processing, so you can always contact us no matter your time zone.

Fans of self-service

Some customers prefer to make purchases without communicating with our project managers. In this case, they can use our quote tools above to learn how much a translation costs, get a quote, pay it and have us start working on their project.

For companies

In most cases, buyers for enterprise translation are always short of time to get quotes properly. A busy engineering or marketing individual will not have the time for quotes, file receipt confirmation and contacting agencies. Such clients usually contact us directly by email, sending the files and their special needs. They get a quote for their documents in less than 5 minutes, so they don’t spend time asking questions and searching the internet.

How to get a fast quote and go on with your translation

Send a request quote or inquiry

A quote request or inquiry can be sent to us using any of the above means. Details about the exact work to be done, including why you need the translation, date of delivery and languages, should be provided. It will be easier to estimate if the document to be translated is sent along, and it helps a lot in finding out how much translation cost.

Estimate review

You will get a reply containing the estimated cost and date to expect the completed work, along with a prepayment link.


Along with the quote, you will also get an invoice and a link to pay your invoice. The invoice will cover payment information, including our account details. Once payment is done, we will start to work on your translation project.

Translation and verification

We translate your document in 3 steps: translation, editing and proofreading. A different translator from the one who solved the paper verifies to ensure it is correctly and consistently done. Once done, if it’s a certified translation, the translation is sent to you for approval, and you have to verify if the names and places are correct.


We strive to ensure you get your job before the deadline. You should also verify, and if you have any inquiries, you can communicate with the project manager at any time. Once we approve the translation, we will give it a proper format and send it to you along with the certification.

Our translation process steps are largely explained here.

Now that you know how much translation costs, making an informed decision about your needs will be much easier.

Showcase Your Expertise

As a member of the ATA, you have the opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise on the association’s platforms. This exposure can help you build credibility and attract clients looking for reliable and experienced translators. ATA certified translators, in particular, can demonstrate their proficiency to potential clients.

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Quality Translation Outcomes

Professional translators, specialized in a specific language pair, play a crucial role in bridging communication gaps by converting text from a source language into a target language. These qualified translators often set their hourly rate based on the complexity of the project and their expertise, particularly when dealing with specialized content such as legal documents. Mastery of both the source and target languages is essential, ensuring accuracy and preserving the original meaning.

Moreover, advanced tools like Translation Memories are utilized to enhance efficiency and consistency across projects. This technology aids in storing previously translated segments, which can be automatically reused, ensuring not only speed but also coherence in terminology for future translations. The combination of a translator’s skill set and the intelligent use of technology ensures high-quality outcomes for all types of translation needs.

Cost of Legal Translations

Translation rates can vary significantly depending on factors such as the complexity of the technical content, the language combination, and the nature of the original document. For instance, legal translation often demands a higher cost of translation services due to the need for specialized knowledge and accuracy.

Translation service providers set their translation prices based on these variables, ensuring that clients receive a high-quality translation that meets their specific needs. As a result, clients should expect to pay a premium for translations involving rare languages or highly technical or legal content, as these require a greater level of expertise and precision from the translator.

Technical translation, which often encompasses a wide range of documents from marketing materials to marriage certificates, requires a specialized skill set, especially when dealing with common languages or even less frequently encountered ones. Due to the complexity and urgency that can accompany such tasks, including rush jobs, the average rates for these services vary. Providers strive to offer competitive rates, balancing the need for affordability with the quality expected of manual, expert translations.

While average translation rates can provide a general guideline, the specific cost often depends on the project’s intricacy and the turnaround time required. Meanwhile, machine translations have emerged as a cost-effective, albeit less accurate, alternative for less critical applications, but they cannot yet match the precision and nuance of a skilled human translator in technical and specialized fields.

Balancing Quality and Cost

Standard translations, a staple service offered by language service providers, balance quality and affordability, catering to a broad range of needs, including those requiring a skilled Spanish translator. Human translators, essential for maintaining accuracy and nuance, significantly influence translation services costs. While the average cost varies based on language complexity, document length, and specific field, providers strive to maintain competitive pricing.

Delivery time is another critical factor; standard projects have a set turnaround, but for those requiring expedited completion, rush fees may apply. This flexibility ensures clients can receive timely, high-quality translations tailored to their needs, with pricing transparency from the outset.

The type of service required, whether it’s for specialized content or general translation, significantly influences the choice between using an online translation company’s in-house translators or freelance translators proficient in the source document’s native languages. High-quality translation services demand a nuanced understanding of both the source and target languages, ensuring that translation fees reflect the expertise necessary to achieve accuracy.

Online translation companies often offer a range of services, from standard document translations to complex projects involving specialized content, providing clients with flexibility and access to translators skilled in the required domain. Whether clients opt for the convenience of in-house professionals or the specialized knowledge of freelancers, the goal remains consistent: to deliver translations that are both accurate and culturally relevant.

Machine vs. Human Translation

When considering translation services for various types of content, from marketing materials to birth certificates, it’s crucial to understand the pricing structure, which often depends on the complexity and format of the content. Providers typically offer a quote based on an average price, which can vary if the content requires translation into an editable format or involves specialized terminology.

Clients should be wary of hidden costs and inquire about any additional costs that may arise, such as rush delivery fees or extra charges for proofreading. Transparency in these additional charges ensures that clients can budget effectively for their translation needs, avoiding surprises and ensuring a seamless service experience for essential documents and creative content alike.

Machine translation services offer a cost-effective alternative for document translations, particularly for clients with a tight translation budget. While translation services rates vary among vendors, the cost of machine translation is typically lower than that of human translation, making it an attractive option for straightforward content types. However, when accuracy is paramount, such as in medical translation, relying solely on machine translation can be risky.

Therefore, it’s essential to evaluate the specific needs of the project, including the required level of accuracy and the content type, to determine whether machine translation services can meet these demands or if a human translator’s expertise is necessary to ensure an accurate translation. The level of expertise required for a project is a major factor in determining the success and quality of the outcome.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of translation is influenced by several factors including the complexity of the text, the language pair involved (some languages are more expensive due to lower availability of translators), the length of the document, the level of expertise required (technical or specialized content often costs more), and the turnaround time (rush jobs may incur additional fees).

Translation pricing is often calculated on a per-word basis for the source language, though some providers may charge by the target word, by the page, or even offer flat rates for certain document types. Additional services like editing, proofreading, or specialized formatting may also impact the overall cost.

The average cost of translation per word can vary widely depending on the language pair and the complexity of the content, but rates can range from $0.10 to $0.30 per word for common languages. Rarer languages and specialized content may have higher rates.

Yes, machine translation services can significantly reduce the cost of translation, especially for large volumes of content or less critical information. However, for accurate and culturally sensitive translations, human post-editing is often necessary, which may add to the cost.

Some translation projects may incur hidden costs related to project management fees, rush delivery charges, extensive formatting work, or additional revisions beyond the initial quote. It’s important to discuss all potential costs upfront with the translation service provider to ensure transparency and avoid surprises.


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