What’s the estimated price of a translation job?

Updated: Sep 18


What’s the estimated price of a translation job? - Michele Henderson / Unplash

If we had a penny for every time a customer asks us this question, right?

Some people don’t know where to start looking for answers when they think of translating a document, a website or a book. 

  • How much does it cost to translate 1000 words?

  • How much do translators change per hour?

  • How is the translation cost calculated?

Today, we are addressing the elephant in the room, and we’re letting you in on everything you need to know about the cost of translation.

But before we begin, we’d like to share some aspects that will help you better understand what a translator does and why it is harder than it looks to establish a price without taking a look at the document first. 


First, are you still having some doubts about how translating your content into Spanish will help your business?


You’re probably thinking: how am I going to access a market I know nothing about? Not even the language? When we talk to our clients, most of them start by saying:

  • “Spanish is so far from my language perspective.”

  • “I’m not able to find collaborations for education because I don’t speak Spanish.”

  • “I speak Spanish but not confident enough to give a lecture or webinar.”

  • “You have to find the exact word not to annoy or scare your audience.”

  • “In general, information is culturally different.”

  • “People are not thinking clearly with the intent of educating the female Spanish population, specifically.” (In USA)

  • “It’s hard enough to break the patriarchal medical system in English, let alone in another language.”


And now, some facts on why you should get your content translated into Spanish!

Spanish is the official language in more than 20 countries. It is the second language with more native speakers in the world. 

Did you know that Spain is not even within the top 10 countries of Europe with a good level of English? 

Latin American countries are not doing so well, and they rank quite low in the list of countries with excellent command of the English language. 


In Spain, only 6% of the population can speak English fluently. In Mexico, just 5% of the population can speak English and in Chile, only 2%.


Think about it like this: If only 0.5% of these people are potential buyers of your book, that means 115 thousand potential customers. 


And again, if only 0.5% of those potential buyers buy your book (or online course, or contribute to your blog or social media), we’re still talking about 575 products sold. 


Considering the average price of a book at around €20,575 books would make a total of €11500.


You can achieve this —and a lot more— without having to speak Spanish at all.


Why translating your content into Spanish is great for your business?

Translation can help you reach audiences that you could only dream of. 


If you decide to broadcast your message in different languages, like Spanish, you’ll see numerous benefits for your business.


Think of it like this:

  • You will stand out from your competitors.

  • You’ll be able to expand to foreign markets.  

  • You’ll get to help readers beyond your language scope.

  • You’ll get to become a best-seller in a different language.

  • You’ll get to increase your profits.

Now that you are aware of all the benefits of translating your content let’s talk about the cost (or investment!) of translating into Spanish.


Why can’t I find a straight answer about the estimated price of translating my content? 


When you’re doing online research on the cost of translation, you’ll see that most translation companies (however big or small) ask you to send your files and they will get back to you with an appropriate quote. 


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that (we do it and most of our colleagues do it.)


Here’s why.


Usually, translations are charged per source word. This means that if you want to translate a blog post (roughly, 1000 words) from English into Spanish, you will receive a quote based on the number of words in the English text.


Still, the cost depends on many different variables.


To mention a few:

  • How fast do you need your translation?

Translators make a living on different clients (like all businesses). Generally, every client has a different need and urgency. So, translators have to give priority not only to existing clients but also to the deadlines previously agreed. 

This means that if you ask a translator or translation company to finish a translation of 1000 words in less than 24 hours, they will probably charge a bit extra for urgency. Why? Well, as you can imagine, they have to push other clients’ deadlines to meet yours.


  • Are you looking for a certified translation?

Certified translations are legal documents that need to be signed by a professional translator who is a member of a particular association of translators. Depending on the country where you live in, the law requires certified translations to comply with specific requirements. 

Usually, certified translations are charged per page when documents are birth/marriage/death certificates, passports, driving licences, or any other 1/2 page legal document. 

If you need to translate a legal contract (B2B or B2C agreements), they can be charged either per page or per word depending on the translator.


  • Are your files editable?

If your file is a scan or a picture of a document, you can imagine that it will be quite challenging to count words. In some cases, professional translators tend to charge a bit extra for having to adjust files into an editable format.

It has happened to me that a client sent me a 40 page, non-editable file, and it took me around 3 hours only to be able to quote this job. 

Editable files will make your translator’s life easier and will save you a couple of bucks.


This said, what’s the price of a translation job of, let’s say, a 1000-word document into Spanish?

Now that you know some of the reasons behind the famous “well, it depends” let¡s talk prices. 


You see, most professional translators work with suggested prices from the associations they belong to, such as ATA, IAPTI, CIOL or CTPCBA


According to most professional translators’ associations, prices start (big emphasis on START) from €0.06 per word. Of course, you have to consider that not all language combinations have the same cost. 


English-Spanish is a rather popular combination, which is why the estimated price of translating your documents from English into Spanish may be lower than English-Danish, for example.


With these numbers in mind, if, for example, you have a blog post of around 1000 words to be translated from English into Spanish, it’s going to cost, at least, €60.


However, if you wish to translate a book of around 70 thousand words, you can agree with your translator for a fee that works for you both. For example, in our case, we tend to give a discount on our fee for a large volume of work. 


Hopefully, you could find some clarity now on translation cost, and now you can calculate yourself without necessarily asking for a quote. Also, you might now have an idea of an estimated price of translating your documents from English into Spanish. 


If you still have doubts and you’d like to discuss further your specific case, we’re here to help! You can book a 30-minute call, FREE of charge, and we can talk specifically about your content.


Original blog source: https://ariadnatranslations.com/2020/07/03/how-much-does-a-translation-cost/



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