You’ve asked for several translation quotes. You’ve seen significant differences in the prices of the translations offered by translation agencies and professionals, as well as those who are not professional translators. You’re not very familiar with how translations work and all this variety is confusing. Which option should you choose?

This article analyses how the price of translations is calculated for a better understanding of the differences, so that you can make the best decision for your project.

How are translations charged?

Although there are different standards in different countries, most translation agencies and freelance translators charge for translations by the word in the source text.

In other words, if you have 1000 words to translate and the price per word for a language combination X is 0.10 euros, the translation will cost you 100 euros (+ VAT).

What is the price per word for a translation?

The price per word of a translation depends on many factors that are discussed in the next section. One of the most important is the language combination. In other words: In which language is your text written and into which language do you want it translated?

Don’t forget to provide this information when you ask for a translation quote.

Which factors have an impact on the price of a translation?

There are factors, however, that might have an impact on the end price of a translation, such as the text format, the repetitions, the volume of words, images containing text, the urgency (surcharges may be applied for urgent jobs in some cases), the level of specialisation of the text, etc. We therefore recommend you always ask for a quote instead of doing the calculations yourself.

Furthermore, the following must be considered:

  • Every translator/company has a price per word for each language combination.
  • The number of words is calculated based on the original document, i.e. the one provided by the client.
  • Less usual combinations are normally more expensive. For example, translating from Spanish into Japanese is more expensive that from English into Spanish.

However, don’t get excited by the end price or the price per word, because like in almost everything, the service quality of each company is different, and the price might depend on this.

Simply comparing prices won’t get you anywhere, except sometimes to choosing the wrong provider. Along these lines, it is important to consider certain details when choosing a translation company. If you want more information on this, read this article in our blog on