How to Evaluate the Cost of your Translation Project?

Businesses that are new to the concept of translation and brand localization sometimes find it hard to deal with translators and language service providers. If you are new to the translation world and have no idea of how things work, you better start by acquiring the proper knowledge of the industry first.

When you know the intricacies of the industry and how they charge, it will become easier for you to negotiate your translation project prices with your service provider. There are a lot of factors you have to consider while estimating the price of your translation project. This way, you can avoid being overcharged by translators and language service providers. Read this article to understand how you can determine the cost of your translation project and what factors can influence the cost.

Most Commonly Used Pricing Models 

Translation agencies and translators use different pricing models to charge their clients. You must be familiar with all of these pricing models to negotiate smartly with your service providers. Similarly, how your service provider will price you also depends on the type of documents you want to translate. For instance, the pricing model for the website is very different from legal documents costing, so the nature of your project has a lot to do with the pricing.

Per Hour Costing 

It is a commonly used pricing model where you pay your service provider on an hourly basis. So, the more time your documents take, the higher price you have to pay. If you are paying on an hourly basis, you have to make sure that your translator is entirely working on your project on dedicated time. However, you should also have some idea about how much time translators are supposed to take to finish your translations.

Per Word Costing 

In the per-word cost model, you don’t really have to worry about whether your translator is taking 4 or 14 hours to complete a task because you are paying them on a per-word basis. Per-word rates may vary depending on the language pairs and content type. For instance, medical translations are more expensive than article translations, and translating from English to Japanese will cost you more than translating to German language.

Per Page Costing

When you translate business documents, websites, or articles, they typically use a per-page pricing model, keeping the standard word count of each page in mind. This pricing model is used while translating a huge translation project consisting of multiple documents. Especially when the length of two languages is not the same, translators won’t charge you per word. Some high-context languages take more words, so the word count significantly varies when translating from another language.

Per Character Costing 

For character-based languages, such as Japanese and Chinese, translators use a character-based pricing model. For instance, if you are translating from English to Chinese or Japanese, the translation may count in character as 1 word for Chinese and typically 1.3 words for Japanese characters.

Other Factors That Influence Your Pricing

Apart from the word count, language pair, and content type, there are many other factors that may influence your translation pricing.

Format Requirements 

Other than doing your translation, translators spend a lot of time meeting your format requirements. Depending on your format complexities and other needs, you have to pay them extra money for the efforts they are putting into your project. Professional localization platforms may contain tools that automatically implement the required formats, and it saves time for LSPS.

Time of Delivery 

How short your project deadline is, also influences the cost. The more urgently you need the translations, the higher your pricing will be. If you give good time to your translators to finish the project, the cost will get reduced accordingly.


If you are looking for a professional translation solution for enterprises, you can search online for discounted services. So, if you are getting your translation on discount offers, it will cut your translation cost significantly. Companies typically offer discounts in their own seasons, or they may also offer discounted pricing for NGOs and Startups.

You May Need to Hire Professional Editors/ Proofreaders

The cost of editing and proofreading also goes into your overall translation project budget. You may need to hire them separately to counter-verify the quality of your translated documents. Of course, you have to spend some extra money on the quality check. You can also use an automated QA tool to save some costs.

Work with a Professional Localization Platform

Managing your translation projects is quite easy and hassle-free with a professional localization platform. Using this platform, you can easily manage your team of freelance translators working from remote locations. Moreover, these cloud-based TMS allow your translation teams to collaborate with each other in real-time. Some localization tools also provide options for automated invoicing to stakeholders to save time and effort.