Suppose you are composing a marketing brochure aimed at a market that exclusively speaks in Zulu. Simply taking Google Translate to save on translation costs won’t work. Hiring translation services to provide you with certified translation for your document is the best way to ensure you send your entire message across. Despite costing more, translation services can guarantee proofreading of your translated documents to preserve the context and idea of your message to your target audience. As a document translator, certain documents take more effort to translate than others. Moreover, there are other challenges and requirements for each document which, in turn, affect the translation service costs. The most translated document in the world may cost less to translate because we can use translation memory tools to save on cost. However, in the case of papers written in more challenging languages, the price could be higher.
Translation Costs for High-Quality Translations
To help you understand the cost of translation for your next translation project, we provide you with a guide on what affects them. To translate documents, these factors are applicable in the application costs charged by almost all translation companies, especially for certified translations, word count, and language combination.
Two Types of Translation Services
Translation service providers offer two types of translation services: standard translation services for educational or professional use and advanced translation services that require specialized translation. Provided that the target language is the same, the standard translation cost for an A4 sheet with 70% text will cost around $50. Meanwhile, the specialized translation cost for an A4 sheet with 70% text will cost around $70.
The availability and skill of professional translators also affect the price. For instance, a professional translator dealing with Tier 1 languages (including popular languages such as French, Chinese, Italian, and Spanish) will charge lower than a professional translator dealing with Tier 2 languages (including Bengali, Dutch, and Bulgarian). Provided that the content is for professional use and not the specialized translation, the cost for Tier 1 languages costs $0.13 to $0.15 per word. The translation cost for Tier 2 languages cost between $0.16 to $0.19 per word. Tier 3 languages cost $0.19 to $0.25 per word to translate. Tier 3 languages include Albanian, Mongolian, Danish, and Armenian.
Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese are symbol-based. Each character corresponds to words or phrases depending on use. For these languages, the document translation costs depend on character count. The expected translation cost per character for standard translation is an average of $0.12.
Word Count and Other Considerations
Unless we are dealing with oriental languages using characters, the calculated translation cost depends on the word count for a specific translation project. For instance, if you have a document translated, such as a research paper written in Spanish, the translation cost depends on the word count. However, in the case of critical government documents such as documents required by immigration services, legal documents, marriage certificates, most academic documents, medical documents, and official translations, a professional translator will need to ensure the accuracy of the written text. Hence the average translation rates are more than 30% of standard translations. Moreover, a sworn translation or a notarized translation may cost even more.
Translation Costs for Long-term Translation Projects
A translation company or translation agency may offer fixed translation rates for long-term projects such as website translation, marketing campaigns, or specific cases. For instance, the cost to translate a 200-page website may reach between $1,900 to $4,000 depending on the target language or the specialized content that needs translation.
Another way a translation company or a translation agency can provide affordable translation prices for long-term clients is to charge per hour when dealing with multiple pages. Translation vendors may assign one or two professional translators for each project who will charge by the hour spent on the translation process.
Machine Translation versus Professional Translation Services
Though machine translation is free, the context of the translated text is not accurate. The result can be sometimes hilarious or can lead to legal problems. If you need to translate critical documents, it is best to avoid machine translation. Artificial intelligence may help in segments of a translation project through translation memories. These are useful when dealing with multiple documents containing similar phrases or previously translated segments throughout the translation project. However, human translators are still essential for these types of translation projects.
Professional translation services, such as AFLS can guarantee high-quality and accurate documents for over 400 languages. They have at least one native-speaking professional translator working in each language in most languages. Whether these are standard or certified translation requirements, professional translation services can provide you with the material you need to communicate your ideas in a different language without compromising the context.
Takeaways: A Language Service Provider Is Still The Best Alternative For Document Translation
The translation cost calculated takes on many factors. Ensure that you have your original document easy to read and layout to make qualified translators provide you with a high-quality translation efficiently. Document translation rates for previously translated material could be lower. There are packages of translation software that leverage translation memory to work with specific sets of language pair efficiently. With native-speaking translators at AFLS, including a specialist translator if you need them, you can rely on us that the final translation will be much more accurate than many translation companies do at the most reasonable translation rates per word.
AFLS, the 400-Language People, offers document translation among our services. We have decades of experience in translating documents from hundreds of languages. In this vital work of translating documents, we collaborate with a network of 1500-strong passionate, licensed professional translators and interpreters worldwide. Our clients include global brands and government agencies and the medical, legal, business, and education communities. We always provide a reasonable translation rate for high-quality work for our clients with outstanding results. Contact us today for a free quote!