If you are new to the translation industry, you may not have a very clear idea of what market rates are for English to French translations. And of course, before sending your products or services for professional translation, you will want to have a cost estimate in mind.
Freelance translators are a cost-effective option
First of all, if you want to get reasonable rates and best value for your money, you will want to work with a freelance translator. This way you will avoid the typically high agency fees: 50-80% of what you pay a translation company goes to various administrative layers rather than to the actual translator.
Having said that, even in the freelance translator pool you will find vastly different price ranges. Avoid cheap providers, as they are usually inexperienced and will end up costing your business more when you realize their work is not usable. Poor translations can also have devastating effects on your image.
What professional translators charge
Typically, a professional and specialized translator will charge between $0.1 and $0.2 per word depending on the following factors:
– Their experience: experienced translators charge more than newcomers. But naturally, seasoned translators tend to offer a better quality of service
– Field of expertise: patent translations tend to cost more than, say, software documentation. The more technical and specific your text is, the higher the costs will be
– File format: a plain Word file will cost less to translate than a heavily formatted HTML page. Preparing and translating difficult file formats takes time. Hence the potential high rates
– Deadline: if you need your translation urgently, be prepared to pay a premium
– Volume and repetitions: Most professional translators charge a minimum project fee ($10-100 depending on the provider). Consider grouping orders when possible. Some might offer a discount for very large projects. You may also be offered a small discount if large chunks of text are repeated through the source documents
See where you stand on all of the above points, and you should get an idea of the price to expect. Then look for providers experienced and familiar with your field. Finally, go for the translator who best aligns with your needs.
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