Writing & Translation

How Much Is the Average Cost Range for Language Translations In 2022?

A robust localization management software might differentiate between spending money on poor translation services and quality work.

When prepping a professional translation quote or project, discussions on the price of translation services naturally take center stage. The price will depend on factors such as the cost per word, the length of the context, the location, and the language spoken.

Average Cost Range for Language Translations

Professional translation services can cost anywhere from $0.08 to $0.28 per word, but the actual price will depend on how many words need to be translated and how quickly.

Average Per-Word Cost of Translation

English translation costs an average of $0.10-$0.20 per word, depending on factors such as word count, the complexity of the subject matter, the kind of platform being translated (website, app, document), need for editing, etc., and quality of translator used.

Check out the range of prices per translated word for the languages that are currently the most popular requests.

  • English to Arabic: $0.10 up to $0.20.
  • English to Chinese: $0.07 up to $0.10.
  • English to Hindi: $0.08 up to $0.10.
  • English to Bengali: $0.09 up to $0.22.
  • English to French: $0.09 up to $0.12.
  • English to Farsi (Persian): $0.09 up to $0.22.
  • English to German: $0.08 up to $0.11.
  • English to Japanese: $0.09 up to $0.12.
  • English to Portuguese: $0.09 up to $0.12.

The total price of services will depend on the specifics of your business, but you can get a sense of the range of prices by looking at the cost per word in several languages.

Is There a Particular Style of Translation You Require?

How much money you have to spend on translation may depend on how much human review is required.

Involving a human (or a team of humans) at each stage guarantees that your material is polished and ready for its intended audience in terms of both language and cultural nuances.

Using AI for the first step toward a more human-like localized translation is a little move in the right direction (AI). The first stage of artificial intelligence is machine translation (MT).

With MT, you can have AI do the initial legwork, so you don’t have to, and then you can finish it to whatever level of detail is required. This process is analogous to preparing a room for decoration: AI will remove the existing wallpaper, patch any holes, and apply the first coat of paint before you come in and perform the finer work.

The next step is to determine if there is enough time and money to alter the MT output manually. The process is known as “Post-Editing,” and it has three distinct phases:

MT with full Post-Editing

The original content’s grammar and syntax are preserved through rigorous checking. We recommend it for anything that the general public will see.

MT with light Post-Editing

The translation is quickly reviewed to make sure everything makes sense in the target language. This is the greatest option for short-term internal communications or translation projects.

Raw MT

There is no human control. A literal translation works well when only a surface-level comprehension is required. Such a case would be when there was a simple set of internal instructions that only needed to be read once and would never be referred to again.

Which Languages Do You Plan to Focus On?

To what language(s) do you require access to your content? Language-specific costs vary widely. The cost of learning a rare language is typically higher than for more common ones.

Can you define a rare language? As a general rule, the fewer people worldwide who can speak a language are more scarce.

In addition, one must consider the country’s general cost of living. The greater the availability of translators and the lower the cost of living in the target country, the lower the final price of the translation will be.

Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, and Italian are some examples of relatively inexpensive language learning options. These languages are spoken widely in nations where the cost of living is lower, making locating and hiring translators simpler.

On the other end of the range are languages spoken in Korea, Scandinavia, and Africa (where there are 2,000 recognized languages).

Do You Need To Get It Done ASAP?

Okay, the language services sector isn’t alone in this. Faster service usually comes with a higher price tag. Nothing can be taken for granted, and translation is no different.

Have 5,000 words that you need to be translated into Swahili by this coming Friday? You can probably envision the planning and effort involved, not to mention the team size required, to make something like that happen.

Two or three business days for a language service provider (LSP) is a reasonable turnaround time for a text document of roughly 2,000 words written in a simple language, with Quality Assurance (QA) included. Sure, extra manpower could get the job done sooner.

Are You Going To Pay Per Word Or Per Hour?

Take into account the factors above when calculating the cost of your translation. As a client of an LSP, you may be paid per project if you have many translations or interpretation requests.

However, the LSP will still employ some method for calculating the fee. Fees for translation services are often based on either a per-word or per-hour rate.

Per word is more typical and can cost anything from $0.09 to $0.40, depending on the above mentioned variables.

You could be charged anywhere from $30 to $70 per hour if you’re being invoiced hourly.

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About the author

Sophia Britt

My name is Sophia and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I offer real world experience to readers on how to save and smartly spend their money. Plus offer advice on organization, career, business, travel, health, home, education and life.