Calculating the Cost of Translations

Calculating how much it will cost to translate the files in a project is a complicated task.

Translation cost cannot be a quick estimated calculation. Quite the contrary, it requires a detailed analysis of the material to translate in order to create a budget that is as exact and correct as possible, as well as avoiding omissions and excesses. If the budget does not factor in the full requirements from the client, there will be a problem, as the resources will not agree to work for free and the client will not agree to pay for the difference in costs.

The translation agency, or the individual translator, who is creating the budget needs:

  • to have enough time to create the budget, clearly establishing all of the steps or stages that the material will pass through during the process;
  • analyze the material in order to:

o    determine the amount and type of repetitions, if there are any;
o    determine the terms for delivery of the work, since many times urgency will affect the rates;
o    consider the cost of processing images, both for any text in images as well as for the layout work;
o    see the complexity of the document in order to select the most appropriate professionals for each task;
o    analyze the language combination of the project, since some languages have very few professionals working with it; and
o    count the total number of words with the utmost precision. Generally they are counted automatically, but there are a few other points to consider that could complicate the equation. In certain circumstances, it is not possible to count all of the material in the budget stage. In these cases, the client will have to send, at the very least, a representative sample of the entire project in order to make the necessary projections.

In order for the quality of the project to have a level of excellency, a Content Manager, who is a resource in addition to the translators, editors, and reviewers, is needed. This Content Manager does not necessarily have to be a translator; instead, the most important aspect of the Content Manager is that he or she is an expert in the field being worked with.

Finally, the costs of the Account Manager, the person who handles the relationship with the client, and the Project Manager, who creates the budget, chooses the appropriate resources, coordinates the stages of the project, and is responsible for the quality of the final product that is delivered to the client, need to be considered.

With regard to the payment for the services provided by the resources, the professionals who work on the project often do so from a different location than the actual agency. For this reason, they receive their payment in cities and banks in other countries. This payment method can get complicated with the resources live in remote places or developing countries that do not have a financial system with sufficient coverage. In these cases, the agency must look into the financial costs for these foreign resources, since they can at times exceed the fee that is to be paid. There are many payment options in the world and the conditions, characteristics, and costs are always changing.

Of course, in addition to all of these costs related to the different resources, both internal and external, the company has to pay for all of its fixed costs, and, preferably, receive profit. Therefore, calculating the costs for translation is always a difficult and highly important task.

At Trusted Translations, we offer the maximum benefit for our clients by minimizing the costs while maintaining quality. If you would like more information about this, please visit our page on translation rates.