Understanding the pricing model of the translation industry - Quynh Huong Center for Foreign Language Translation & Education

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9 Nov 2020

Understanding the pricing model of the translation industry


The pricing of a service or product plays a critical role in building the relationship between the client and the firm. This is why if a firm wants to be successful in an industry, then they have to be crystal clear and relevant with their pricing model. Without an optimized pricing model that will suit the current market, making clients succumb to your offering becomes very difficult, and the same goes for the translation industry as well.

With globalization becoming a new normal and because of the influx of the internet, people have started reaching places with different languages through their work, and this is why the translation industry is witnessing a skyrocketing growth rate. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking forward to targeting a market with a foreign language or publishing your research paper in English. You will surely need professional and certified translation services. But before making your final decision on a company providing certified translation services, you will have to understand the overall pricing model.

So, let’s shed some light on the pricing model used by the modern translation industry so that you can easily make a budget and analyze different document translation services based on their pricing model.

How much does it cost?

Before choosing any product or service of a firm, the first thing that you will look at is how much you will have to pay to get the required service or product, even in the case of translation services.

If you are aware of how much the product or service will cost, then you can easily quantify the value that you will get in return of the money that you pay to the company. Thus you will be able to analyze whether choosing that particular product or service was a good idea or not.

When you begin your hunt for the best company providing document translation services, then you will realize that none of the reputed translation companies out there mentions the price they charge for translation directly on their website. The main reason behind this, each project requires different types of translation services, and thus the cost of every project will be different. There are many variables in a project that act as a springboard for the price charged by the company.

You will surely find companies out there that directly mention the price they charge for their translation services, but if you are looking for professional services, then you will need to stay away from such companies.

Different types of pricing models used by translation companies

Per word

This is one of the most common pricing models that is used by most of the famous and reputed translation companies in the market. But this pricing model is only applicable when a particular number of words will be evident in the document before offering the service. The main reason behind the popularity of the ‘per word’ pricing model is its simplicity. It doesn’t matter how large or small the project is; the ‘per word’ pricing model will justify all. But even in the per-word pricing model, the overall price of the project can be increased or decreased based on the urgency, subject area, complexity, and other specifications.

In the ‘per word’ pricing model, the overall price of the project is calculated before the translation services. Still, in many cases, it can also be estimated after the translation services. It would be best if you always asked your translation service provider about the other factors that will influence the price of the project.

Per Page

There are many companies out there that will offer you a ‘per page’ pricing model in which you will be charged based on the number of pages that you will get translated. This type of pricing system is found suitable for documents in electronic form because in many cases, counting the words in these documents becomes impossible or complicated. For example, a PDF scanned copy of a medical report will better fit in the ‘per page’ pricing model since counting words will be difficult in this case.

The estimated number of words on every page will play the leading role in deciding how much the translation company will charge you. If the words on every page will be more than the average word count (250), then the translation can cost you more. You should always provide editable documents to the translation company rather than scanned PDF to make the most of ‘per page’ pricing model.

Per hour

Take the example of a website that needs to be translated with a step-by-step process, and every week, freshly translated content needs to be added on the site. Well, the number of word count will be less, but the time taken for translating the website will be more. In such cases, translation companies prefer to charge their clients on a ‘per hour’ basis. This means that the company will charge you based on the hours they have spent on your project.

But this is a rare model in the translation industry, and it is only used when a poorly translated piece of document needs revision or translating a document looks like a time-consuming process. So, it is used in only those projects where the volume is less, but the process is complicated.

Flat fee

When a translation company feels that per hour, per page, or per word pricing model is not making sense to your project, then they will go with the last option of a flat fee. Although this type of pricing model is sporadic, there are various examples of projects that justify this pricing model. You can take the case of a traditional Japanese document in JPG format that needs to be translated into English. This type of project will better suit the flat-fee pricing model.

Even clients are satisfied with this type of approach since they get a complete estimate of the price they will have to pay for the translation service.

Since different companies use different types of pricing models according to the specifications of the project, knowing how your chosen company charges you becomes essential. Get a quote for the document that you are getting translated and make it fit in your already decided budget.

1 comment:

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