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The Average Cost of Translation Services

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If you are venturing into a business that targets people in different regions, you will need a translator to make sure your web content, products, and other texts are all easily readable for your new target audience.

Fortunately, you don’t need to hire full time in-house translators for your projects. Many remote translators are available for freelance translation jobs. In this article, you will learn more about translation and the average cost of translation services.

How Are the Costs of Translation Services Calculated?

Once you’ve considered the right questions to ask a translator and the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a language translator, the next concern will be how much the services will cost you.

First, the price of a translation job is rarely calculated by the amount of pages being translated, because the number of words on each page can vary significantly depending on the format, the number of illustrations, spacing, page margins, and font size, among other factors, making it difficult to create a standardized pricing model. 

Therefore, translation costs are almost always determined by the number of words, or if a standardized page layout, one that puts reduces the number of variable differences per page. The language that the document is being translated into also plays a critical role in determining the project’s average cost. For instance, translating a Portuguese text into English is more expensive than translating an English text into Portuguese.

The cost of translation will also depend on the linguistic combination of the document. For instance, if a document contains texts written in multiple languages, it will cost more to translate than a document written in one language. Equally, if the document needs to be translated into many languages, it can be more expensive.

Another factor is the rarity of the language; it will cost you more to translate an English document to Japanese than it will cost you to translate the same document to German or French. This discrepancy exists because there are fewer Japanese translators easily available than French or German translators.

In addition, the cost of translation will vary greatly depending on the subject matter. If the project involves technical terminology, it will cost you more than general subjects. For instance, if the topic is on the operation of nuclear reactors, the price for the translation will be significantly higher than a blog post on the topic covering the best restaurants in Miami.

The final cost of your translation project will be dependent on additional factors such as the type and amount of formatting needed, the urgency of the deadline, any proofreading requirements, and certified translation requirements, among others, each of which will add a new layer of costs to the total price.

The level of exercise and expedrice your translator has will affect how expensive they are. There are three main levels of work when it comes to translation services: economy, professional, and premium. The economy level is suitable for personal translations that are not meant for publication. This type of translation is the cheapest, will get the job done, but you could expect there to be minor inaccuracies in the final translation. 

Professional translation will be performed by a native-speaker one who is often an expert in the subject matter of the document. It will also include a qualitative assessment by a second native-speaking professional translator and a final quality assessment by a dedicated project manager. This level of translation is suitable for professional documents such as in-house training manuals.

Premium translation, on the other hand, involves important documents that are meant for publication, business contracts, or legal documents. This level of translation will get set before multiple people before it’s fully delivered. 

Price of Translation by Characters

Freelance translators will sometimes charge by the number of characters (some counting the characters with spaces and others without spaces). This method is more suitable for character based languages such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, where a single character would be more equivalent to a word in the English language, rather than a letter. Different translators charge varied prices per character based on where they live, their level of experience, and their proficiency. On average, the cost of translation per character is $0.12.

Price of Translation by Words

Some translators prefer to charge their projects by the number of words. Although the price per word varies based on the factors mentioned above, the average cost is between $0.10 and $0.12 per word.

Price of Translation by Standard Page

The term “standard page” comes from printed newspapers, and it refers to one column of a publication. But with digital newspapers, this expression is no longer applied in its original sense. Nowadays, it refers to a sheet of paper typed by a translator with a specific number of lines or characters. Overall, a standard page has a maximum of 30 lines with 70 characters each. On average, the price per standard page ranges between $25 to $45 depending on the rarity of the language, subject, urgency of submission, and level of technical knowledge required.


There’s no one-size-fits-all cost for translation services because there are many factors involved. The estimations above should give you an idea of how much your project will cost, so you have a good baseline number to start your negotiations with when looking for a translator. With these numbers in mind, you can quickly determine how much your project will cost and make the right decision when comparing quotes from different translators, so you can find the one who offers you the perfect fit. 

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