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November 19, 2015 4:12 pm Published by Comments Off on How translation rates are calculated

Our comprehensive guide to translation prices – Part 2

In our last blog post we explained why and how minimum charges apply to small translation projects.  In this second part of our guide on translation prices, we will focus on how we calculate our rates for any project above our minimum charge.

There are many variables, such as geographical and social factors, that have an effect on translation rates and the cost of using translators’ and professional translation services. We have endeavoured to detail them below. 

Translators’ geographical locations  

We work with freelance translators who are mainly based in the UK but a number of them also live abroad. The cost of living can vary significantly from one country to another. Therefore, for the same language combination, the rate of a translator based in a Nordic country is usually higher than the rate applied by a translator living in the UK. Conversely, the rate of a translator based in Spain is usually lower than the rate charged by a UK-based translator.

The country where our translators are based influences their rates and therefore it is also reflected in ours. In addition, some of our translators invoice in other currencies and, as a result, changes in the exchange rates can affect translation prices too. 

Translation rates

Language combinations and language directions

Translation in some languages is more expensive than others, simply because of the law of supply and demand. Some languages are so rare that there is a very limited number of qualified and experienced linguists available. Their rates are usually higher because of their very specific expertise. Azerbaijani, Azeri, Kurdish Sorani and Zaghawa are examples of rare languages and Icelandic, Japanese, Hebrew or Indian languages (Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati etc.), for instance, are some of the most expensive languages because of the limited pool of qualified linguists. On the other hand, there are more linguists providing services from or into more widely spoken languages such as French, Spanish or Portuguese. The more widely spoken a language is, the more competitive the market and translation prices.

The qualifications, experience and memberships of our linguists

There are crucial elements taken into account in translation prices. Naturally the better qualified and experienced the translator, the higher the quality of the translation and the quicker the turnaround time.
At Aplingo, we only work with mother-tongue, highly qualified, experienced translators. They are members of well-recognised and respected professional organisations. Our rates take into account their high qualifications, their years of experience and their expertise in very specific fields.

Translators' qualifications

The subject matter of your project and its level of specialisation

Highly specialised texts have to be dealt with by equally highly specialised translators. Translators usually specialise in a limited number of fields. For some areas such as medicine or engineering, they often have extra qualifications in these specific fields, in addition to their qualifications as translators.

Some projects can be extremely specialised and technical and only a certain number of linguists possess the knowledge and expertise to deal with them. The more specialised and technical the subject, the higher the rate for translation because of the expertise required. When preparing a quote for a specialised project, we shortlist suitable linguists and take into account their rates in our quote.

Total volume of text

Depending on the size of the project, we apply two types of rates. For any project above our minimum charge and below 4,000 words, our standard rates apply. We offer substantially discounted rates for any project above 4,000 words in total, all languages combined. These discounted rates are based directly on the translators we would use for your project. We select suitable translators for your project at the outset and use the average of their rates to calculate our discounted rate.

Delivery deadlines

Some agencies charge extra for urgent requests. With Aplingo the same rates apply no matter how urgent your project is. The timescale we provide is based upon our standard turnaround times. However, if your requirements are more urgent we will do our utmost to meet your deadline. If necessary, we can use more than one translator to work on your project, at no added cost. Consistency is ensured through communication between our linguists.

We demand an impeccable level of quality and we are fully aware that our translators need a reasonable timescale to produce high-quality translations. We take into account the timescale they feel comfortable with.

Translation rates

We hope this article was helpful and explains what factors influence translation rates and how these are determined. If you have any questions, or if you would like to know more about our services, please feel free to give us a call on 0800 389 6571 or send us an email (translation@aplin.co.uk).


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