6 factors that drive up translation services rates

Clients often need services without being aware that neither translation agencies nor freelance translators regard them as “part of the job”. Because these extra services usually require significant extra time, effort and resources which are not part of the “basic” translation rate, they often cause an increase in the quoted translation services rate.

“Additional” services often asked for and their effects on translation prices include:

Formatting issues, such as supplying the job in formats other than Microsoft Office.

This will involve translators in conversion and re-conversion processes, they will therefore charge for the extra time needed. Sometimes clients send work designed with InDesign or Framemaker. This often causes extensive re-formatting issues because this software is not usually part of a freelance translator’s basic toolkit. Therefore, the translation services rates quoted will be above average due to the additional time needed.

Working out of regular office hours

Most freelance translators are happy to work out of office hours occasionally. However, expecting weekend and evening work at no extra cost to you is unrealistic.

Additional time for notarised translations

Clients who need certified, sworn or notarised translations usually make these needs clear when asking for a quote. However, sworn and notarised translations are especially time-consuming. This is due to the necessary visits to the nearest notary AND the post office. Hence the higher charges.

Extra tasks

Website conversion, project management, second-party proof-reading, editing and desktop publishing are all examples of processes that go beyond basic translation work. Therefore translators often charge extra for such services.

Editing by clients after translation process has started

Finally, translators may also charge higher translation services rates when the client edits the original text after sending it to the translator.

Most of these factors can easily be avoided. However, if, in your case, they are unavoidable, tell your translator about your special requirements. This enables your translation service provider to supply you with an exact quotation and a realistic time frame for completing your translation project.

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