With worldwide globalization, it is understandable that companies want to have their products, services and contents translated, and request a translation service quote from a specialized agency.
Common Sense Advisory’s estimate – that the global translation market is expected to turnaround USD 56.18 billion in 2021 – is confirmed by increased corporate interest in crossing borders, becoming better known, and increasing revenues.
If your business has that interest, it is important to know what is taken into consideration in a service quote and what can increase or decrease the price of the service, helping you reduce costs.
Learn everything you need to know about price quotes and check what is included in a translation price estimate.
Basically, if you want to know how much a translation service should cost, you have to consider the type of service, the language pair, the size of the document and the deadline requested by the customer.
There are different types of translation services and each one has its own specificities. The main ones are as follows:
– Free translation: regular translation, for example, e-mail messages, websites, books, advertisement, and product and service descriptions, among others.
– Technical translation: contents that belong to a specific area of knowledge, such as biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, engineering, marketing, medicine, pharmacy and the like, which have specific terms that will only be understood if they are translated by an expert, so that the result is as faithful as possible to the original document.
– Sworn translation (also known as public translation): made when it is necessary to maintain the legal validity of a particular document in another country whose language is different from the one originally written.
Translation service fees change according to the expertise a professional translator should have to translate a particular document. Technical translations, for example, should only be done by translators who master the language pair and fully master the area of knowledge.
Sworn translations, in turn, must only be done by a Public Translator and Commercial Interpreter (TPIC), a professional who has passed a public entrance exam and was sworn by the Trade Board of their State of residence.
As long as they do not belong to neither of the areas above, other translation services can be provided by professional translators who work with general contents written in the language pair they master.
A survey by the British Council estimated that 5% of the Brazilian population (about 10 million people) speak English. However, this number is much lower when we think of languages like Japanese, German, Russian and Thai, for example.
This can help you understand why a translation service quote directly considers the language pair involved. While English is a more common language and a large number of translators who work with English are available, other languages may not be as easy.
The less common a language is in a given country, the higher the service fees tend to be, since competition is lower, even with relatively limited demand.
To understand how a translation price quote is calculated, you need to know the size of the document to be translated. Of course, larger documents will be more expensive because more translation work is required.
Although this changes from agency to agency, service fee is usually based on the number of standard pages, a term originally used in the layout of printed newspapers, which today is also used by professional translators.
Generally, for the quotation of free or technical translation services, a standard page with 30 lines and 70 characters each is used, including spaces, which results in approximately 2,100 characters.
Sworn translations, because they have to follow a specific pattern, usually have 25 lines with 50 characters each, which results in approximately 1,250 characters, also with spaces included.
These are some examples, but each translator or translation agency can use different page sizes or even charge by other means, such as by words or characters.
According to a popular saying, usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, time is money. Although the origin of such saying is uncertain, its message is certainly true, and it also applies to translation service quotes.
When customers do not make any special requirement as to delivery deadlines, the agency can adjust its deadlines calmly, making the service more affordable.
Nevertheless, when customers need urgency, such as translating documents for an upcoming trip, publishing advertisement that needs to be released immediately or other urgent situations, fees are increased to compensate for any additional procedures that are necessary.
With the explanations above, it is easier to understand how translation services are priced and understand why fees vary according to the subject, size, delivery term and language pair involved.
In addition, once you know how quotes are made, you can understand how much a translation service is worth, as this is a very thorough and specific process.
Always count on an experienced and specialized translation agency, regardless of your needs. Then, you will know translation service quotation was done correctly and that you will have the best translation possible.