Unpredictable translation rate variations
As you can find out in our translation rates pages, the translation industry will not and cannot work with set tariffs. Therefore clients will come across translation rate variations, even within certain subjects of specialisation and identical language pairs, dependent on the country they live in.
Reasons for quoting an above average rate
Your chosen freelance translator may quote you a higher rate than you expected. However, this may have nothing to do with the degree of difficulty or a tight deadline but could simply be a reflection of the fact that they are rather busy at the moment, and that they would have to work evenings or the weekend to fit your job into their schedule. This may not be a problem as such but they may feel entitled to a premium rate for working outside the usual office hours.
Reasons for quoting a below average rate
On other occasions, a freelance translator may quote you a rate much lower than expected. This may be due to the translator having a fondness for a specific subject or considering it as a matter of prestige to take on your particular translation job. Or they may just not be very busy at the moment. They therefore give you a quote that is much lower than “the going rate”. Sometimes, translators also charge less for charity work.
Reasons for unexpected quotes due to translators’ qualifications
You have found a translator with precisely the qualifications needed for the translation job in hand. However, this can lead to three differing quotes:
- The translator charges a lower than average translation rate, because they can carry out the work quickly.
- They charge you a higher rate, as they had to invest a considerable amount of time, money and effort to obtain the qualification(s) required for this work.
- And finally, they charge you an average rate, because they consider that a fair price for the job.
These illustrations show how translation rates very much depend on an individual translator’s circumstances and mind-set. These greatly contribute to the relative unpredictability of translation rates.