For almost everything the Dutch, for example, say: ‘quanto costa?’ Unless you are less fluent in Italian. In that case your question is, ‘what does it cost?’ The same applies to translations. So, what does a translation by a translation agency cost and what exactly are you paying for?

In this respect it doesn’t surprise us that we are often asked what a translator costs. If not in the form of a free quote request, then most definitely via our contact form. It is not only about the figures, but also about the structure of the price. Do you actually pay for each hour that the translator is working, or do you pay per project or per word? In this blog post we will tell you everything about translation agencies and rates.

Comparing rates of translation agencies is like comparing apples with pears

At Euro-Com we work with a rate per word. A rate that is not set in stone, but depends on a number of factors – we’ll get to that in a minute. The amount at the bottom of the line stands for more than just a fee. Every translation agency has its own working method, so it’s smart to first determine what you consider important. Do you think it’s important that…

  • a highly-trained native translator translates your text?
  • that same translator is a specialist in your sector and text type?
  • the translation is viewed by no less than three pairs of eyes to ensure the very best quality?
  • your text is not translated indiscriminately, but that the translator takes your wishes including your tone of voice into account?
  • your personal project manager relieves you of a lot of work?
  • a translation agency meets ISO standards, which means, among other things, that the work is organised in such a way that customer satisfaction is as high as possible?

If all this is important to you, the cheapest translation agency probably wouldn’t be your first choice. As is the case always and everywhere; you pay more for quality. If you want to have texts translated that are not really important and do not affect your image, a lower price may outweigh the quality of your translations.

Tip: Do you request quotes from various translation agencies because you want the best price for your translation? Always ask about the translation agency’s working method. Does it suit you and the translation you need? Are there perhaps ways to reduce costs by choosing a translation agency that uses good translation software?

Okay, let’s look at the price structure of your translation work.

This is how we calculate the price for your translation

The first price factor is a very logical one, namely the number of words you want translated resulting in paying a certain amount per word. But that is not the only price factor that determines the translation costs. There are more, which we will explain below.

The language combination

Every language is different. Languages that are spoken by many, such as Spanish and Chinese, are cheaper than those that are “less common”. If you opt for a language combination of fairly uncommon languages, such as from Icelandic to Norwegian, you will pay more. Simply because the translators who can do this are scarce.

Smart software

Do you choose a translation agency that uses smart translation software? Smart move. It will result in a lower investment. You don’t have to be afraid that they will start using Google Translate. What do translation agencies do with such smart and specialist software? Subject to your approval the software will set up a translation memory. The software understands exactly which sentences have been translated before, which is ideal if you have a webshop with a lot of the same product information, for example.

Have you asked the translation agency how they work and if they, like us, work with such software? As soon as you submit your text to be translated, the software determines how many repetitions your text contains. The software indicates a percentage and some translation agencies, including Euro-Com, translate this into a lower fee.

Tip: Consult the translation agency to see if they can create a translation memory or “TM” for you. If you have something translated by the same agency again, they will use the memory. Not only is it smart from a price point of view – it also ensures the same translation of terms and recurring texts resulting in consistency. Another advantage is that it can sometimes make for an earlier delivery time.

Translate or localise?

Translating means replacing the text in the source language with the same text in the target language. This means that your funny joke about a traditional English snack may not come across well in Mexico or may even be very inappropriate. If you have your text localised, the translator will adapt your text to the target group. Not haphazardly, but in such a way that the translation achieves exactly what you have in mind. The translator will match the translation to the (cultural) preferences of your target group and will definitely take symbols, humour, traditions, but also political, economic and religious aspects into account.

Suppose you make a funny pun on your website with the cookie notification. Something like “Want a cookie?” and whether you drink your coffee black or with milk. If you translate this into Korean, probably nobody will understand it. If you are going to localise this, the translator will turn it into a pun that will suit the target group. Or she or he will advise you to leave it out because the legislation differs there and jokes about serious matters are not appreciated or some other reason.

So think carefully about what you need; a literal translation or a text that exactly matches your target group and your message.

Specialities such as SEO

Are you going to look beyond the English borders with your company? We can only applaud that. There is a good chance that you will also want your website translated and that you want it to be nice and readable and easy to find. If you have done your best for your English website regarding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you cannot just copy that and use it in another country. No, not even when it concerns American English. If you have your website translated and you actually want to appear in the search engines when your target group searches for relevant terms, opt for SEO translations. The most successful websites have been translated by translators who are SEO specialists.

Do you want to save money on your translation?

Do you want to spend less on your translation, but not compromise on quality? Perhaps you have already included your translations in your costs and reserved a generous budget for it. We believe you should never overpay, so we’re happy to help you get the most out of your translations and your money. That is why we have listed 5 tips to make your translations less expensive.

Okay, what does a translation cost at Euro-Com translation agency?

We cannot say exactly what your translation (at a reputable) translation agency will cost. But it should be clear that cheap isn’t always really cheap. A bad translation causes image damage, extra costs to print that flyer – this time without language errors – and the investment in a second translator who does understand it. A waste of your money – so you better get it right the first time.

In other words, look beyond the rates and also consider the quality and working method.

Would you like to know exactly what your translation will cost? You will receive a quote for a translation by Euro-Com within 2 hours. And we would also like to tell you everything about our working method, certifications, translation software and more. Request your free and non-binding quote here.