Translation Tips: Components of Pricing

This ongoing series will provide succinct guidance to buyers of translation services.

It is nearly impossible to compare quotes if you do not understand the components of a translation estimate.  Use this section to familiarize yourself with the line items that may appear on your invoice.


Most documents are charged by the word for translation.  The exceptions to this are those that fall under a pre-established “minimum” or certain types of advertising copy.  Estimates will show the target estimated word count and the corresponding fee.  All translations should then be checked by a second linguist.  This proofreading fee is sometimes charged by the word—or also by the hour.


Some agencies break out their management fees or some incorporate them into the per word price.


If graphics have to be recreated, you may also see a formatting charge.


If the documents are created using a specialized design software, then you can expect to see a charge for creating foreign language pieces.  This is the studio charge from the designer.


There may be an additional line item that reflects post-production proofreading or incorporation of client or regulatory feedback.

Print the full Buyer’s Guide

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