I have a small translation, how much do i pay

small translation costs
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How much will it cost me to do a small translation? We are asked this question quite a lot, so here is an overview on what usually translators ask in terms of payment.

How are translation prices calculated when there is a small translation?

Some translators prefer to work on small translation projects, while some translators prefer to work on larger ones. Of course, there are some problems associated with different project lengths, such as job satisfaction, income potential, translation cost, and quality control.

translation prices and costs

Based on the number of words in the source document

Majority of the translation companies and translators prefer to charge for translation based on the number of words.

This implies that you will be charged for each word, multiplied by the total number of words. This is believed to be fair to both the customer and the translator. This is due to the fact that the individual effort put in document translation is different for every translator.

For instance, an article in a blog which has 2,000 words could be done in 6 hours by a translator, while another will require 8 hours to translate the same article. When the payment is based on the number of words, you will be paying the 2 translators the same amount as opposed to paying the translator who used 8 hours more.

When you are also considering to pay based on the number of words, you should ask if you are being charged based on the number of words in the main document or based on the number of words in the translated documents. You might be expected to pay $500 if you are being charged $0.25 for a word and the number of words in the main document is 2000.

Based on the number of words in the translated document

If the document translation is from English to Spanish for instance, the number of words in the translated document could be more by about 20 percent as a result of expansion. The implication if you are paying based on the translated documents will be that you will pay $600 since you will have about 2,400 words in the translated Spanish document.

This could have an effect on your budget, depending on if you are paying based on the main document or the translated document. Even for a small translation the cost would be higher if it is based on word count of translated document.

There are translation companies that put their prices in ‘per thou’, implying that that is the amount they charge for every 1,000 words. This is especially when the document is more than 1,000 words.

They might ask for $200 per thou implying you are paying $0.20 per word.

This method, although rarely used would not be suitable for a small translation as you’ll need to pay much more than based on the number of words.

by the number of words

Based on number of pages

There are companies that will ask you to pay a particular price per page.

Where it is difficult for the number of word to be gotten electronically, this seems to be the best option. For instance, if a PDF file was generated from canned documents of IEPs, court documents and medical records among others.

The estimated word count on one page of the document will determine the price.

If you have about 50 medical records you intend to translate. It might be estimated to contain approximately 500 words per page.

It is possible that you want the document to be handwritten or typed. Furthermore, considering the fact that there are progress note on the medical records, you might be charged $100 for every page translated by the company. You will therefore have to pay $5,000 for the 50 pages.

If you think this is too expensive for a small translation and you are confident that some of the pages have much less than 500 words, you could insist you want to pay based on the number of words. To be able to get the accurate price based on the number of word, then it is better to provide pdfs that can be edited as opposed to those that were scanned.

Based on the number of hours

Only few translation companies charge based on how many hours they spent while translating.

As already explained earlier, a faster translator will be cheated if he is paid per hour as he will still require the same effort as the slower translator, if they were to be translating the same document.

You can however pay per hour for updating and editing the translated documents.

If you want a document of 2,000 pages that you had initially translated to German to be updated, you can update in English and then send to a German translation company to translate to German.

In this case, it is not sensible for charges to be based on the number of words. In this case, the updates completed could be charged per hour. In this case, the customer will be at advantage.

Least prices

When you have a small translation you want a translation company to translate for you, you should be ready to pay a least price.

Even though different companies have different word counts they use to judge small projects, the average is about 250 words.

You might be requested to pay the same price for translating 35 or 250 words document, since they do not charge below the least price for services. This charge however covers management of the project and other related tasks as well.

Let’s talk about the quality control

It’s not always simple to manage quality control on large projects. Despite how great and intelligent your mind is for words, if you’re using CAT tools, and you’ve been operating on a translation project for a few weeks, you’re probably going to get that sense of ‘haven’t I read this before’, and it can be hard to determine the segment of content you imagine about. And when it comes to several abbreviations, such as PO or Purchase Order, which way did you choose to move? Did you settle on abbreviations or was that just something you were thinking about?

So, small translation projects can be great if they’re interesting.

I have a small translation, how much does it cost? At Universal Translation Services we sport the lowest rates in the market. If you’d like to know how much you need to pay for your translation please get in touch with one of our project managers and rest assured, you will get the best price in the market, even though you only have a small translation.

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


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