Everything You Need to Know About Charging Translation Rates Per Word

When finding the right price for your translation project, there are a variety of factors you need to consider. For starters, what kind of translation services do you need? Depending on your project, your translation price might be per word, per page, or per hour. 


How do You Price Translation Services?

Pricing translation services is relatively simple once you break it down. Generally, there are three ways translators price their services: 

ways to charge for language services infographic

Translation Rates Per Word

The most common way language service providers calculate translation rates is per word. Since translation projects tend to vary in complexity and length, charging a per-word rate is a generally good way for translators to build prices based on their skills, and experienced translators can even give you a time estimate based on a project’s word count. Per-word translation rates are also excellent for determining prices based on language pairs. Because some language pairs are more common than others, a translator might charge less for a popular combination. For example, English-to-Spanish translations tend to cost less than Urdu-to-Spanish translations. 

How Much Do Translators Charge Per Word?

Per word translation costs are the most common since they allow translators to set prices based on language pair and keep those prices the same for projects of varying lengths. Typically, translation rates per word are less than a dollar. For example, the English-to-Arabic translation cost varies from $0.10 to $0.50. English-to-Spanish translation service rates vary, too, usually between $0.10 and $0.25 per word.  

Translation Rates Per Page

Charging per page for translation services is best for standardized translation services. Certified translations, for example, aren’t necessary for every document, only a select few. Because of this, translators can charge for certified translation services per page since they will have to translate the source material and potentially format it to fit the original document’s page layout.  

Translation Rates Per Hour

Although not nearly as common as per word or per page translations, some projects require per-hour translations. These types of translation projects often require a lot of extra time or additional skills outside of translation. For example, translating, transcreating, and reformatting a magazine would involve more than just translation experience; the translator would also need creative writing and photo editing skills to complete the project properly. 

Translating audio into a transcription also utilizes per hour (or per minute) rates since the audio doesn’t necessarily come with a preexisting transcript.  


How do You Calculate Translation Rate?

So, how do you know how much a translation will cost?  

Calculating translation rates can be difficult, so most translators and translation companies provide price quotes to people looking for translation services. Instant price quotes or a translation cost calculator can help you determine the translation rate. Still, there are many outside factors that can also determine the final price of your translation. 

How Much Does it Cost to Translate a Document? 

Generally, translation rates change as new technologies develop and languages grow or shrink in use. No matter what, translation rates per word in 2023 will not be the same in 2024, nor will they remain stagnant in 2025. In addition, some translation projects will cost more than others because of the expertise required to translate a document. For example, medical translation rates per word will be greater than a general translation because they require specific medical knowledge. 

When you approach a translator or translation company for a price quote, there are a few pieces of additional information that can help you get an accurate price for your translation: 

  • The required language pairs. Let translators know if you need a project translated into multiple languages. Translation prices vary between languages based on demand. 
  • The type or complexity of your document. Depending on what you need to be translated, you might have to request expert translators from different fields. For example, legal translations require translators with legal expertise, and will thus charge more than translators without legal experience. 
  • The level of translation that you need. While it’s perfectly okay to translate some projects word-for-word, others require additional editing and even transcreation services to ensure your translation is successful. Marketing translation, for example, will always require a little bit of transcreation to ensure content resonates with different audiences. 
  • Your document’s file type. Some documents are easier to work with than others—having an editable document available for translators to access is always preferred! 
  • Additional requirements. Does your translation need to fit within a specific word count, or does the translator need to format the translation to fit an image? In that case, you’ll need to pay a little more for translators who have experience with web publishing or image editing. 

How Much Does a 1000-word Translation Cost?

how to calculate the cost of a 1000 word translation

Although translators don’t typically charge per 1000 words, we often see this question. After all, 1000 words is a standard document size for most companies. To calculate the translation rate per 1000 words, all you need to do is multiply your per-word translation rate by 1000. 


How Much Should I Pay for Translation Services? 

Ultimately, how much you pay for translation services will depend on a few factors, including the ones mentioned above and your budget. While it’s not required, having a general idea of how much you can feasibly pay for translation services can help you narrow down options and find the best service for what you can afford.  

What is a Good Rate for Translation? 

A good rate for translation will always reflect the translator’s expertise, the difficulty of a project, and a competitive translation rate per word for the language the translator excels in. When building your translation budget, making note of these aspects is essential. In addition, there are a couple of ways to bring down translation costs: 

  • Using AI translation with human post-editing services tends to be less costly than using a human translator for the entire project. However, AI translations aren’t recommended for documents that require precision, nor are they suitable for translating creative works. 
  • Translation agencies tend to have lower rates than the average freelance translator’s hourly rate. Regardless of where you get your translation, though, look into the translator’s background and experience to ensure a high-quality translation. 


Finding Affordable Translation Rates with Traduality 

With the help of Traduality, translation becomes a breeze! To get started with affordable translation services provided by vetted professional translators, contact us today or get an instant price quote for your project. 

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