Factors Affecting Translation Cost

price of translation Factors Affecting Translation Cost

Ever wonder what factors affect the cost of translation?

Translation costs are normally worked out on a price-per-word basis, and most translators and translation companies work to industry standard rates.

Other factors include: language combination, experience of the translator, subject matter, and formatting of the document.


The size of the project impacts the cost. Cost is typically calculated on a per word basis because it is a straight-forward way to approximate the overall size of the project.

Language combination

Some languages cost more than others to translate. For example translating from English to Japanese costs more than English to Spanish. This is because the more widely spoken and understood the language the more translators are available and the more competitive the rates. For less common languages translators can be harder to find and consequently translators charge higher rates.

English often serves as an intermediate, or inter-language, between less commonly translated languages, adding an extra layer of translation (and cost) to a project. Suppose you need to find a translator who can translate between Icelandic and Hindi. To manage this type of request, most Language Service Providers (LSPs) will find a translator who can translate Icelandic into English and then a second translator to translate English into Hindi.

Experience of the translator

More than any other factor, the skill and experience level your content requires will determine rate. Translating highly technical content can be uniquely challenging and require vocabulary specifically related to the subject matter. Expect to budget more for translation of specialised (legal, technical etc.) content.


Need that translation as soon as possible? It will cost you! The mark-up for express and overnight translation can be between 50-100% more.

Subject matter

Translation projects can vary enormously in complexity and therefore sometimes requires additional services beyond translation itself. Some LSPs include additional services in the base price, while others break them out as separate line items. These kinds of services can include, but are not limited to:

Project management

  • Glossary and style guide preparation
  • Project planning
  • File preparation
  • Content familiarization

Quality assurance

Quality evaluation

Desktop publishing (DTP)

Software engineering and testing



Buyers measure quality differently. A ‘high quality’ translation will mean something different for a pharmaceutical manufacturer than it will for a company looking to translate marketing material. In general, ‘high quality’ means avoiding errors. To reduce errors, most translators edit and proofread their own translations. Proofreading can also be done by third-party peers, senior-level editors, and customer reviewers.

At the end of the day, you have to put translation cost in perspective. Sloppy translations can be funny but can damage a business’ reputation. The consequences can be more serious than just causing amusement, as the quality of your products and services are called into question. A sloppy translation will leave your customer with the impression you lack professionalism. They may think you are taking on work beyond your capabilities.

What factors are important to you when you engage with a translation service provider?

Translation is everywhere in our daily lives.

funny translations 1 Translation is everywhere in our daily lives.

Keeping us healthy

When products are sold internationally it is essential to have accurate information on content so people can avoid potential allergens in food, chemicals and medicines. Food labels that aren’t translated accurately place consumers at risk of ingesting a product that could prove harmful. Translating food labels allows consumers to find food that fits their diet and avoid products that have preservatives or ingredients they don’t want to eat.

Helping us avoid danger

Warning signs and emergency communications must be clear and understandable.  Safety is of paramount importance in the construction industry and reliable translation is critical to the success of modern day construction. If workers are unable to understand each other, or the plans and manuals they are working from it could result in disaster. Translators translate important documents such as design plans, construction and machinery manuals, and more. They can also help architects and managers communicate written information correctly – something that is extremely important when building something to be stable and safe. Additionally translators help with communications such as outsourcing. The increase in the use of outsourcing of contracting work to a third-party business, has increased the need for translators, since many companies that are used for outsourcing are located in foreign countries.

Keeping us entertained

Localising books, film and video games provides us with a wider range of entertainment that would be limited without language translation. Language translation makes it possible for us to read books like Eugene Onegin by Pushkin, or Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It also allows us to understand foreign movies and to play video games created in a different language.

Supporting economic interaction across borders

In all areas of the global economy interactions are made possible through translation: marketing and sales of products and services, political and scientific collaboration, investment decisions, and enforcing legal rights and obligations.

Keeping us informed

Keeping informed about what’s happening in the world would not be possible without access to news in foreign languages.

Expanding our cultural horizons

When we visit a museum or exhibition we have a richer experience when the accompanying text, explanations and audio are available in a language we can understand.

Translation can help save lives 

An international crisis necessitates an immediate response which involves cooperation between countries and communicating with people who may not speak the same language. The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of how important it is for people to be able to access important, accurate  information in a language they understand. Finding a vaccine requires a global response with scientists all over the world collaborating and sharing information on clinical trial results, documentation for pharmaceutical authorities which requires approval, transcription and voice-over services are also often needed for focus groups and hearings.

But it’s not only health information that needs to be translated.  International companies are coming up with new modes of working, processes and training for their global workforces so staff can get back to work as quickly as possible.

These are just some of the many examples of how translations is everywhere in our daily lives.

Also read these:
The Importance of Food Translations

Medical and Pharmacy Translations

Why it is so important to get translation right?

How to check the quality of your translation

A good translation effectively communicates the same ideas that were written in the original language into another language, conveying the original tone and intent of a message, while taking into account cultural and regional differences. If a translator cannot translate the message accurately, the reader will have difficulty in understanding the message.

translation How to check the quality of your translation

A translation should read as though it was written in the target language. A good translation should NOT add information to the source content or modify the style, tone, or meaning of the original in any way. An exception applies when dealing with marketing and advertising content where web copy, advertising, and creative concepts do not always translate directly from one culture to another.

For professional purposes, translations should always be proofread by native speakers, and there is no real alternative to this method. Costly translation errors can ruin the plans of businesses looking to expand into international markets. What may seem like a harmless mistake on product packaging can lead to a serious public relations disaster such as widespread ridicule or much worse – causing offence and outrage. In 2009, HSBC bank had to launch a $10 million rebranding campaign to repair the damage done when its catchphrase “Assume Nothing” was mistranslated as “Do Nothing” in various countries.

Look at their client testimonals to see what others say about them. If necessary call the client who gave the testimonial for direct feedback.

What are the company’s credentials? Are they a member of any professional associations? Are they ISO 17100 certified, the standard for translation companies? Certification means the translator cannot be the person who finally checks the translation (the editor) and the final proofreader must also be a different person to the editor and translator.

Ask the Language Service Provider for a test translation. If the text translation is poor this should be a warning.

Back translation is a procedure where a translator interprets or re-translates a document that was previously translated into another language, back to the original language. It is usually carried out by a translator who was not involved in the original translation into the target language. This person should have no prior knowledge of the objectives or its specific context, therefore a back translation will never be 100% exactly the same as the original source text. It is a quality assessment tool that can be used both by clients and translation companies.

In-house checks compare the source and target files to catch omissions, wrong numbers, and badly localised content. Most computer aided translation (CAT) tools like XBench are good at detecting untranslated segments, source same as target, and even missing or wrong numbers.

The hidden costs of poor quality translation can swiftly mount up. Businesses that operate over international borders and which are looking to save money should think twice before making cuts to their translation service.

Involving a translation company in your international marketing venture from the outset can make a significant difference to your chance of success. Whether you are researching local customs, looking for information on preferred marketing techniques in your target market or presenting information about your product, having someone on hand who speaks the language fluently is a key part of the process. A good translation company who can handle everything from marketing information to website translation services can quickly become an invaluable part of your international marketing strategy.

Why it is so important to get translation right?

The language of business is changing.

new customers Why it is so important to get translation right?

Although English is still considered the language of global business, it is only the third most spoken language in the world. Other languages are growing in importance as developing countries take their place in the global economy and more of their citizens gain Internet access. For example, most of the world’s web content used to be in English, that is no longer the case.  And even people who speak English as a second language generally prefer to read, watch and shop in their native language.

Consumers prefer to buy a product with information in their own language

According to the Harvest Business Review 72% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. The Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) surveyed 3,002 consumers from 10 different countries and found that 55% of consumers prefer to buy exclusively in their native language, and 53% are more at ease buying in their native language.

Opportunities to reach new customers

The opportunity to reach new customers and increase revenues make expanding into international markets a winning strategy for any business. According to KPMG ‘Cross-border shopping is on the rise globally, driving international retail trade.’ And Business Advice state that 880,000 of the UK’s small businesses aim to expand overseas by 2025.

Few businesses consider how their home-market customer journey will work in other languages or countries. Many businesses miss the fundamental importance of engaging their global audience with content that resonates with them – not just with simple translation, but with a full language experience that conveys their brand, reputation, and trustworthiness. Every market is different and not understanding or keeping this in mind will significantly hinder a business’ chances of growth in new countries. Accordingly companies need to do their homework before entering into new markets. Assuming customs and customers are the same everywhere is a recipe for disaster.

Sloppy Translations

We have all heard about, or seen, examples of translation mistakes, they are everywhere; from badly-translated slogans to brand names that face a cultural backlash. For example, Hyundai Kona in Polish means ‘Hyundai is dying’. ‘Konać’ means ‘to be dying’, ‘kona’ is the third person singular form of this verb. 

Sloppy translations can be funny but can damage a business’ reputation. The consequences can be more serious than just causing amusement, as the quality of your products and services are called into question. A sloppy translation will leave your customer with the impression you lack professionalism. They may think you are taking on work beyond your capabilities.

Despite the explosive growth of Web technology and its ability to translate written text quickly. Machine translation doesn’t understand technical references, acronyms, inferences, plays on words, jokes, slang and so many other things that are not expressed through the written word alone. We are likely decades away from technology advancing enough to truly understand language at the human level.

Having a nuanced understanding of the target language is by far the most important part of translation. Translators who have a native understanding of the target language are usually best prepared to ensure the most accurate and appropriate translations.

From-To Offer Translation Services for Various Industries with Fast Turnaround Times: GoodFirms

goodfirms 1024x683 From To Offer Translation Services for Various Industries with Fast Turnaround Times: GoodFirms

Globalisation has opened new opportunities for businesses around the world. The most important part of any business is to have successful communications with their customers. Sometimes, cultural differences can create misapprehension among customers about the product. Thus, there is a requirement of a translation company to strengthen customer relationships.

Head Note About From-To

From-To is a translation company located in the United Kingdom with an office in Poland. Dating back from 1998. The From-To team are professionals who apply extensive experience and expertise to their work. The ‘From-To’ team is focused on delivering result-oriented work. In an extremely short span of time, a project to translate, typeset, and print 60 books into different languages was carried out. The knowledgeable team cracked languages such as Albanian, Lithuanian, Hebrew and, particularly, Tok Pisin. The company offers translation services in all of the world’s languages. Since it is an accredited organisation it can render an official document translation.

About GoodFirms Research Methodology

GoodFirms is a B2B online portal aiding seekers to find a reliable translation company. The criteria for listing companies are based on Quality, Reliability, and Ability. After the firms have been evaluated, they are ranked based on their Research Score.

Similarly, GoodFirms evaluated From-To based on the above mentioned 3 crucial criteria. In the whole examination, it was clear that this firm has been doing meritorious work in the translation field. The detailed description of the company is mentioned below:

Translation Services

A good translator not only is an expert in a language but also has in-depth knowledge of a particular field. Being familiar with different languages and extensive subject-matter experience the process of translation becomes easy. Companies providing translation services require such expert and knowledgeable professionals. The From-To team has a team of trained linguists. The firm works with the technical supervision of experts to provide the best services.

The firm is well-versed with the need for translation services in today’s extremely competitive market. Having vast knowledge of jargon specialisation in demanding areas of the creative field, the company is setting a benchmark for its competitors. Each translation work at this firm has to pass through two stages, i.e., translation and technical supervision; each of which is assigned to separate professionals. The company holds a prestigious position in the list of best translation services companies at GoodFirms due to its in-depth knowledge and fast turnaround time.

Legal Translation Services

Words play an important role in the legal field. Legal translation has to be done attentively in order to ensure the correct information is passed over. A narration of a legal document requires a professional with sound knowledge of words and expressions so that the readers can know the meaning of those words in a simplified manner. The words could give readers meaning behind the context. A single mistranslation in the legal document can lead to a disaster. A good translator is the one who understands the thin line between translation and interpretation.

Instilled with good subject-matter, the professionals of From-To find the hidden subtext within words and sentences.

The learned team of the firm is fulfilling the requirements of translating within the criminal and civil system. The quick and accurate work of this firm is why they have been ranked among the leading names in the legal translation services providers at GoodFirms.

Technical translation

From-To is a firm that possesses great knowledge for technical translation as they are specialised in serving various industries like power engineering, electrics, electronics, constructions, and many more depending on the type of projects. It may be difficult for a layman to understand the technical details; thus comes a requirement of a translation company that provides efficient technical translation services. Communication is considered effective when the subject matter is understood by everyone the same way it is written. The team of From-To promises effective translation in different industries that can certainly help viewers with better understanding.

Visionary in the services they offer, the team uses proper terminology and jargon while translating for technical industries making the content easier for customers to understand. Priding themselves on professionalism this company works with unsurpassed potential. Moreover, a team combined with business and translation skills offers assured quality services with guaranteed professionalism. The firm in short duration is expected to rank among the best technical translation services providers at GoodFirms.

About GoodFirms

Washington, D.C. based GoodFirms is a maverick B2B Research and Reviews Company that helps in finding Translation Services firms rendering the best services to its customers. GoodFirms’ extensive research process ranks the companies, boosts their online reputation and helps service seekers pick the right technology partner that meets their business needs.

About the Author

Anna Stark is presently working as a Content Writer with GoodFirms – Washington D.C. based B2B Research Company, which bridges the gap between service seekers and service providers. Anna’s current role lingers to shape every company’s performance and key attributes into words. She firmly believes in the magic of words and equips new strategies that work, always in with ideas, something new to carve, and something original to decorate the firm’s identity.

image From To Offer Translation Services for Various Industries with Fast Turnaround Times: GoodFirms

From to LTD Receives 5 Star Review

As the global economy continues to grow, one thing is certain: companies need translation services now more than ever.  

Whether your company is a large, bustling enterprise with thousands of locations worldwide and you need to support your staff, or you’re a smaller local company that interacts directly with customers, reliable communication can be the key to your success. 

Our team has established a system that guarantees high quality translations that don’t leave anything up for misinterpretation. And now, you don’t have to take our word for it. 

We’ve recently received a Five Star review on Clutch! A B2B ratings and reviews site, Clutch.co helps companies find high performing partners, and vendors, like us, can find buyers for our services. 

image From to LTD Receives 5 Star Review

With two decades of translation experience under our belt, we’re confident that our transcription services are accurate every time. We verify and document each of our translators to ensure that they’re native speakers and subject-matter professionals.  

After each translation, the text is proofread by another professional. Using IT tools, we can consistently meet client preferences in terminology and expressions.  

In the project that is highlighted on our Clutch profile, we helped translate education videos, brochures, and lengthy catalogs for a medical device supplier. Our partners simply send us the materials and we get back to them by the deadline.  

Like all of our projects, the feedback from our client was overwhelmingly positive. By going the extra mile and providing QA for each and every document we translate, we ensure that they can trust our work to be right. Compared to some of our competitors, we stand out as a reliable resource:  

“In a lot of my experiences in previous years where I always had to correct most of the translation. This has been the first agency where I didn’t have to make any corrections to their work.” 

You’re able to find more information about how we stack up to others in our field by visiting Clutch’s sister sites—The Manifest and Visual Objects. Whether you’re looking for a company description site, like The Manifest, or want to make your business decision on market research, their resources are a valuable guide to finding verified, well performing partners.  

Like us, Clutch, The Manifest, and Visual Objects, want to ensure that you get what you need out of your business relationships. We think you’ll find the best solution with us. To discuss your business needs, contact us. You can find our information here.   

…and The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 goes to…. tam dam! Olga Tokarczuk!

…and The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 goes to…. tam dam! Olga Tokarczuk!

Although our agency is based in the UK, we are proud of our Polish roots and today, we celebrate the fact that our compatriot, Olga Tokarczuk, receives The Nobel Prize for her fantastic books. Yes, Poland is a country of great writers! Henryk Sienkiewicz, Władysław Reymont, Czesław Miłosz, and Wisława Szymborska are all Nobel laureates, and now Olga Tokarczuk joins the team!

Olga Tokarczuk will receive the Nobel Prize today from the hands of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony with this year’s other laureates. Tokarczuk, 57, has courted controversy for touching on dark areas of Poland’s past that contrast with the version of history promoted by the country’s ruling nationalist party – Law and Justice (PiS).

%name …and The Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 goes to…. tam dam! Olga Tokarczuk!

“My spontaneous reaction was to dedicate this award to the democratic movement in Poland and I asked people to vote for democracy and against totalitarian tendencies and this speech of mine was quite warmly received and I think it might have had some influence on the elections,” Olga Tokarczuk said at the conference in Stockholm.

“I especially think that this prize gave the Poles some good energy because we are a very divided society and there are many things going on when it comes to hard hateful emotions and things like that and it might have given a feeling of more commonness,” said the Polish writer.

To listen to her amazing speech, click here.

The Nobel Prize, sponsored by the Nobel Foundation, is an annual international award in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, physiology or medicine, and economic sciences. The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901. The most famous Polish to receive the Noble Prize is Maria Skłodowska Curie, a scientist who is is the only person to be granted this award twice. In 2018, Kendrick Lamar received the Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN, but he was not the first pop artist to be acknowledged with an academic award. In 2016, pop singer Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.

One Size Doesnt Fit All

One Size Doesnt Fit All

Why you need a Human Translator

In many ways, language is the most human technology of all, allowing us to share experiences, ideas and moments from person to person through the ages. Over the millennia, language has evolved in complexity and precision – and often those two properties seem at odds with one another. While computing and technological advances have brought a host of solutions to translating languages from one to the other – from rapidly cross-referencing dictionaries to scanning chunks of text to provide grammatically perfect renditions of entire paragraphs in different languages – the precise meaning of phrases and the nuances of tone can often be lost.

Particularly with more creative or subjective pieces of writing, tone and nuance can be where the real message of a text lies. From slogans to jokes, a deeper knowledge of the intricacies and references in a piece of writing is essential to conveying the true meaning behind the words. To accomplish an accurate translation, a human understanding of the text is the only real way to proceed. Robots famously lack a sense of humour and, in general, the only laughs AI-driven translations come up with are accidental. Beyond humour, having an understanding of the emotional, poetic or sensitivity needs of a particular phrase or message can be incredibly important. Consider the needs of passing on bad news, awkward medical discussions or even a creative brief – getting the tone right is too important to leave it to algorithms.

There are a large variety of solutions to getting your message across in different languages. A good approach is transcreation – constructing texts from the ground up with the consideration of translation in mind. For many technical texts, this can be the best approach – whether it’s instruction manuals, user guides, or any other format that requires a clear, concise and direct communication of specific information in a regular format. Transcreation requires good knowledge of language structure to maintain coherence and consistency across a variety of languages. For example, matching the same level of formality across translations often requires a more nuanced understanding of the languages involved than Google Translate can provide. Working with experienced experts will undoubtedly provide better results than automatic translation services and provides a level of trust and professionalism that will be appreciated by users and clients alike.

2 One Size Doesnt Fit All

In advertising and marketing, local knowledge is often the most important aspect of coming up with strong universal messages. Directly translated phrases can often lose all meaning and coherence and the most carefully thought-out campaigns can lose a lot of their impact without the expertise that experienced translators can provide. As much as anything else, translation is about knowing your audience; and so while the imagery and other non-verbal content can be universally applied, the tone is often set by the words that appear alongside it, making the use of human translators essential from the beginning of the campaign through to its delivery. For many basic day-to-day conversations, automatic translation is quick and easy, particularly when there is little time to fully explain exactly what you’re trying to get across, but when you need a complex explanation or creative concept shared precisely, human translation is still the only way to go.

New translation technologies

We talk.
We write.
We communicate.

It is easier nowadays than ever, as the barrier that was the variety of spoken and written languages has been thoroughly shattered. Technology is in bloom, and it has been harnessed to enable fluent and undisturbed communication among people born and bred in countries that share not even a single word.

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How is it possible?

The technological miracle that has happened during the last twenty years sipped through the hide of our every day lives deep through the core of our existence. We cannot live without our laptops, tablets, smartwatches or smartphones. The tiny devices we carry in our purses and pockets are smarter and faster than the computers that carried Apollo crafts towards the moon. They can talk. They can lead us. They open the doors.

brainstorming branding businesspeople 1162968 1024x806 New translation technologies

To improve our communication, to let us annihilate the language barrier, a variety of new technologies has been created, such as speech recognition, virtual translators (you know Google Translate, right? Toss the stone whoever hasn’t used it at least once!), or a net of simulatenous translation boots used at political meetings. All of those help, but at the same time make us a little lazy. One don’t have to study a language for years to communicate effectively anymore. But maybe it works otherwise: the angst of a mechanical factor replacing human empathy and emotion is still there, in every one of us. It may work as a boost, encourage us to develop, to infiltrate foreign languages and foreign cultures, to go deeper into that variety that makes us so interresting as a species. We can use all those tools to start our adventure of diving into a communication river. The satisfaction of using a foreign language efficiently enough to communicate with natives is incomparable.

As they say, it all happened with a word.

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