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How are interpreting assignments priced?

Hi there. I need to book an interpreter but I’m confused about the prices. Can you let me know on what basis interpreters are charged out and explain why so I can tell our project managers. They will need three languages, French and German and probably Polish (not sure yet, might be Romanian).

Hi Gregory,

Thanks for your question, I’ve provided the information you need below. Once you have finalised the language pairs you need please let us know and we can provide you with a competitive quote.  By the way, may I suggest you download a copy of our free report “Interpreting Without Tears” by clicking on the button in the box to the right of this article.

Interpreter pricing basics

You are buying the time and expertise of an individual interpreter or team of interpreters. In some cases, you may also be hiring specialist interpreting equipment such as booths and headsets.

We are always careful to price each interpreting assignment to match your exact needs and budget and will always provide you with a full written estimate including a cost breakdown so there are no nasty surprises.

Several factors affect the price you pay, each is discussed in detail below so you understand what you are getting for your money.

  • Type and number of interpreter(s) required
  • Duration of assignment
  • Location of assignment
  • Language pairs to be interpreted
  • Depth of specialist knowledge required
  • Equipment required

Type of interpreter(s) required

We provide a total of six different types of interpreters, three on-site and three ‘virtual’ variants.

The price you pay will vary by type, please see our interpreter type comparison table for details of each service.

Duration of assignment

The length of the assignment affects the price.

A short discussion with a telephone interpreter lasting only a few minutes will, understandably, be much cheaper than, say, a three day conference with multiple simultaneous interpreters including equipment.

Onsite interpreting assignments are charged in multiples of half a day (4 hours) with overtime charged in hours (or part thereof). Substantial discounts are available for lengthy or regular assignments so please call for the most competitive quote.

Virtual interpreters are charged according to the type of service they are providing and start at a cost per-minute for telephone interpreters.

Please call us to discuss your specific requirements so we can work out the most cost effective way of helping you achieve your goals.

Please see our interpreter type comparison table for details of each service and examples of their use.

Location of assignment

For on-site interpreting assignments, the location of your event may impact the price.

We have an extensive database of interpreters which means we are usually able to locate an interpreter based near to where you need them.

If interpreters need to travel, we ask you to to cover their travel expenses and accommodation.

The more notice you can give us the better as this increases the chance of local interpreters being available.

Language pairs to be interpreted

The laws of supply and demand dictate that certain language pairs command a premium over others. For example, it is not surprising that English to French interpreters are likely to be cheaper than, say, Norwegian to Chinese interpreters.

We always aim to get you the very best quote as we have a huge database of qualified, experienced interpreters.

Depth of specialist knowledge required

Experts command a premium for their services.

Specialised technical, medical and legal interpreters are likely to be more expensive than, say, general business interpreters.

For this reason, we always discuss your assignment in detail before quoting to ensure we assign interpreter(s) with the appropriate level of expertise at a fair price.

Equipment required

Some types of interpreting such as simultaneous interpreting and video interpreting require specialist equipment. Others such as whispering interpreting do not.

We will always provide a full and detailed cost breakdown of any equipment required on your estimate so you can budget for the full cost of the assignment.

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