Translation Cost per Word

When it comes to preparing an estimate, freelance translators as well as translation agencies wish to offer a rate that would win the bid for the project and, whenever possible, potentially retain or attract a long-term client.

Transparent Accounting

The best strategy to preparing an easily understood and transparent quote is to keep things clear.  As a popular saying goes, “Clear accounting keep good friends together.”

A quote that only takes into account the number of pages to be translated would generally be inaccurate,  as one or more of the following situations may occur:

  • pages of solid text,
  • pages with little text but containing graphs or tables, or
  • pages with hardly any text, as when a section or a chapter begins or ends.

As a consequence, if we count the number of pages, the estimate would always be based on the “average” number of words per page (in general, around 300 words).  That is to say, any quote would only be an approximation of the number of words instead of an exact calculation.

Beyond the client’s wish to know “exactly how many words” there are in the document to be translated, surely the client wants to know “exactly” how much the translation would cost.  It is difficult to see how an “approximate” number of words could ever translate to solid quote.

Precise Calculations

The first step to building the foundation for a prosperous business relationship is focusing on the document of origin.  With the help of specialized software it is possible to calculate the number of words in a document.  The exact number of words, not an approximation.  Be it a short document or a large, complicated project, the exact number of words.  Now!

In order to make the client a more attractive offer, it is a good idea to take into account repetitions found in the original  document, as repeated phrases or sentences need only be translated once, and may later be simply cut and pasted throughout the rest of the project.

Another way to lower costs is keeping a translation memory for each client, which would include not only repetitions within a single document, but keep track of the phrases and expressions commonly used throughout the client’s various projects.  Over time, the translation memory base would grow,  making the job of the translation easier, and offering the client a better price and a faster turnaround time.

Free Quote

If you would like to obtain a free quote based on the exact number of words in a document from TRUSTED TRANSLATIONS, INC., please do not hesitate to contact us.