Translation Cost Per Word
The language industry prices translation work using word counts. On average, a professional translator can translate between 2,000-3,500 words a day (8 hours) for standard technical content. The cost per word ranges between $0.07 and $0.20, depending on the source and target language. Typically, Nordic languages such as Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish are more expensive than Spanish, French, and German, as well as most Asian and Latin American languages. The different rates are due to labor costs in the respective countries and the size of the professional translator pool (or supply and demand.)
The table below lists the per-word rate for translation from English into the respective target languages.
|Language||Cost per Word|
How Are Translation Words Calculated?
The language industry calculates the translation word count using new words, repeated words, and fuzzy matches. Typically, words within documents are not always unique and often repeated. Stepes translation software can automatically capture repeated words within single or multiple documents. We price repeated words at 20% of new word rates, which can lead to significant per-word cost reductions. We also use translation memory to leverage previously translated text to save translation costs while maintaining linguistic consistency. Translation memory matches (also called fuzzy matches) are expressed using the following metrics:
|Fuzzy Match||Per Word Rate|
|New words||Full translate rates|
|ICE matches||No charge|
|100%||20% of new word rates|
|95% - 99%||30% of new word rates|
|85% - 94%||50% of new word rates|
|< 85%||100% of new word rates|
ICE stands for In-Context Exact match.
What Translation Services Are Included in the Per Word Cost?
Professional language services like Stepes use a translation process called TEP, which consists of translating, editing, and proofreading. The cost per word you pay for your translation projects includes these linguistic tasks by default. The price per word our clients spend also includes selected translated content review by a second linguist for specific projects. The selection process is random but influenced by our automatic QA audit report. In addition, the translation per word cost also covers continuous terminology management at Stepes.
Translation Price Per Thousand Words
Some translation companies charge a flat fee per 1000 words for document translation. While this is a straightforward pricing method that is easy to understand and is acceptable for companies that do not process large amounts of translation projects, it can become much more costly over time for companies that translates large volume of content. One major issue with the per thousand-word pricing model is that it disregards the cost savings for repeated content and translation memory leverage. For global enterprises that process many translation projects, translation memory cost savings can sometimes mean 50% translation cost reductions.
Translation Cost Per Word for Marketing Content
On average, translation companies charge 20%-40% more for translating marketing materials than standard technical documentation such as instructional manuals and user guides. This is because marketing content requires translation plus creative writing to achieve the desired linguistic results. Stepes is a leader in marketing translations, providing transcreation services for a full range of marketing collateral at the most competitive price. To learn more about our marketing translation solutions, please click here.
Translation Cost Per Word for Legal Content
Legal translation services command higher per-word fees because legal translators must have legal expertise (often with specialized legal training) and linguistic knowledge to deliver the most accurate results. The language industry usually charges 20% or more for legal document translation and localization. Stepes provides both standard and certified legal translation services in over 100 languages. To learn more or to obtain a legal translation pricing quote, please click here.