The cost of translations are driven by many variables, in this article we set out the information you need to understand how we – and other agencies – calculate the cost to you.
Translation pricing basics
We never treat translations as commodities.
Your translation will be created by one of our highly trained, experienced professional translators chosen for their expertise in your sector as well as their language skills.
We operate a fair and open pricing policy and always provide you with a written estimate including a full cost breakdown and are happy to answer questions, simply give us a call.
We price each translation separately to ensure you receive the translation which best matches your needs and budget.
Several factors affect the price you pay, each is discussed in detail below so you can understand exactly what you are getting for your money.
- Number of words/characters in the source document
- Class of translation
- Format of the source document
- Format of the finished document
- Language pairs to be translated
- Complexity and level of specialist knowledge required
Number of words/characters in the source document
The most significant factor in calculating the overall price of your translation is the number of words or (in the case of some languages, such as Japanese) characters in the source document.
By ‘source document’ we mean the original document you submit for a quotation.
Prices are quoted in UK Pounds per 1000 words/characters in the source document
Note: Unlike some companies, London Translations never quote based on the number of words/characters in the target (or ‘finished’) document and are suspicious of those who do. Why would you want to give your supplier an incentive to produce ‘sloppy’, overly long winded text?
Class of translation
We offer several different classes of translation to match your needs and budget.
For an overview, please see our translation class comparison table.
We can almost always meet your deadlines, no matter how demanding.
To accommodate urgent requirements it is sometimes necessary to work weekends or split jobs between several translators and recombine the finished document using specialst editing tools under the watchful eye of an experienced lead translator.
It is sometimes necessary to add surcharges for extremely urgent jobs. Conversely, less urgent assignments may attract lower charges in return for flexible deadlines.
Format of the source documents to be translated
We work with all document format from simple hand written notes right through to complex website code and software. It is sometimes necesssry to add a surcharge for working with time consuming esoteric formats.
Format of the finished translated documents
We can supply documents as standard computer files and regular hard-copy quickly, easily and therefore at no additional cost.
However, if you need your document to be returned on film or bromide (sometimes occasionally still required for publication even in the 21st century), we have to charge extra to cover the extra time and materials required.
Similarly, converting the finished document into unusual or multiple file formats requires extra time and use of specialist software thus increasing the price.
Language pairs to be translated
The laws of supply and demand dictate that certain language pairs command a premium over others.
For instance, it’s cheaper to translate a document from, say, English to French than it is from Dutch to Korean simply because there are very few Dutch to Korean translators.
Complexity & level of specialist knowledge required of the translator
Experts command a premium for their services.
Complex technical, medical and legal documents are likely to be more expensive than, say, general business correspondence.
For this reason, we always ask to see a sample of the document before quoting a price.
In this way we are able to assign a translator with the appropriate level of expertise at a fair price for the class of translation you have requested.