4 factors influencing prices for translation services

Market forces, like supply and demand, are important factors influencing prices for translations. For example, you will probably find that French-English translations are cheaper in England or France compared to Germany, due to the fact that the number of French to English translators available will be greater.

1     The “going rate” within a country

While there are no set translation tariffs for translators’ services, there are certain price ranges prevalent for particular services within any one country.

Also, the minimum fee translators charge, may vary more between different countries than within one geographical area.

2     A language pair that is only provided by a few native speakers in your country

Is neither of the languages you require spoken in your country?

For example, do you live in Germany but are looking for a translation from Italian to Spanish? Then translators will charge a higher rate than that for a more common language pair such as English to German or French to German.

Expect even higher prices for “exotic” language pairs: say, you live in the UK and you need a Chinese-Hindi translation. Difficult.

3     Lack of choice of translators due to a busy period or holidays

Are you ringing up at a particularly busy time of the year or during a holiday period, when most translators are also on holiday? In this case, the translation rate you will be quoted is likely to reflect this fact.

4     A subject area that very few translators cover

And finally, expect an increased translation rate, if your subject is so specialised that not many translators are willing or able to take it on.

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